Omni channel retailing is dead

Omni channel retailing is dead

Retailers can no longer think in channels because customers and consumers do no live in channels, Adobe's retail strategy director has told an audience of 500 retailers at the Adobe Summit.

"The longer we think like this we continue to perpetuate silos. We have already started reinventing our businesses. Omni channel is now retail. We have to continue to think that this is just the way retail will be when we move forward. Mobile is part of business as usual," said Michael Klein, Adobe industry strategy and marketing director, retail.

The pace of change has continued to accelerate and while at the start of 2013 we were using our mobile devices to conduct instore product research or to locate a store, by the end of 2013 we're talking about iBeacons, argued Klein.

Pointing to recent statistics, he said that on some holiday sales days, mobile purchases grew to 25% of all online sales.

He also said that social media influenced 36% of sales, but "that it only part of the story. This is a multichannel attribution model. Only 2% of sales were trackable thanks to last click attribution.

Klein also showed research that show clicks and mortar retailers, those with physical stores as well as an ecommerce model were the fastest growing form of retail stores, compared to pure play online stores which grew at a comparatively slower 17%.

"Bricks and mortar stores will not die. It is extremely important to the customer journey. Being able to walk into a store to return something is a key driver for customers. And then we sell them more."

Shoppers in the US are now able to walk into a store and do research in the store and even check out via their mobile without needing to queue. Apple stores in Australia have this capability too.

In the same session, Paul Elliott, managing partner of Rosetta, demonstrated how thanks to iBeacons, an imaginary customer called Brooke who abandoned her cart in a fashion store because she was unsure of her size, was driven to complete the sale thanks to iBeacon technology.

When she entered the mall, she was sent a text message that informed her that the particular store was around the corner. When she entered the store she was sent another SMS that welcomed her to the store and then opened a map of the store and showed her where the jeans she'd been looking at online where located.

Once she was there, she was told a sales agent could take the jeans to a change room for her and also suggested a matching scarf. When the clothes were ready in the change room she was sent another message. If the jeans were the wrog size she could at the click of a button ask for another pair to be brought to her without needing to leave the changeroom.

If she decided she liked them, she could buy them on her phone and either have them delivered to her home or have them bagged to take with her. This whole process too approximately seven minutes.

"This is the death of science fiction, because all of the technology that you can pretty much think of can all be done now," said Elliott. 

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