Coming to grips with omni-channel retailing

Experienced ecommerce and digital strategy chief Larry Promisel outlines the key considerations for retailers bringing together their physical and digital offerings

A successful omni-channel strategy is an organisation-wide change that requires solid technology foundations and a clear strategic roadmap incorporating the ideas and support of the entire business.

How to create such a roadmap was the theme of a presentation by Camuto Group senior vice-president of digital commerce and experienced online retail leader, Larry Promisel, at the recent Online Retailer Conference and Ecommerce Expo in Sydney. He also shared his real-life experiences crafting an ecommerce and digital strategy.

Promisel is currently building Camuto Group’s online digital and ecommerce strategy, and has previously held similar roles with Bloomingdales, Barneys, Coach and BlueFly.

“Ecommerce is a disruptive force within an organisation and that’s a good thing – it shakes things up, but it also integrates and ties things together,” he said.

As a first step, Promisel advised retailers to gather as much data from across the business as they can. “Review and assess the gaps in your current state against future state, competitive benchmarks, and against best practice,” he said.

“You need to have a starting point to then determine where you should be, and what your targets should be.

“Interview as many people throughout the organisation as you can, and become a ‘superactive’ listener. There are a lot of good ideas already resident in organisations and people who know what should be done and how things could be better. Tap into these and create alliances - it will give you more capabilities and grow the business much further and faster.”

Aussie shoppers want real-time help online
Tranformation of a retail giant: The Co-Op’s Greg Smith
Why shopping isn’t the only thing online retailers should worry about

For Promisel, anyone building new capabilities into their business should base decisions on three core questions: Where are we; where do you want to be; and how do you want to get there? The responses to each of these can then be broken up into functional areas and digestible parts, he said.

Retailers should also strive to take a phased, low-term approach and to build solid foundations before a staged deployment, Promisel continued. This will also ensure you have the flexibility to adapt and embrace new trends when you need to.

“Be realistic with your timing, especially when you’re building the foundation,” he added. “You not going to paint the house before you’ve poured the foundation or done the plumbing or electrics. That’s what you’re doing if you don’t have the right technology systems and architectures in place. Those are all the mechanisms and by building that foundation to extend off.”

Camuto is in the process of replacing all of its Web systems, which are expected to come online in October, and is taking a long-term view of omni-channel, Promisel said. But regardless of the approach you take, digital teams need to establish quick wins to cement their authority and trusted position within the organisation, he said.

Promisel then outlined as range of considerations brands should include in their action plans for omni-channel. These include growth management, international ambitions, top-down support and buy-in, timing, money, cross-channel cooperation, evangelising, organisational change, technology platforms, analytics, fulfilment and distribution and mobile devices.

“This requires human and technical capital, marketing, customer service – there are a lot of inputs into doing this right,” he said. “This is about organisational change.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Supporting Association

How about the role that data plays in creating brands? :-) would be a great follow up article!

James Corby

Brand creation: It’s just a name…or is it?

Read more

Great study. Here's my prediction - marketing departments to become more like an agency structure and do more in-house. They currently ha...

Anne Miles

Report: Marketing teams must be restructured

Read more

Great Read! If you want to learn more about Dial Up Awareness, Engagement and Conversions please join @aismedia on March 4th for part 3 o...

Sarah

APAC marketers flag mobile first as key differentiator: Adobe report

Read more

Jean-Luc,Nice post - quite thought provoking. You mention managing the tension between the objectives of the corporation and the wants o...

Simon Arden

Customer centricity or eccentricity? - Customer and marketing relations - CMO Australia

Read more

Cross-platform App Development - If you want to push your business growth with the mobile app that runs in all the mobile platforms then ...

Mobileapptelligence

Cross-platform approach boosts audience interest for ANZ

Read more

Sign in