Getting started with omnichannel — A data-driven approach to connected experiences

What is an omnichannel experience?

From email to phone, e-commerce to physical retail, or any combination of all these, customers now expect consistency and flexibility regardless of the touchpoint.

  • Consumer trends: Today’s consumers are always online, being greeted with greater personalisation and choice wherever they go. The coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated this trend.
  • Organisational trends: Pressure to deliver the ‘new normal’ to consumers, reduce costs when meeting customer needs and compete on experience in an overcrowded market.
  • Tech trends: Maturity with voice and chat, AI-driven personalisation, and the availability of always on data from cloud platforms are changing what’s possible.

Examples of omnichannel experiences

Disney MagicBand

Disney knows magic and experience like no other company. From booking, to park entrance, to leaving — a visitor’s journey is all connected by the Disney MagicBand, a personalised wristband featuring a scannable RFID chip.

Coles Click&Collect smart lockers

An example from closer to home are Coles’ Click&Collect smart lockers, linking physical inventory, online ordering and in-person contactless pickup with convenient physical lockers. Customers choose when and where to collect their order rather than having to wait for a delivery.

David Jones customer assistant

David Jones has been a bastion of traditional department store retail in Australia for decades. But in recent years, it has struggled to keep up with omnichannel customers as a result of outdated systems and processes.

  • Connection and interconnection of data and services
  • Bringing together the physical and digital for new opportunities
  • Measurement and metrics for constant improvement

Where to start with omnichannel experiences?

With omnichannel experiences, it’s always best to start small. But in order to achieve success, you’ll typically need to:

  • Understand your customer’s journey — different types of businesses will fit into their customers’ lives in different ways.
  • Understand your tech — understand the limitations of your current capabilities or constraints caused by legacy technology.
  • Understand your numbers — look at metrics to identify your most pressing issues and where value could be unlocked.
  • Remove siloes to allow connection and interconnection — this could be organisational, technology-based or channel-based.

What’s next for omnichannel experiences?

We’ve talked about the real-world examples of omnichannel with Disney, Coles and David Jones. But what other opportunities exist when you bring together the physical and digital?

Scenario #1: Physical retail +

Jenny has been shopping online more and more during COVID-19 lockdowns. It’s convenient, cheaper and increasingly personalised, plus getting packages in the post is like Christmas. However, she’s eager to get out shopping again.

Scenario #2: Pre-emptive service

John bought an expensive washing machine in the hope that he would have less problems over its lifetime. This would avoid the possibility of having to call out a technician, which is expensive and hard to arrange, whenever it develops a fault or breaks down.

Scenario #3: Deeper data

Laura is allergic to certain ingredients and usually sticks to a small group of trusted products. But if her product isn’t in stock, does she not get to purchase what she wants? What are her options? This is another opportunity to resolve questions when browsing and buying products in store.

Connecting data to customer value

Modern digital experiences are built on two things — connection and data. This requires:

  • Understanding the human context — By knowing what the customer wants and the journey they’ll take to get there, we have the context to provide what’s needed, even before the customer realises it.
  • Two-sided value proposition — The loop of a seamless connected service benefits the customer and the business by providing data to better understand behaviours and improve existing services.



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