June 11, 2015

Kohl's - I Cannot Ever Recall Seeing This Happen

Here's the quote you need to remember:
  • "It became more clear everyday that these two things, customer engagement and product, are linked completely," he said in an interview.
The article describes two movements, happening at the same time.
  1. The omnichannel theory is validated - props to the omnichannel folks. E-commerce and store ops are fused, seen now as one thing, reporting to a Chief Operations Officer. But this is not the central story - and that's an important realization. Omnichannel, as we know it, is part of Operations.
  2. Priority is clearly assigned to a fusion of merchandise + customer experience. Think about that one for a moment.
In 2015, I've workd on 2.5 Merchandise Forensics projects for every 1.0 Customer Optimization project. There is a fundamental change happening across my client base (three years ago, I sold zero merchandise-centric projects, period), and it is not a change that is channel-centric. There is a realization that Merchandise, yes, Merchandise, is what fuels the customer experience.

I do not every recall an instance where a person without merchandising experience moved into the Chief Merchandising Officer position at a $100,000,000+ sized company. I've seen marketing gurus move into Executive Merchandising positions - but never the top of the pyramid.

I'm not saying this move is right/wrong - it's dangerous to predict the future, simply because it is nearly impossible to ever be right.

I am saying that there is an obvious trend that is shaping the future, and it is time that we pay attention to the trend - it is time to give the trend proportional attention:
  • Merchandise fuels the customer experience.
  • If we don't focus on merchandise, there is no customer experience, and there are no channels to integrate.