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Omni channel retail is a necessity today

Omni-channel marketing has become a necessity today, said Jiten R Mahendra, Senior Vice President Marketing, Max Fashion India. He was at the 15th episode of HT Brand Studio Live—a series that gets the brains behind India’s top brands to decode marketing innovations and more. He said, initially, many brands treated e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores as two separate channels. But they eventually realised that it was all overlapping. And, today, they have to work towards unifying the customer experience, product, and price across channels. If they don’t, then they’ll lose out on their loyal customer base.

This is about providing a seamless and consistent customer service experience across all platforms. Today, brands have to work towards unifying the customer experience, product, and price across channels. If they don’t, they’ll lose out on their loyal customer base. Rising competition in e-commerce has made offline retailers re-vamp their business models. The lines between online retail and brick-and-mortar stores are blurring for the new-age consumer. Since brick-and-mortar stores and online retail exist in the same world, and come together to influence choice and expectations, it's pretty much impossible for a consumer to look at them as isolated pieces.

There are three ways to build an omni-channel presence—devising a single-view inventory for physical stores and online stores, treating the online channel as a virtual store to offer suitable user experiences, and training staff and using technology to deal with sophisticated consumers. It is no longer about the 5 Ps of marketing. It is about fighting for a customer’s interests—through products, services, or taking part in his or her larger life goals—to create a sustainable relationship.

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