Saturday, October 27, 2012

Can Omni-Channel Retail Combat Showrooming?

In the late 90’s, the e-commerce revolution was upon us and it would come to realize many speed bumps and growing pains to get to the point where we know it today. 

Industry analysts spent hours debating how e-commerce would change the shopping experience. 

Once e-commerce was generally accepted, the industry spent the next several years discussing how to create a cross-channel or multi-channel retail experience. The goal was to deliver consistent information and customer support via phone, email, Web and retail store channels. 

In the early 2000s, there were many challenges to delivering on this vision. One of the most prevalent issues was that the Web channel and the retail channel each had separate sales goals which ultimately prevented them from coordinating efforts. 

It was also found that promotional offers, return policies and fees had differed by channel as well. This proved to be potentially problematic if a consumer found a product online but chose to purchase it in the store or from the contact center.

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