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Omnichannel: A Change Driver for Retail & E-Commerce

Winning the Multichannel Marketing Game

Mark is an Insights Manager at KS&R, a consulting firm for some of the largest and most influential companies around the globe. He believes the success of a brand improves when they understand the needs of their customers and create products and services that satisfy those needs. As part of KS&R's Retail/E-Commerce, Global Transportation, Supply Chain and Logistics practice for nearly 10 years, Mark works closely with clients to bring the voice of their customers inside the organization, inform judgement in uncertain times, and make data-driven decisions. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Mathematics from the University at Albany and a Master of Science (MS) in Business Analytics from Syracuse University, Whitman School of Management. Outside the office, Mark is an avid personal investor and maintains an active lifestyle – you’ll likely find him at the gym, playing basketball, on a golf course, or at a local coffee shop.

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Omnichannel: A Change Driver for Retail & E-Commerce Hero Image

Why it Matters? Omnichannel is a term that has gained traction in recent years, which was made even more apparent at Retail’s Big Show – NRF 2023. Attendees considered the “Omnichannel Experience” a key challenge, demanding dozens of big idea sessions and third-party solutions to tackle it.

The Omnichannel Experience is marketing, selling, and serving customers on all channels to create an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out.

The pandemic has amplified e-commerce purchase volumes and consumers suggest their expanded online activity is here to stay. That said, the majority of retail transactions in the United States still occur at brick-and-mortar locations. As retailers continue to invest in digital, they must also invest in creating a seamless and unified customer experience at the front end of their business. Online, in-store, mobile app, SMS, social media – all potential touch points for a customer along their purchase journey – placing pressure on retailers and shaping change to their marketing strategies.

A box with six examples of marketing challenges posed by a multichannel approach.

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“The new normal is the old normal”, said James Cash on stage at NRF 2023 when referring to the state of retail. Brands have always been evaluated on the same criteria, with technology now enabling customers to have the leverage. Customers look for brands that are cost-effective, easy to access, have better choices, and are personalized.

Developing a deeper understanding of the customer decision-making processes can improve the chances of success in omnichannel marketing. It is essential to incorporate the customer’s perspective into organizational strategies to minimize friction throughout the purchase process. Several Fortune 500 retailers have successfully used customer journey mapping and choice modeling to enhance their customers’ experience:

Two bullet points with descriptions for customer journey mapping and choice modeling. The bullets are icons of check marks.

The omnichannel experience is transforming the retail industry, posing new challenges and opportunities for businesses to improve their marketing strategies. The future of retail lies in a seamless and unified customer experience, and it is up to businesses to adapt and thrive in this evolving landscape.