IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 22 Nov 2010

The ‘M’ Word

AlanLately, multichannel retail has been discussed in a way that suggests it’s a new phenomenon. E-commerce and M-commerce are certainly the latest additions to the mix, but the concept of multichannel existed long before the first online shopping basket or mobile app were twinkles in an excited developer’s eye.

Customer loyalty is one of the biggest challenges in today’s retail market, so it stands to reason that the more opportunities you have to get customers engaged with your product, the bigger your advantage. Consumers are now bombarded with so many messages persuading them to buy that, if retailers don’t take this seriously, they’re giving up sales to the opposition.

Integration is one of the main challenges to multichannel retailers in the battle for customer loyalty.  When a customer makes make contact with a retailer – either online, via a mobile application, catalogue, or in store; it’s important that they’re treated in the same way, so retailers should either fully invest in each new opportunity, or not enter that route to market. They must plan how multichannel is going to work for their business and how they’re going to spread their resources (e.g. their products, people, marketing and IT systems) across each channel.

In terms of where multichannel is going, it’s pretty difficult to say. What’s important is that IT providers should always be looking at their product from a retailer’s perspective and understanding how the product underpins multichannel retailing. This is because, however it may develop over the coming months and years, multichannel is here to stay.

Feel free to post your multichannel predictions for 2020 below…

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