Thomas  Baekdal Thomas Baekdal Writer, social advocate, and magazine owner,
Utilising the omnichannel tool

Utilising the omnichannel tool

For most brands, omnichannel is an excuse and not a real strategy. It’s often what brands do when they are too afraid to make real changes or take the necessary risks.

When newspapers first create mobile sites, iPad apps, and new digital publications… and then try to sell them as an extra along with print. They are thinking they are doing the right thing because it’s omnichannel. But, in reality it’s just another excuse. You have to accept that the new world will replace part of the old world. You can’t save that by adding omnichannel strategies to it. You will probably only make it worse.

Setting up a hugely complex and expensive ‘omnichannel’ web shop when your competitors are just selling directly online won’t help you become successful. It only makes you look rather silly. So ask yourself. Are you embracing omnichannel strategies to save the old business models? Or are you doing it to create a new one?

Omnichannel is not going to fix your brand if your problem is lack of change.

However, omnichannel is good for something, and we only have to look at Apple to see why. Apple’s retail stores have been a huge reason for Apple’s recent success. I’m sure they would also have been a success if they had only been online, but their retail presence made a big difference.

The reason they are successful is mostly due to the combination of the products, the experience, and the customer support (being guided)… and their price.  And all that works well with omnichannel. They are not turning to omnichannel as an excuse for saving the old, most elements are instead designed to enhance your experience across devices and places. The Genius Bar takes your digital purchase and provides hand-on guidance by a real person. Your physical purchase is tied directly into your multi-channel Apple account.

Omni-channel strategies are a tool. When applied to the right circumstances and for the right reasons, it can enhance what you already have. But nothing more. It’s not going to fix your brand if your problem is lack of change.

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