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Posted by Adam Silverman on August 20, 2013
A few weeks ago I visited a new prototype store from a major U.S. retailer in order to learn more about their omnichannel strategy. Expecting a customer-centric experience that seamlessly connects the digital and physical stores, I was disappointed to see what appeared to be a misguided omnichannel deployment, with an experience that was actually inferior to one without enhanced technology. Here’s why:
On the positive side, remaining in a specific department for more than a few minutes triggered an automated announcement over the loudspeaker directing associates to your location. This utility was powered by a video camera and analytics software.
The main takeaway here is simple: Rather than focus on enabling online shopping in the retail store, retailers need to remove channels from their strategy and focus on the utilities that help solve real problems for customers. Granted, the technology needed to support such a vision is challenging to hook together, but haphazard integrations with misguided omnichannel strategies can create more harm than good.
Over the next year, I’ll be focusing on the digital store and the people, process, and technology needed to power these omnichannel retail locations. Be on the look-out for my first report titled Market Overview: Mobile Point of Service, and please reach out to me via inquiry if you’d like to discuss the evolution of the retail store.