Phone scanning a QR code of jewellery.

Omnichannel customer journey maps – designing experiences across channels

March 22, 2022

Have you ever visited a store, tried on some clothes, used your smartphone to compare prices – and in the end bought everything online? Undeniably, omnichannel experiences are becoming more and more habitual, and we don’t need to go too far to verify consumers’ behavioral changes.

Have you ever visited a store, tried on some clothes, used your smartphone to compare prices – and in the end bought everything online? Undeniably,  omnichannel experiences are becoming more and more habitual, and we don’t need to go too far to verify consumers’ behavioral changes.

You are not the only one experiencing this evolution: For example, pick-up only at brick and mortar stores increased by 208% in 2020, according to Adobe Analytics (blog.adobe.com).

From the Latin "Omnis", which means "every/all", the word “omnichannel” describes a coordinated integration among online and offline channels that offers a seamless experience to the customer, user, citizen, patient, or others.

In other words, omnichannel means an approach that aims at multiple integrated channels across an experience. Therefore, they cannot be disconnected for customers to use them independently.

We can deduce the flow: better experiences lead to happier customers, lead to more sales, right? This is also what the Omnisend found recently. In the report, marketers using three or more channels in a campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign.

Infographic showing that several channel campaigns are 287% more successful than single-channel campaigns.
Source: Omnisend

What is an omnichannel experience?

The definition of an omnichannel experience is an individual’s journey across multiple channels to achieve their goals, such as that of a customer purchasing a product via e-commerce. There are several possible online and offline channels that a brand might include in the customer journey: television and radio advertising, email, website, social media, app, mobile SMS, phone/call center, etc.

If we stick with the e-commerce example, it is not that hard to imagine someone consuming fashion tips on Instagram, later trying on clothes in a physical store nearby, and finally buying them online. And when we think the journey is over, this person decides to collect their order in a pick-up at a brick and mortar store, following the “boom” of this shipping modality in 2020.

The smoother a person transitions between company channels (offline and online), the better the consumer experience and consequent level of satisfaction.

Infographic showing the different options to purchase: traditional, e-commerce, multichannel, omnichannel.
Source: Slideshare

Indeed, any journey might have an omnichannel experience, for example, a citizen declaring income tax on the government website or even a patient during their physiotherapy treatment.

So, keep an eye out to learn more about omnichannel journey maps!

How to improve omnichannel customer experience

Let’s keep it simple and effective. There are three fundamental processes to improve the omnichannel customer experience and, therefore, ensure that you match good results:

  1. Mapping your customer's journey
  2. Ensuring digital capabilities
  3. Integrating different platforms

Mapping an omnichannel customer journey

How can one improve customer experience without understanding their journeys and pain points?

This is why omnichannel customer journey mapping is such a powerful tool. Once you comprehend an experience end-to-end, including all the interactions with your brand on multiple channels and even in the post-service stage, you may improve your service and reach higher customer satisfaction.

On an omnichannel customer journey map, we can identify the customers’ steps towards their goal, including how they navigate between different channels. These are so-called touchpoints, also known as the place where customer interactions occur, as well as their actions, feelings and thoughts.

This way, you have an opportunity to zoom-in on each moment that is identified as a pain point and improve the overall experience. In this manner, you can encourage customers to complete an action, such as finishing a purchase, in the smoothest way possible.

Ensuring digital capabilities

Purely having a digital presence through different platforms doesn’t guarantee proper interaction between a brand and its customers.

Evaluating where your customers spend time online, creating content that spreads the organization’s values, and communicating it on different platforms, all constitute necessary  homework for every company.

It is critical to understand the differences between various channels, adjust the brand’s presence accordingly, and personalize the interaction on every channel. This way, the company may establish a coherent communication approach on multiple platforms.

Consequently, the modus operandi of the company remains present on the different channels that the customer uses, increasing brand awareness and helping them to interact with online and offline channels with less friction.

Integrating distinct platforms

If your team understands how vital the singularities and similarities of each channel are, they can make sure to deliver the core values of the company through different channels, including different types of content and different communication styles.

From the customer perspective, it will help them navigate through distinct platforms and still feel that they are progressing smoothly towards their objectives.

Putting it in context, this exemplifies the relevance of an omnichannel marketing strategy that creates types of campaigns that align what customers want with the business needs. Setting the tone for a company is one way to achieve this objective.

From the backstage perspective, raising awareness among different teams about how customers interact with multiple channels helps them to prevent async issues and provides a common ground.

Omnichannel customer journey examples

Are you looking for hands-on omnichannel customer journey examples? Then have a look at some real-world cases.

E-commerce  

Through Carl and Ana’s experiences of an online book store, you learn more about how different online and offline channels are activated even in an e-commerce context.

E-commerce journey map

Airline

This journey map reminds us that display boards and face-to-face conversations should be considered channels, such as in a customer journey at the airport.

Airline journey map

Food box delivery from the marketing perspective

Acquire new information about omnichannel marketing from a high-level journey map to a zoom-in map.

Marketing journey map

Telecommunication

Telephone, face-to-face, email and other channels are part of Lisa’s experience with her internet provider. Check out more about this omnichannel journey map example in the telecom industry.

Telecommunication journey map

Try journey mapping with Smaply!