A successful and effective omnichannel strategy boils down to one core principle: creating meaningful consumer engagement. Every interaction, whether online, in person, via social or via mobile, must align with the brand and value proposition and have a clear purpose.
While seemingly simple, many organizations still struggle with omnichannel execution and with integrating the functional silos that too often disrupt consumers’ view of them as a single entity. Consumer experience differentiation demands behind-the-scenes capability transformation. It is the back-end execution of the broad omnichannel vision that has so many organizations either hung up at the starting gate, wondering which foot to put in front of the other, or running ahead to enable costly capabilities without understanding either their impact on profit or their appeal to customers.
To plot a course to meaningful customer engagement and profitable omnichannel success, retailers and brands must first know where on the path each function currently stands, what the ideal end-state looks like for each function and how those functions interact. And that requires a considerable amount of context from both within and without the organization.;
PLOTTING THE COURSE, STEP BY STEP
Over six weeks, Kurt Salmon evaluates what is—and is not—working across a retailer’s omnichannel efforts, then identifies, prices and prioritizes the organization-specific actions and investments required for omnichannel success. Organizations come away from this in-depth assessment with a high-level business case for which omnichannel opportunities to pursue; a roadmap summarizing and prioritizing activities, timing and investments across all functional areas (e.g., supply chain, payment, social); and a snapshot of how their customers’ experiences will evolve throughout the journey.
To develop these business cases and roadmaps, Kurt Salmon works closely with senior executives to understand current states, future plans, and successes and challenges to date and to ensure all recommendations align with the individual organization’s brand value proposition and target consumer. We also analyze channel, category and loyalty data and dive deep into the consumer experience through store, digital and social research and in-person visits.
We develop a customer journey map, which identifies both barriers to desired consumer behavior at each stage and opportunities to break them down, to form the basis for much of this exploration. Experiences analyzed include browsing, shopping, payment, fulfillment, use, and post-purchase social sharing and engagement. The omnichannel evaluation also includes examination of self-rankings on strategy, internal capabilities, roadblocks, perceived consumer targets and messaging, and competitive concerns.
The result is a clearly laid out strategy, unique to each business, that prioritizes and lays out tactical steps toward a meaningful, integrated omnichannel customer experience.
SIDEBAR: QUANTIFIABLE OMNICHANNEL TRANSFORMATION
Expect measurable results, whatever your goals may be. A sampling of actual accomplishments:
- Tactical plan to head off potential resistance to change at a top luxury retailer
- 40¢ saved per package and 6% fewer split packages for a $4.1 billion department store
- $25 million in incremental revenue, deferred expenses and reduced markdowns for a 700-store retailer
- Merchandising and planning process, culture, and systems strategy to support an online home décor company’s rapid growth
- 25% lower fulfillment costs and a path to double-digit omnichannel profitability improvement for a regional department store
SIDEBAR: TURNING BUSINESS OPERATIONS INTO COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Kurt Salmon is leading the omnichannel transformation work for some of the world’s most consistently successful global brands, department stores and specialty stores. With nearly a century of retail and consumer experience, we have worked with 30 of the world’s top 50 retailers and scores of global and specialty brands to design and align how they operate in order to shape and satisfy their customers’ desires—now and in the future.