This Wednesday we had a breakfast seminar about innovation in retail, focusing on the next step of Omni-Channel. Among the guests were representatives from leading fashion brands, food companies, e-commerce experts, capital owners, board members, and venture capital firms. They all brought their own perspective of future challenges, which made the morning coffee my most dynamic moment of the day.
If you are not familiar with the term Omni-channel, it is probably because you are not working within retail. Omni-channel is a retail term to describe a coherent experience throughout different channels. Consumers don’t reflect about it, they simply just expect the brand to appear the same, regardless of where they choose to interact with it (website, brick-and-mortar store, pop-up store, through a smart-phone app etc). For a retailer, on the other hand, it puts new challenges on the entire organization, and it has been a hot potato within the sector for several years. Despite this, today’s retailers are still struggling with implementing successful Omni-channel strategies. And customers have already started to demand more. They don’t just want to interact with the brand anymore; they want to impact the brand. Omni-channel 2.0 is about not viewing a customer as a passive counterpart, but an integral part of the value chain, impacting everything from brand message to design and service. Great challenges for retailers, and luckily we had some great speakers to shed light on these issues.
“In the future you might go into a sportswear store, come out with a second hand pair of swimming shorts, a course in crawl and a mountain biking trip to Ibiza” , Magnus Kroon