Retailers struggle executing “omnichannel” strategies

There have been several RetailWire panel discussions about “omnichannel” execution in recent months; my latest comment is below. There is a handful of examples of how to do this right (Macy’s is a standout), but many more examples of stores who can’t seem to put together a coherent strategy:

I can think of a few reasons why “omnichannel” continues to be a problem, and I’m sure my fellow panelists can come up with several more. Here’s my short list:

1. Different pricing practices in store and online only lead to distrust on the part of the consumer, one way or another.
2. Many retailers don’t put the thought into “store design” of their website, to provide the same sort of ease of navigation or experience that their brick-and-mortar stores aspire to.
3. Too many retailers have drawn organizational lines between their brick-and-mortar teams and their e-commerce teams (especially in terms of merchandising and marketing). If companies don’t get their own employees on the same page, why should they expect customers to “get it”?
4. Seamless integration takes investments in capital, inventory and systems. Good execution of an e-commerce site doesn’t happen by accident.


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