September 26, 2008

Multichannel Forensics A to Z: Zendik

A "zendik" is a heretic, one who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine or principal.

An open mind and Multichannel Forensics may well lead one to become a zendik.

I read an article this week, from an individual representing a vendor selling multichannel products and services. The individual, without providing any facts, stated that "it is now generally accepted that multichannel customers are the best customers". Ugh.

Some catalogers observe the following: Customer was a catalog customer, then customer uses the catalog to purchase online, then customer shops online independent of receiving catalogs, then cataloger wastes $$$ sending catalogs to this customer, compromising profitability. Is the alleged multichannel customer actually multichannel? And is the alleged multichannel customer the most valuable?

Here's another one. Retail customer doesn't find what she wants in a store, so she goes online to place her order. Retailer collects e-mail address, then pummels customer with an endless array of 20% off and free shipping offers that the customer doesn't want. Customer opts out of e-mail marketing program. Retailer simply ticks off the loyal one channel customer, because the retailer perceives the customer is multichannel.

STOP IT!

STOP IT!

STOP IT!

Stop trusting the pundits who are not concerned about the health of your business. Start analyzing your own customers --- actually figure out how customers move from step A to step B to step C, actually calculate the profitability of moving through these steps.

Stay away from the simplistic queries that dominate our industry --- queries like pulling out any customer purchasing from multiple channels, summing sales, then comparing those customers who buy from a single channel.

Be a zendik.

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