Here's How Timberland is Using Omnichannel Retail to Create a Seamless Shopping Experience

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Technology has provided this generation of shoppers with a whole new experience. Customers can now buy items from all over the world across several platforms, as well as purchasing in-store. The challenge brands face today is the need to combine the best elements of both the online shopping and the physical retail experience, so customers can have a seamless experience instead of a combination of disjointed and disparate platforms. This is where omnichannel retail comes in to play.

Omnichannel is a way for businesses to interact with consumers through the most convenient methods in order to capture their attention. It involves a seamless, effortless journey delivered by the brand, free of the hassle of having to jump between shopping in-store and shopping online.

Creating such a seamless customer experience is no simple task, but Timberland is one innovative brand that is blurring the lines between brick and mortar retail and online shopping.

Timberland and Near Field Communication Technology

Timberland, a popular outdoor lifestyle clothing brand, is merging the benefits of online retail with the preestablished benefits of brick-and-mortar retail stores. To help customers learn more about their products in-store, Timberland has created an interactive retail experience using user-friendly technology.

When they enter the store, customers are given a tablet which allows them to interact with products equipped with near field communication (NFC) technology. By tapping on NFC enabled products, customers will receive instant information about the item straight to the tablet along with related product recommendations.

While in-store, Timberland shoppers can also use the tablets to create a wish-list that can they can then send to themselves via email. Shoppers can visit a physical retailer and browse products in-store, and then when they return home, order online at their own convenience. Showrooming - the act of using brick and mortar stores to view products before ordering from a different retailer online - is a huge problem for modern retail. However, with this strategy, Timberland is making the practice official. Furthermore, allowing customers to build a shopping list in-store increases the chance that they will complete a purchase with the brand.

Kate Kibler, Vice President of Direct to Consumer at Timberland said, "Consumers use technology to shop where and when they want, and we can help them discover, shop and socialize, while getting immersed in the Timberland brand. We can better understand our customers' preferences in-store, online and post-visit."

This is the same technology used in contactless credit cards, allowing seamless experiences between the digital and physical worlds. Timberland's shopping experience is ideal for those not wanting to commit to an app or interact with employees directly.

Omnichannel Retail and Timberland

Omnichannel retail is not necessarily a straightforward, black and white process anymore. There are many platforms and strategies that a brand can engage in to attract shoppers. Businesses need to be open to adapting to the modern technological world and must be willing to put time, effort, and resources in place to bridge the gap between online and offline.

This model of retail has been dubbed 'click and mortar,' where the focus is on delivering additional options and greater flexibility for customers. Offering a more omnichannel system will be key to retailer's' strategies moving forward as it has been revealed that 80 percent of shoppers use smartphones in-store to look up products, compare prices, or search for alternate stores.

If brands disregard this new culture of shopping, they do so at their own risk. Customers are more likely go online and find a similar brand selling the same product than go without. By offering these options, customers can feel they are controlling their purchases when and where they want them, and so will return to those brands which can provide flexible options to suit their needs.

By giving customers tablets and empowering them to access more information about products with just a touch, Timberland can help customers feel more in control of their shopping experience. The brand is taking the need to go online and find other retailers out of the equation, which means customers are more likely to purchase in-store or online using the wish list that they have created.

Final Thoughts

Omnichannel retail is providing solutions to the friction between physical and online retail.

As a brand, Timberland is adapting and challenging the way physical retail takes place. It's channeling the latest technology, such as NFC technology, in order to bridge the gap between physical retail and online sales.

You can hear Timberland's Global Store Planning and Layout Specialist, speak at Future Stores Miami 2020, being held in February, at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, FL.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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