Omnichannel, for consumers, means a seamless experience with a retailer, one that offers the same product selection, purchase and fulfillment options, and level of service regardless of how, where, when or why they interact with them. And consumers don’t merely prefer such seamlessness—they expect it. Indeed, for many, the term “omnichannel” is already synonymous with “shopping.”

In practice, however, few retailers can claim to offer a truly seamless experience. That’s because doing so requires that everything—from their IT infra-structure to the ways that they incent their sales associates—be expressly designed to support it.

In order to offer omnichannel, in other words, retailers need to operationalise omnichannel.

But while operationalising omnichannel ultimately requires changes to every functional area, certain areas need to change first: the organisational structure, IT and the supply chain.


7 November 2014