More about this Omni-Channel Retailing Thing

By Ron Simmons
You can buy in a store. You can buy online. The Customer is always right! Right? Remember the old fast food commercial that said “you can get it your way”? This past March, some of us coined the phrase “Omni-Channel Retailing” as a way to label the convergence of instore and online retailing. While some stores still sell one way or the other, the best retailers are combining shopping opportunity to create a seamless approach.

Some things you buy “right here, right now” and some things you wait a day or so for. Have you had the question asked, “would you like for me to order that for you” ? I have and my response is typically, “No, I can do that.” When I want it, I can be ‘Mr. Impatient’. I want it NOW!

I’m like a lot of people. There are items that I need or want NOW and some can wait, but I am finding that my favorite retail haunts are combining the two shopping approaches through the Omni-channel retailing experience. The prefix “omni” essentially means “everything.” Remember the old Omni complex in Atlanta in the 70’s? It had every kind of event from sports to large conference meetings. Many retailers are really on the cutting edge and offer online purchases with instant in-store pickup. Instant gratification for me, Mr. Impatient! This is the ultimate need/want itch-scratch. I control how I shop for it and I want to get it my way, and on my terms.

I coined a saying I use often, “it’s all good until it isn’t.” Then it’s “uh oh….” I recently ran across an article in Loss Prevention’s Magazine’s (LP) online e-newsletter about Omni-channel retailing and of course it caught my eye. Seems that we’re not the only ones who have noticed this, but the article took a little different perspective. LP is all about inventory control and theft prevention and the take on the Omni Channel change included a short discussion of the need for total control of inventory, so when Mr. Impatient wants something “my way, right now!” it’s in stock. Omni-channel retailing is not just about choice, it’s about fulfillment.

You can read the article here.
As retail evolves, high quality retailing requires more information for what they call “high fidelity” relationships. Sounds like store loyalty to me.
Let us know how we can help YOUR store.


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