Sneak preview of upcoming omnichannel report

by Alex Anderson on 21 September 2012
Below is a summarised version of the introduction to our upcoming omnichannel report. This report investigates and discusses the digital channel presences of 10 of the UK’s leading high street retailers. Our aim is to use the report to inform our upcoming omnichannel roundtables.

Digital channel strategies

Over the past few years there has been a multitude of ‘digital channel' strategies, there is:
  • cross-channel
  • multi-channel
  • and now omni-channel

So what's the deal?

Without going into to great a detail, cross and multi channel strategies simply advocate having an up to date presence on each of the different digital channels - an important tactic for brands still playing catch up with the ever increasing popularity of the latest technology. Often however a brand's presence will be just a variation on a theme, e.g. a mobile app that is basically a stripped down version of the website. What's lacking in such strategies is an overarching vision into how customers:
  • shift sequentially between or simultaneously access channels to perform different tasks (e.g. find a product they like the look of on mobile, save it, then view in detail and purchase online)
  • expect to access features that take advantage of unique capabilities of each of their devices (e.g. immersive viewing capabilities on a tablet)
  • want to be offered benefits for using their devices in different contextual settings (e.g. an in-store discount for displaying a mobile app at the checkout)
(For further understanding of how customers currently use their variety of devices, Google recently performed an in-depth investigation)

How does an omni-channel approach differ

Looking at it fundamentally it is important to identify that the prefix 'omni' derives from the latin for 'all' or 'universal'. In terms of the design of across digital channels we take the term to mean a strategy that requires thinking about all channels as a whole, it's no longer good enough to say we need to think about 'mobile and tablet’. It is more holistic than that, it's about deploying a seamless and consistent digital customer experience that understands:
  • the complex, real life, and day to day behaviours of the way people digitally interact across numerous channels with a single brand
  • the design limitations and technical constraints of various platforms and devices
  • the exciting opportunities for innovation within the technology sector
  • the role of social media, and in-store or physical digital
To give one example of excellently well run omni-channel strategy, and to illustrate what we mean, we've mapped how Nike have adopted this approach. However, you will have to wait! Our full report is not out for a while yet.

Can't wait?

We are running a series of omnichannel roundtables, informed by our report, between 2nd - 4th October. If you want to request a ticket and have a chance to discuss omnichannel with some leading brands, apply for a ticket at our Eventbrite page, or call us directly on: 020 7423 6320.

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