CMO Insights in the Retail Industry
According to IDC analyst Leslie Hand there are not too many retailers that have “achieved the ideal target state one might describe as omni-channel”. However, one retailer that is embracing an omni-channel strategy is IKEA. During a recent interview with Leontyne Green-Sykes, US CMO of IKEA, we talked about some of the challenges that she faces as a CMO. “It is really about staying relevant. It goes beyond just e-commerce, to create the relevance for consumers in order for IKEA to stay top of mind, it is really about transitioning to more of an omni-channel retailer”, advised Leontyne. In her view it is about keeping up with consumer behavior and offering them the best product and service that they desire, whether they come to the store, order on line or some combination of both.
Since IKEA is a global retailer I asked her if their social media and mobile strategies differ from region to region. “Actually, it does”, she replied. “Each country focuses on their core strategy, what is their particular objective and what is the best way to use each of those particular mediums.”
Omni-channel strategies are becoming the norm as retailers look to change their traditional ways of attracting and keeping clients to have the options for their clients to decide how they want to interact with the retailer. When asked whether the physical store will continue to be a part of the omni-channel experience her response was, “Absolutely, particularly for the IKEA store. IKEA stores have about 88,000 articles in each of them. Sometimes the customer wants the opportunity to touch and feel, they want to sit on the sofa. I actually think that it really will become an integration of different channels more so than any one in particular going away”.
As retailers engage in mobility and social media to expand their omni-channel presence it will be important for them to understand what the customer touch points are for their particular clients and to stay abreast of any emerging trends that they see when interacting with their clients that could have a significant impact on their business.