What better way to get advice on implementing and improving omnichannel retail than asking the experts. So we did ask the experts and we started with Mattias Pihlström, founder and omnichannel consultant at Brightstep AB.
Mattias is experienced in implementing ecommerce, multi-channel and omnichannel processes with industry leaders such as ABB, Apoteket, Ericsson, SCA, Indiska, Interflora, TeliaSonera and many others. He specializes in integrating internal processes, in terms of logistics, financial flows, user experience, loyalty, analytics, increased conversion rate and order value.
Netonomy.NET: What do you think is the essential difference between multi-channel retail and omnichannel retail?
Mattias Pihlström: Multichannel for me was the first phase for retailers, meaning getting up new parallel sales channels (e-commerce, m-commerce etc). Omnichannel retail is the next phase where retailers start getting this channels to work together seamless to the consumers.
Netonomy.NET: What do you think is the biggest challenge for retailers in implementing omnichannel retail?
Mattias Pihlström: I think these are the main challenges:
- Enterprise architecture and integration of IT systems, master data management (consumer data, products, orders etc)
- Organization and reward systems
Netonomy.NET: What technology vendors would you recommend for companies interested in implementing omnichannel retail processes?
Mattias Pihlström: There are many leaders in this area and too many to mention all, but SAP/hybris, Oracle, Adobe, Intershop, IBM are a few I would like to mention as niche players.
Netonomy.NET: How do you think omnichannel retail will impact online pure-plays?
Mattias Pihlström: Here in the Nordics we see many pure-players setting up physical stores, both pop-up and normal stores. I also think a pure-player should have an omnichannel strategy in place even if they don’t have physical stores. There are so many other channels and touch points that should be part of such a strategy (like e-mail, social media, customer service etc).
Netonomy.NET: How much do you think smartphone and tablet adoption have changed consumer purchase habits and decisions?
Mattias Pihlström: Very much.
Netonomy.NET: What is the most interesting innovation you have seen retailers implement in the past 2 years?
Mattias Pihlström: Reserve online and pick up in store (meaning not sending goods from central warehouse, but fulfill orders directly from store).
Netonomy.NET: As a consultant – what do you think is the biggest challenge in helping companies get results?
Mattias Pihlström: Change management and getting the understanding from top management.