One of the hottest topics in the industry these days, still, is OMNI channel. Funny enough, a lot of people still do not quite understand what OMNI channel means.
Let me give you a good example - you browse online, see something you like. Start looking for deals, all of a sudden you come across promo that looks like is applicable to your needs, and it is in the store near you. Great, you think. You get ready and head out to the store. Walk in, ask associate about the deal, you are quite excited… but here it is, associate looks at you as if he or she sees a ghost and you already know that this deal is not happening. No need to explain further.
What OMNI channel is addressing, is a flawless experience across multiple channels, essentially making sure that such unfortunate trips to the store don't happen, that online shopping and in-store purchases are smooth.
There are many companies trying to solve this. The magic is not in the strong feature or great social media campaign, it is in having in-store and digital campaigns synced with your inventory. How do you achieve this? By having synced process and systems, and that is where all the problems begin. They are just not talking to each other, the systems. Something is still in excel, something is in inventory/warehouse system, sales data in POS, fantastic social media suite in place, intranet or simple email to communicate changes to the store. You would think that large enterprise will have it all figured out, but yet we see campaigns have big flows as well.
It is a good time to take a step back and look at the core of the problem and as usual, it's process and behind the process - people. Between multiple departments, in one way or another, what really happens is everyone has their version of the truth. Even in a very small company it is very easy to lose track of all mediums, all messaging and inventory on hand. It sounds basic, but if you are reading this blog you are somewhat familiar with the industry and know exactly what I refer to. Good post and report on this was written back in 2013, not much changed in two years.
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