Moving from Multi-channel to Super Omni-channel
May 18, 2015
Valtech Engages with Adobe in the Re-engineering of Customer Experience in Retailing (Retail, Luxury, Fashion/Apparel, Consumer Goods).
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this year’s Adobe Summit, it’s that retail evolution has moved past a focus on innovation and is now about critically adapting to a now very digitally agile customer. Retailers must now focus on starting with the millennial customer journey, for those who are largely unaware of their agility – acting naturally as the digital natives they are.
From birth, it seems that consumers exist with a mobile device in their hands, immersed in quickly evolving technologies. Brian Solis, author of “WTF: What’s The Future of Business,” tells a story about his two year old child who, with more experience with an iPad than a magazine, instinctively attempted to interact with the pages of one by tapping and swiping. The way we interact with old-media influenced the conception of touch-screen user interfaces, but now one feels intrinsically more natural. In much the same way the classic retail customer journey of travelling to a bricks-and-mortar store, browsing the aisles, finding the product of choice, and purchasing it from a cashier is near obsolete, even seeming inefficient. Even the multi-channel journey, where brands and products were previewed and perhaps purchased from a home computer, is going the way of the dodo. A new era in retailing has begun and its spearhead is the Super Omni-channel journey.
Today’s technologies allow consumers to be agile. They jump from their home computer in the morning to their mobile phone on the way out the door, then to their work computer to further research and finally they may stop into the store to browse, all the while double-checking information on their mobile device. In the classic model 80% or more of this journey played out in the store itself, but this new model occurs almost completely outside of it. The Adobe Marketing Suite, one of Valtech’s key marketing tools, has proven itself to be one of the best technologies to aid in enabling Agile Marketing, “the Holy Grail of marketing”: delivering the right incentive to the right person at precisely the right time.
“The Marketing Cloud” is a buzzword you’ll be hearing for a good few years yet, and as widespread adoption for most industries seems a long way off, retail finds itself at the epicenter of cloud progress. Establishing a 360-degree view of the customer is essential in understanding the value your brand has for consumers, and you can only do this if your data collection tools are integrated with your campaign management tools, your CRM, your CMS, your in-store POS systems. The list of “things to integrate” is bordering on endless. One of the things we are repeatedly asked to do with clients is ensure their old systems work with their new innovations. With the Adobe Marketing Cloud, all your marketing management functions not only coexist, but work together in a way that generates real business value.
At Valtech, anywhere from 30-70% of what we do focuses on the customer journey. This means an emphasis on successful Agile iteration cycles: design, build, test, get consumer feedback, improve, and test again until the experience is molded around the customer. Some companies choose to place scale in the limelight, rather than the user. But retailers must realize that scale and innovation should coexist as long as they are mutually beneficial to the consumer. They are both important, but neither mutually exclusive nor dependent on each other. Understanding this complex relationship and working out how to manage this relationship in business growth is fundamental to your future success.
So, what did we learn at this year’s Adobe Summit? That the next five years will bring more change to retailing than the past 50 years combined.