Having just returned from the World Retail Congress in Berlin where the absolutely dominant theme was that of multi-channel retailing. Everyone knows it, gets it and talked about the need for retailers to immerse themselves in being integrated multi channel retailers.
Our view is that the real essence of multi-channel is to be a “cross channel” retailer such that all channels to market from physical stores, online, PDA, smart phone, social media channels etc connect seamlessly with the customer at any point of location or time.
That said, however, the question that remains somewhat largely unanswered is how does a retailer become a cross channel retailer?
So as implementation specialists and in this brief opportunity, we would list the following as imperatives to a “fit” cross channel strategy and its successful implementation.
The first step is to change the cultural thinking in many organisations developing a “Market to me” experience, a singular view of the customer or as one speaker said:
“To place the customer at the centre of every conversation with your brand.”
Consider how we as customers have diversified into communities.
Markets are no longer determined as strictly by demographics or marketplace structures. Rather, by consumer personality and lifestyles. For example, the 50 year + plus shopper who shops at G Star, or Desigual is no longer driven by life stages, or norms of behaviour rather by personality and a strong sense of identity.
Identify the community who follows you and tap into who they are and why they connect with your brand as a starting point. This then determines your positioning execution with more clarity than the traditional market segmentation modelling whilst still concentrating on what makes you unique.
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