Are your multichannel growth strategies missing their mark? (Part One)

Probably, if your company has a traditional business model. There are two problems with most growth strategies. The first one is the fact that marketing teams develop them. It isn’t that the gurus don’t know their business. They do. Ask them anything about marketing and they can usually provide the correct answer. And, if they don’t know the answer, they know where to find it.

Things change when you ask them about the logistics side of their business. Blank stares, annoyed looks, or dismissal tones are the responses you will see most often. They may not say it aloud, but they wonder: Why do they need to know about logistics? Their job is to bring the sales in, not process the orders.

Which takes us to the second problem: consumers make their shopping choices based on their overall experience. So, the best promotion combined with mediocre service and minimal features generates a lukewarm feeling. And, it creates a customer that shops by price instead of brand.

Loyalty requires passion. If you want your customers to be loyal, give them reasons to be passionate about your company. Start by adding the features multichannel shoppers want most. According to a recent Sterling Commerce consumer survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, 81% of the respondents want the ability to return merchandise to a store even if it was purchased online or over the phone.

56% want the option to have merchandise delivered to their home or picking it up in the store after purchasing online.

37% want to use a web kiosk in the store to conduct product research. (Probably because knowledgeable sales assistance is a rarity today.)

35% want access to their web account when they are in the store.

If you are thinking of going global, the European respondents had a higher demand for these features, so you had better be ready before you jump the big pond.

Developing a growth strategy isn’t about increasing sales. A bump here and there doesn’t provide long-term success. The plan has to include a method for sustaining repeat purchases year after year. And, that requires participation from every division and department in the organization.

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