Same Bat Time, Same Bat Omnichannel

I’m sitting in a Chili’s Too at DFW with about three hours to kill, so how better to kill them than by writing a short blog? I’m on my way to Chicago – where I hear it’s about six degrees – for the BAI Retail Delivery Show. I’m on assignment for Credit Union Times.

As I sit here sipping my ninth iced tea, I wonder what the buzz will be about at RDS this year. Last year in Denver, it was omnichannel. It was everywhere. You couldn’t take three steps without tripping over omnichannel. I actually wondered whether presenters were incentivized to use the term, because they all did, and many of them used it even when it wasn’t appropriate.

I feared that if attendees heard the term omnichannel overused and misused as much as they did, they might get confused and, worse, might think omnichannel isn’t important. That would be tragic, because IMHO omnichannel is extremely important.

Do you know the difference between multichannel and omnichannel? Sure you do, but for the benefit of the next ignorant guy that clicks this link, I’ll explain it anyway.

Multichannel, as the names suggests, is having a presence in multiple delivery channels – ATMs, online banking, mobile, etc. Omnichannel extends that idea beyond a mere presence in all available channels. Omnichannel is about providing a consistent, transparent and whenever possible, continuous user experience across all those channels. By continuous, I’m referring to the ability for a consumer to leave off in one channel and finish up the transaction via another channel.

In other words, regardless of the channel, a consumer always knows he’s dealing with your FI because it always looks the same, feels the same, and works the same.

Hmm. That sounds an awful lot like smart branding, doesn’t it?

So, again IMHO, omnichannel is actually nothing more than the convergence of great technology and great branding. To that I would add: It’s about time! When you address every issue, at least in part, as a branding issue, only good things will happen. The emergence of omnichannel is an ideal case in point.

That is all.


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© 2015 by John F. San Filippo

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