April 28, 2014

Online / Offline Synergy

I enjoy getting an email encouraging me to read The Robin Report ... always good stuff!

Here's one for you about what it would mean to Amazon / Sears to have Amazon buy Sears (click here).

One of the quotes in the article outlines the proven success of online and offline integration (i.e. omnichannel). Seconds later, the author demonstrates that Sears/Kmart sales dropped from $50 billion to $36 billion in a decade.

By integrating everything, maybe Sears/K-Mart sales drop down to $36 billion - and would have dropped to $34 billion without the magical effects of omnichannel.

But the impact of omnichannel is minor compared with everything else a "brand" can do. Look at the image below. Look at the K-Mart logo. Look at the circa-1983 storefront. You can build all the online / offline synergy you want, but what exactly are the experts integrating in the first place?

Storm clouds are brewing. Online / Offline integration can't trump merchandise, service, and story. What story does the storefront below convey to you?