What Is Omnichannel Marketing? Definition, Examples, and Strategy

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Discover omnichannel marketing, why it’s important for designing a customer journey, and how to build your omnichannel marketing strategy.

[Featured image] Marketing executives having a meeting

What is omnichannel marketing?

Omnichannel marketing is an approach to promoting and selling products that serve three main purposes:

  1. Deliver consistent brand messaging across all marketing channels as customers move through the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the buyer’s journey.

  2. Provide customers with a seamless customer experience from the first touchpoint to the last, including social media, SMS, email, live events, or experiences at a physical location.

  3. Engage customers after they make a purchase to inspire their loyalty.

Omnichannel marketing is becoming more common as businesses leverage technology to integrate marketing channels and close the gap between touchpoints. Chances are you’ve had an omnichannel experience with various brands and benefited from the convenience it offers. Common examples include being able to order a product online and pick it up in-store and receiving push notifications that you’ve abandoned an online cart.  

An omnichannel marketing strategy offers several potential business benefits, including:

  • Reducing costs of acquiring customer data

  • Obtaining valuable customer insights 

  • Attracting new market segments

  • Boosting sales 

  • Keeping customers engaged after a sale

  • Inspiring customer loyalty

Omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing 

Omnichannel and multichannel marketing share similarities in that both approaches involve interacting with customers on multiple channels to increase brand visibility. 

However, consider one critical difference between these marketing approaches. Omnichannel marketing creates a seamless customer journey by connecting one channel to another and using unified messaging. A multichannel marketing strategy can increase potential customers' chances to interact with your brand but may not integrate their experiences at each touchpoint. As a result, the journey through the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of purchasing may get interrupted along the way. 

Omnichannel marketing examples

The examples below show how well-known brands in different industries leverage technology to offer omnichannel buying experiences. Use these to draw inspiration for your omnichannel marketing strategy.


Brands like Shopify and Nike are leveraging mobile apps to drive sales in the retail industry. Shopify’s mobile app now features an integration with Pinterest so that customers can see items on Pinterest that link directly to catalogues on Shopify. Nike’s mobile app allows customers to reserve in-store products, thus avoiding wasted trips, and scan product barcodes in-store to discover more information.

Recreation and entertainment

In the recreation and entertainment industry, Airbnb’s app allows users to view holiday lets, create wish lists, select holiday lets via a map function, contact hosts, and check-in. 


The Costa Coffee app allows customers to order online for in-store pickup, earn rewards for Costa purchases, and get a free treat and coffee on their birthday.


In the rideshare industry, the Uber app allows customers to book and manage a trip, share trip status with phone contacts, and, more recently, order meals from Uber Eats while in transit and get notified of UberEats deals.

How to build your omnichannel marketing strategy

When building a strategy to reach target customers on multiple channels, it’s essential to prioritise customers’ needs, desires, and preferences. This way, you can create a personalised customer experience wherever they are in their buyer’s journey.

Collect and analyse customer data

This step aims to understand which channels and platforms your target customers prefer and how they behave on each one. With this kind of data, you can focus your energy on optimising and connecting critical touchpoints so that customers enjoy interacting with your brand and progress easily toward a purchase.

  • Where do your target customers shop, including physical stores and online platforms?

  • What devices do they use to shop?

  • What challenges, barriers, delays, and issues do they face while shopping?

  • How do they interact with brands at each touchpoint?

Read more: 5 Steps for a Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategy

Map your omnichannel customer journey

Your goal for this step is to design a customer journey that offers ease and convenience. 

First, use the data you collected to list every customer touchpoint, including:

  • Discovery of your brand and products

  • Learning about your products and making a purchase 

  • Experiencing a product after a purchase

  • Requesting customer support 

  • Accessing a community of fellow customers 

  • Seeking out your brand again for subsequent purchases

Next, identify which marketing methods you’ll use to engage and serve customers at the various touchpoints. For example, digital ads can attract people to your brand whilst they’re active online. Post-purchase email surveys can keep customers engaged and allow them to influence future products and experiences. Be sure to prioritise target customers’ favourite platforms.

Then, refine the messaging on all channels and at every touchpoint to enhance the experience with your brand.


As you grow your business and identify a more diversified customer base, you may need to design a unique omnichannel experience for different customer segments.


Establish omnichannel brand guidelines

To create a consistent look and feel across all marketing channels, you’ll need to define a set of omnichannel brand guidelines.

Review your business’s general brand guidelines, including the mission statement, values, voice, and visual brand identity. Next, determine how these components will appear in your omnichannel experience. For example:

  • Where will your logo be positioned at every touchpoint? 

  • Which messaging elements will change as customers move from one touchpoint to another?

  • What words, phrases, calls-to-action, instructions, product information, and other messaging elements must be consistent throughout?

Distribute the omnichannel brand guidelines to your entire team and train them to implement brand elements at every touchpoint.

Implement your omnichannel marketing strategy and test results

Continually testing and measuring results is a significant component of any successful marketing endeavour. Where do customers experience friction along their journey? What can you adjust to improve interactions and lead more customers to sales? 

A marketing and sales automation tool can make coordinating customers’ experiences across channels easier, managing your shop fronts from one platform, providing customer support, inspiring loyalty, and optimizing your efforts to improve results. Here are three tools to investigate:

Watch this video from the University of Pennsylvania on Omnichannel Retail Strategy Specialization to learn more about omnichannel marketing and how to make it customer-centric.

Improve your marketing with Coursera

Online courses can be a great way to build marketing skills for your business or fill a marketing position at a company. 

Learn customer-centred omnichannel strategies by understanding marketing and e-commerce and the various touchpoints customers will experience with the Google Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Professional Certificate. This can help you seamlessly connect a customer's experience by learning how to craft social media content, design and manage ads, and more.

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