One of the newest buzzwords to invade our business lexicon is “Omnichannel”. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you surely will very soon as many organizations – especially those who are in the retail space – are embracing it as a strategy. My prediction is that within the next 10 years Omnichannel marketing along with AI-based analytics will be the core part of foundational Business Acumen IQ.
If you need a definition, Omnichannel is a business strategy that enhances the customer experience by offering cross-channel, cross-platform access to products and services. In other words, an omnichannel strategy lets customers decide how they are going to receive their value proposition. Here is a simple yet provocative example. It’s time to buy a new pair of running shoes, so like most people you start with an online search and identify a couple of different models that you like but really don’t want to buy them until you try them on. You’ve been wearing Brand X, but think these new Brand Z’s look really comfortable. Knowing that you have some errands to run, you close your browser and head out to the local shops. Walking around, you walk into the local running store and see more running shoes that you like, but not that Brand Z that you liked so you leave. Later that evening, you go to the Mall for dinner and as you are checking your email, you are notified that the Brand Z store located in the Mall is offering a 20% discount for the next two hours. Obviously, this wasn’t a random group of independent events but rather a sophisticated coordinated strategy from the Brand Z company deploying an Omnichannel strategy that carefully orchestrates an integrated way of thinking about the customer’s relationship the organization.