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Future of Retail — Omnichannel


issue 07


blend seamlessly across multiple channels, the customer experience will be inferior to that of a competitive brand who may do some or all these things well. In the end, the customer doesn’t care


about how many channels you make available to them. They just want to buy the way they want to buy, have their questions answered, their problems solved, and their comments acknowledged. It doesn’t matter what channel. So, why do we keep talking about different channels?


The “death” of omnichannel as we know it In the last decade, consumer behaviours, preferences and expectations have changed beyond all recognition. Retailers must now create consistent, personalised customer experiences by optimising all channels and going to market with an integrated strategy. Doing this successfully requires investment in business solutions that are agile and cohesive. But heed a warning, without considering the customer journey and the customer experience, being omnichannel may turn out to be a futile and expensive journey.


Let’s move the conversation to connecting and responding to the customer “Navigating the New Digital Divide”, is a report by Deloitte Consulting which explains how the new ‘divide’ is not the gulf between online and offline but the gap between consumers’ digital behaviours and expectations and what retailers can offer. As the online world becomes as real as the


high streets we walk down, retailers need to focus more on the customer journey itself than actual channels. Jeff Simpson, one of the authors of the report and a director at Deloitte Consulting, said: “If 64% of transactions are being impacted by a digital prior to coming into the store, then there is no omnichannel. The customer is already there. It’s so prevalent, it’s just the business. You’ve got to stop thinking about this in channels.”


It’s not easy The danger is that retailers are chasing ubiquity when they need to be chasing relevance


“Retailers must now create consistent, personalised customer experiences by optimising all channels and going to market with an integrated strategy.”


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