Live from NEMOA: Don’t Overlook Channel Consistency

Cambridge, MA–In a January 2003 survey, co-op database provider Abacus found that 24% of consumers see something they want in a catalog they receive, then go to another marketer’s store to buy it. “That’s almost a merchant’s worst nightmare,” said Paul Imbierowicz, Abacus’s vice president of product management, during a session at the New England Mail Order Association (NEMOA) conference here. The solution? Catalogers need to present a more consistent message among their channels.

Imbierowicz pointed to his own experience as a member of Recreational Equipment Inc.’s buying co-op, in which members receive back from the company a percentage of what they’d spent during the year. REI recently sent him a 10% discount offer via e-mail tied into a reminder of his forthcoming annual payback. Two days later, he received the same offer in his mailbox. Shortly after that, he saw a sign in a REI store communicating the same offer. “REI takes a holistic, integrated approach,” Imbierowicz said, emphasizing “shop your way” in all its channel approaches.

Imbierowicz cited similar channel continuity from gifts mailer RedEnvelope, in which a recent Valentine’s Day promotion was sent via e-mail two days prior to the same offer in its catalog. “Capture e-mail addresses at all channels,” he said. “Customers will give them to you; you just need to ask. You can commission them for giving you their e-mail addresses.”

As another example of keeping channel marketing consistent, Imbierowicz cited a catalog offer in a Lego catalog of a Lego ship. The catalog refers customers to the toy company’s Website to get a 3-D look at the ship.

Among other consistencies catalogers should strive for at all channels, Imbierowicz suggested the following:

* Gift certificates purchased at one channel should be redeemable at the other channels.

* Leverage each channel’s strengths by varying the merchandise assortments.

* Products bought at one channel should be returnable at any other channel.

* Call center reps should be familiar with all channels’ offerings.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.