omnichannel implementation

Change management: Overcome omnichannel implementation challenges

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In a world of constant connectivity, why are omnichannel implementation challenges still so frequent among brands?

Many companies have gone omnichannel, diversifying their contact points with their customers: Smartphones, connected TVs, websites, or physical shops. This approach is considered, and with good reason, the new gold mine in the world of trade – a customer using several different channels buys up to 30 % more compared to a mono-channel customer.

However, there is a mistake that is becoming common during this transition: I’m seeing companies merely apply these new buying modes without making the related changes within their company that are essential to their businesses thriving. When choosing to adopt an omnichannel strategy, brands have to adjust their organization, as well as their management methods.

Omnichannel implementation: An organizational challenge to culture

By choosing a strategy based on channel multiplication, brands automatically enter in a process of transformation regarding the company, as well as its business approach. Many experts reflected on the growing importance of the customer experience within ever more complex ecosystems, but few explored the consequences of these strategic transformations on companies’ organizational structures.

Developing an omnicommerce approach requires a change of perception within the organization. To accomplish this, two essential elements must be taken into account: The organizational structure and adequate change management.

Omnichannel implementation means no more silos

The implementation of an omnichannel strategy impacts the organizational structure of all of the company’s departments. When going omnichannel, companies must embrace at the same time a new way of thinking: Expertise pooling. This means that the silos existing between the company’s departments have to be removed.

Various departments (marketing, IT, digital departments) can no longer simply coexist, but instead must work hand in hand, providing transparency among themselves. Therefore, today, one of the greatest challenges consists in setting up a crosscutting approach through the adoption of dedicated solutions, with the aim of developing synergies between teams.

Managing change

The success of an omnichannel approach relies on consensus and adequate change management. It is essential for the entire company, from the top down, to feel concerned with the organizational mutations related to this vision. They must be educated on and develop an omnichannel management culture.

In particular, operational teams must be trained to understand the importance of channels’ complementarity: Today, e-commerce platforms are too often competing with physical sale points. One of the main challenges faced by every business player is to get employees to embrace this new approach, i.e. a complementary ecosystem – a problem particularly true within companies built on a franchise model.

Winning the support of employees requires training and the introduction of new business models that capitalize on growth potentials resulting from the synergy existing between digital and physical channels.

Like any other new strategy, the omnicommerce approach raises implementation challenges at every level: It is precisely the way companies will integrate this dimension, in particular by transforming their corporate ethos, that will dictate their business’ success.

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Stephanie Haukingham
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Stephanie Haukingham

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