The Biggest Threat To Success In Omni-Channel Marketing

For retailers the omni-channel approach is to let the customer decide how they want to shop – whether it be online or in store, mobile or desktop, or any other combination – and then accommodate those preferences in the most frictionless way possible.

The biggest reason an organization struggles with developing an omni-channel approach isn’t as much about technology but misalignment with incentives within the organization.

The ecommerce team is incentivized to reach a revenue target within it’s allocated budget. Therefore, it’s also incentivized not to promote omni-channel behavior from it’s customers. Any visitor that the ecommerce team spends money on driving to the site is considered a waste of money if they don’t buy on the web site. The revenue targets that the team is held to are completely derived from sales on the website only. So they have every reason to not promote the idea that the customer could go in the store. The same goes for the retail marketing team. Their advertising efforts are designed to draw visitors to the store. Every sale that happens online is one that doesn’t happen in the store and affects their bottom line.

As a result, many marketing tactics are left unrealized – especially the efforts of using the internet to drive in-store sales. This is why no online marketing department wants to spend money on search ads on mobile – those people aren’t buying on the website, their buying in the store. Hence Google’s preoccupation of educating advertisers about all the different ways that customers use Google to decide to buy – instead of just focusing on when customers decide to buy on their desktop computers.

The solution here is to put both offline and online store teams on the same budget and revenue target. Easier said than done.

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