Why the Nordstrom Omnichannel strategy won’t work for you

The retail world presents a landscape that’s changing rapidly. Not long ago, multi-channel marketing was the catchphrase of the day. Now, it’s omni-channel marketing: a way to market your brand seamlessly and cohesively across all channels.

Think how many different ways the average consumer can learn about your product. There’s Print. TV. Websites. Social Media. Physical stores. Mobile. The goal of omni-channel marketing surpasses multi-channel marketing because it doesn’t just seek to get your company out there in every possible format. It wants to make sure that every channel looks, feels, and sounds the same to your customer – no matter how they access it.

However, omni-channel marketing presents a problem: it’s so big, and it requires so much data from so many different sources. How can a company possibly implement it?

Reverse your ABCDs!

The ABCDs of Omni-Channel Marketing

The reverse ABCD framework narrows down what you’ll need to implement omni-channel marketing. It starts with what marketers traditionally arrive at last – decision making. In brief, the reverse ABCD framework is:

  • Decisions
  • Converging Channels
  • Big Data and Analytics
  • Agility

To be successful, the decisions you make must be proactive, based on current consumer needs, competitive benchmarking, and – perhaps most importantly – on your current organizational capability and vision. However, before you even begin to plan your future path, you need to have a precise and clear outcome in mind. This is the ‘decision’ in Absolutdata’s “decision-first” analytics philosophy. Ultimately, your decision-making process will guide your brand image.

Channels, both evolving and traditional, must be unified in the image they present. To do this, retailers need to have a MECE (Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive) approach to collecting data. Specifically, it’s time to stop focusing on siloed channels and make sure all channels are pointing to a single, cohesive, and customer-oriented brand image.

At this point, big data processing power is needed. No one will argue that there’s lots of data out there, begging for analysis. It’s coming from all of your retail systems, including POS, OMS, and CRM. And there’s more to be found in social media, e-commerce transaction history, and mobile data. This massive amount of information requires a comprehensive set of solutions, including data warehouse applications, ETL tools to manage data extraction and transfer, and management tools to source, integrate and maintain all data. Finally, reporting utilities and predictive analytics take this data from the abstract to the useable, translating it into actionable insights you can use toward reaching your goal.

Putting this all together, we learn that an agile approach to decision making and implementation is paramount, because customer expectations tend to change at warp speed. It’s necessary to be able to move quickly and easily when developing and evangelizing new products. Once again, the key is a consistent and responsive brand image.

At the end of the day, customers don’t care about how you reach your decisions – they just need you to be responsive to their needs. Creating a brand which customers can relate to and uniformly experience across all media channels will be the foundation of a sustainable future.

Authored by Ashish Maheshwari – Retail Expert and Leader – CRM Analytics team of Absolutdata, along with Pranav Chaturvedi , Consultant in the CRM Analytics team.