June 25, 2013

Doing The Opposite

Give this little article about keeping a newspaper alive a read:  http://flashesandflames.com/2013/06/20/reinventing-newspaper-groups.

What did you notice?

The argument is for doing the opposite of "multi-channel" or "omnichannel", isn't it?

Oh, I know, I can already hear the snide comments:
  • "That's the newspaper industry, we're Catalogers, we're Different.
  • "That's just one case, what about the thousands of newspapers who did exactly what the author suggested and failed, there's no case study about the morons who tried and failed, correct?"
  • "Multi-channel and Omnichannel are proven, just look at Macy's."
If we assume you're correct, then why is the catalog industry consistently the slowest growing of any in the Internet Retailer Top 500?  The industry followed the multi-channel playbook, fully integrating e-commerce with catalog operations, correct?  Well, we should have observed that catalogs were the fastest growing of any sector in the Internet Retailer Top 500 ... right?

In the past year, I consistently observe a "different customer" from the "core customer".  This customer is almost exclusively shopping online, and is buying different/unique merchandise.  It's almost like, magically, somebody is showing you a portal to the future, a path to long-term viability.

Take advantage today.  Ignore the omnichannel arguments that only benefit vendors and trade journalists.  Do what is right for your employees, your customers, and your business.


  1. Long term what is going to happen to the catalogue customers (Judy?) - they'll just age & stop buying or transform to be more like the ecommerce customer - or both?

  2. My data shows that Judy is likely to keep doing what she's always done, then slowly spend less as she ages. She is less likely to transform and become a die-hard e-commerce customer.


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