Omnichannel Commerce – What’s your Definition?
New research from the O Alliance found that many retailers are misconstruing what it truly means to be “omnichannel.” The report, based on data from 150 retail executives, found that many of them consider their companies to be omnichannel as long as their businesses are operating in different channels – even if they’re doing so in silos. This is an extremely limiting view of what omnichannel can and should be. Retailers that think this way are closing the door on the potential for providing exceptional experiences for customers who are increasingly engaging with brands across a number of channels, whether it be in store, online, or on their phones. In fact, many customers are probably engaging across multiple channels at the same time and when they do, they’ll be looking for consistency. Retailers that want to deliver on the increasingly high expectations for customer engagement have to understand this. At a recent event in New York City, O Alliance co-founder – and Newgistics board member – Andrea Weiss spoke about the findings of her organization’s research. She discussed how the general misunderstanding of omnichannel is contributing to some of the industry’s woes. “I’ve watched this whole transformation going on with digital, and I’m so disappointed in the industry’s reaction,” she said. She went on to describe how retailers need to think more about circular commerce, and how each channel should feed into the others. Retailers that knock down the walls between channels and treat their business as one cohesive operation will be able to make better decisions about things like inventory, merchandise and localization. As a result, they’ll delight shoppers and realize a new level of customer loyalty.