Omni-Channel 2012: A Cross-Channel Coming Of Age
By Brian Kilcourse and Nikki Baird, managing partners, Retail Systems Research (RSR)
Having a clear channel strategy helps retailers become winners in the market.
By now, you have probably heard a dozen different terms related to cross-channel — from omni-channel to channel-less. Regardless of the term, the intent is the same: to denote some future where retailers’ various channels are well integrated into a seamless shopping experience.
That future is getting closer by the minute. When RSR first started conducting cross-channel benchmarks five years ago, our going-in thesis involved testing whether retailers thought “multi-channel retailing” was an important priority. At the time, not all of them did. Today, we find ourselves at a new inflection point. No longer is the discussion about whether having a cross-channel presence is important; rather, it is about how strategic the company plans to make the presence. Retailers are increasingly realizing their cross-channel shoppers are just shoppers, and that their biggest challenge is in how to merge the digital and physical selling worlds into one compelling seamless customer experience.