It’s still sometimes difficult to think of brands that have managed to seamlessly join online and offline experiences.

In this post we look at three such brands doing just that.

Topshop

Topshop’s recent ‘Retail to Runway‘ initiative integrated London Fashion Week (LFW) with the retailer’s stores and digital properties.

For its young audience, Topshop is truly a multichannel experience (with click and collect, free WiFi in store, a social-enabled ecommerce app with barcode scanner), but Retail to Runway took this a step further.

The launch played out as follows: 

  • Consumers could watch the Topshop catwalk show livestreamed on Topshop.com and on playback thereafter.
  • Pieces from the show were available to buy immediately in selected stores, online and a pop-up showspace.
  • The Topshop website ran plenty of editorial about LFW and allowed consumers to sign up for updates via email.
  • The Topshop app provided notifications to users of all the LFW news.

The merging of online and offline continues apace at Topshop, with the identity of the website (with its quick turnover of content and integrated social) matching the feel of the Topshop stores.

Topshop plans to debut a 100% shoppable range at the next Fashion Week in February 2017, as it makes fashion ever more accessible, both online and offline.

topshop unique

Hilton

Whilst Airbnb gets the plaudits in travel for a unique UX including its peer review system, Hilton is fighting back.

By adding functionality to the Hilton HHonors app, the hotelier is removing some of the more frustrating elements of using hotels.

Users can choose a room in selected hotels and check in via the app, unlock rooms with their app’s digital key, and book a cab via Uber.

Customer service with a smile at the front desk can always be compromised in a busy period, but these app improvements help to empower customers to customise and control their own experiences, beyond the online booking journey.

hilton app 

Starbucks

It’s easy to dismiss Starbucks as just another big brand example of great CX – don’t they just have plenty of money to throw at digital technology?

Such an attitude would do an immense disservice to a brand that has been at the forefront of online/offline experiences for a number of years.

Starbucks was the first store to widely offer free Wi-Fi and is, of course, known for letting customers dwell (which has become the default for all coffee shops).

The coffee giant nailed mobile payment & loyalty early, with its app that uses a barcode system launching in 2009.

A staggering 21% of US transactions take place via the app and in 2015 the brand launched click-and-collect coffee for those that don’t want to wait in line.

Chart via Bloomberg

starbucks mobile sales at 21%

Starbucks’ digital marketing reaches into stores, too. Just a few initiatives include: 

  • The brand has used location-based app notifications (seen below),
  • Starbucks’ famous music playlists are available exclusively to rewards members on Spotify, where users can suggest their own tracks for in-store.
  • An active email marketing and social media programme pushes seasonal specialities and offers to rewards members.
starbucks notification

Overall, Starbucks’ investment in stores (including concept stores) is just as impressive as its investment in its digital capabilities, making it a truly multichannel brand.