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.
- 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.
- 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.