Over the past few weeks I’ve been undertaking a bit of research to find those individuals in the retail sector who are doing a superior job of helping their employers deliver a truly multi-channel proposition to the customer.
What I’ve so far found is that there are a modest number of such people out there doing just such a job – some are well known but many others are not. The reason why we are not inundated with such people is largely because multi-channel is such an immature area of retail that few merchants have managed to so far create a platform and culture that supports a truly integrated multi-channel business.
There are loads of organisations in the UK with multiple channels that are linked together with elastic bands and Sellotape and who talk about single views of the customer but the reality is that very few good examples exist. Even the best names in the industry who are held up as multi-channel exemplars such as Tesco.com, Argos, Mothercare and JLP have their challenges.
That is why the individuals with the expertise to ultimately make multi-channel a reality for retailers are the jewels in the sector and as such are very valuable commodities. Their value is enhanced further by the fact that most retailers really are extremely desperate to knit their various channels together into an integrated entity and they are entirely reliant on these experienced practitioners to help them achieve it.