Retail Omni-Channel Strategies

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3 Things Shoppers Want From Retailers

By Greg Girard

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by CenturyLink regarding what omni-channel shoppers expect of retailers for publication in Forbes. The conversation led me to the thought that omni-channel retail creates a state of ever-changing omni-factorial complexity in which retailers have to "solve for" a host of objectives-- broadly across customer, employee, and trading partner satisfaction, financial and market performance, and efficiency. Solving for these objectives demands agility of roles, labor and technology workloads, and processes underpinned by orchestration of consumer, omni-channel, and enterprise technology. Afterwards I remembered something Peter Drucker, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." I'd add that complexity eats a retailer's profitability for lunch.

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If you had asked me at age 10 what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would have told you I wanted to be an Actuary.  If you asked me in high school, the answer would have remained – I was going to be an Actuary, take all of the exams, and go on to be a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries.  It wasn't until my freshman year of college, after an excruciatingly painful Calculus exam, that it even crossed my mind that there were other ways to use math to solve puzzles that could help others.  A stressed freshman whose whole life plan had just been uprooted, I sought advice from my faculty advisor, as well as my peers.  Several of them had similarly started as Actuarial Math majors, and found that they loved the hands on experience that Industrial Engineering brought to the table.

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