Omni-channel is the future of retail.
Without it, brick and mortar stores won’t be able to survive the competitive market found in eCommerce. Yet, it’s hard to find any store that’s really doing the whole Omni-channel thing properly.
People have applauded a handful of stores for their technological innovation, Marks & Spencer and Burberry being chief among those. But, in all honesty, these systems just don’t cut it. They aren’t really the core vision of what omni-channel is all about.
They allow shoppers to have a similar interactive experience to what they can have online, and they also provide an entertaining experience that differs from what they may well find at other stores. But throwing in a few LED LCD touchscreens and providing WiFi isn’t what omni-channel is about.
Sending out the same message to your customers no matter how they interact with you is just one stream of how omni-channel works. In reality things are far more complex and interwoven.
One reason why we may not have seen a truly connected in-store, mobile, and desktop experience with a retailer is because it’s technologically tricky and expensive. Connecting mobile and desktop is a cinch, just look at Google Chrome, it does that seamlessly already as a browser – most online businesses don’t even need to cater to both markets anymore. But bringing physical locations into that loop is a harder task. But it needn’t be.