Relational Solutions Blog

Biggest Omni-channel Retail & Omni-Channel CPG Issues Today

Posted by Janet Dorenkott

Fri, Aug 8, 2014 @ 12:02 AM


     We often hear of omni-channel retail, but it is also omni-channel CPG. Social marketing, mobile marketing, mobile retailing, are all terms associated with the omni-channel. In today’s world where CPG manufactures have to prove to retailers that their promotions are working, joint business planning sessions, JBP or JBPS, are more critical than ever.

Let’s address issues related to the omni-channel. The first issue related to the omni-channel that retailers and CPG manufacturers face, is related to developing applications for the mobile consumer so they can participate in the omni-channel. Another is BOPIS which means buy online, pickup in store. These items will be addressed in other blogs. Along those lines, other key issues will be addressed in other omni-channel blogs.

Let's just start by saying that SOMOLO includes social, mobile and local buying. The definition of the omni-channel is much greater than that and greater  than big data. I discuss that in our YouTube, educational webinar on the omni-channel.

Because I recently wrote a blog in response to what CVS is planning to do related to the omni-channel this holiday season, I wanted to focus on those issues related to those companies who have already developed mobile apps, loyalty programs, e-coupons and other incentives related to the omni-channel buyer.

The key issues for these retailers and CPG manufacturers are coupon stacking and internal competition.

Getting these new, cloud-based teams working together with the retail teams is seemingly impossible for retailers and CPG companies today. In most companies, both retailer and CPG manufacturers, the cloud teams are separate from the retail sales teams. This inherently puts the company in competition with itself! We actually even see mobile and retail teams, viewing themselves as competition.

The sentiment seems to be that the teams related to mobile, social and ecommerce, view themselves as new, modern and cutting edge, while they view the retail teams as old, stodgy and outdated. Conversely, retail teams view the mobile teams as interfering with their sales and as young kids that don’t understand the business. This is a common issue for companies and leads to a lot of in-fighting.

Another key issue related to internal competition is coordinating pricing and marketing strategies. Mobile teams,  have separate budgets. Therefore their marketing and pricing strategies are sometimes being developed in a bubble that excludes the traditional retail and marketing teams.

Competition is always a concern. It’s hard enough competing with your real competition. Make sure you’re not competing with yourselves.

The second key concern we see arising out of the omni-channel is “coupon stacking.” This is a problem for both retailers as well as CPG manufacturers and is effecting the bottom line of both. In an article related to “Coupon Stacking,” Tony Vernon, CEO of Kraft, explains how individuals using multiple coupons from multiple sources is actually having an impact on their bottom line.

The Omni-channel is a new paradigm in marketing and in selling. Most marketing managers believe that marketing has changed more in the past 2 years than in the past 50 years. Watch our half hour, educational, YouTube video to understand the basics about the omni-channel. Learn what others are doing and what you need to do if you think you are already there. How far behind are you? You might be surprised! Follow Relational Solutions on LinkedIn and Subscribe to our blog for more information on the omni-channel.

Topics: Omni-channel