Brands are either failing at omni channel marketing, or just don’t care

If you were to ask me to sum up the concept of ‘omni channel’ marketing in one line, it would be ‘consistent facilitation at every touchpoint’. It’s about offering a consolidated customer experience, whatever the channel.

That means speaking with a consistent voice on social media, facilitating in store ‘showrooming’ if necessary, arming consumers with as much information as possible, and most importantly, allowing them to interact with customer service across any platform, but always in a fluid, seamless manner.

Many brands say they are truly ‘channel agnostic’.

Few really are. 

According to WARC research, almost one third of UK consumers have become less loyal to retail brands in the past five years, with poor service the most commonly cited reason. For younger consumers in particular, having to repeat queries to multiple customer service representatives, and being passed from channel to channel is incredibly annoying. Rightly or wrongly, we expect brands to fix our problems now, on the channel I’m currently using, not later.

Though it’s a much overused buzzword for a discipline that should, by now, be second nature to smart retail brands. But it seems we’re still not ‘getting’ the concept of ‘omni channel’. With 59% of Irish adults shopping online at least once a month, 5.9 billion will be spent online by Irish consumers in 2014.

Yet around 3.6 billion of this will go abroad.

That’s a huge missed opportunity for Irish businesses online.