The omnichannel thesis, a thesis that failed in an epic manner, has been rebranded as ... the "Customer Experience".
One can look to Macy's to see how everything played out and now see how the thesis has evolved. Go read their annual reports, their 10-K statements (click here) ... you do this for all publicly traded companies in your industry right? Right??
I counted how often the phrases "omnichannel" and "experience" have been used in their annual reports. The counts tell us something about the rebranding of the failed omnichannel thesis.
2006 Annual Report = First Reference of "Multichannel" ... the original phrase that didn't work and had to be rebranded as "Omnichannel".
2009 Annual Report:
- 0 Mentions of Omnichannel, 15 Mentions of Experience.
- Sales = $23.5 billion.
2010 Annual Report:
- 9 Mentions of Omnichannel, 22 Mentions of Experience.
- Sales = $25.0 billion.
2011 Annual Report:
- 11 Mentions of Omnichannel, 20 Mentions of Experience.
- Sales = $26.4 billion.
2012 Annual Report:
- 30 Mentions of Omnichannel, 22 Mentions of Experience.
- Macy's brazenly calls itself "America's Omnichannel Store".
- Sales = $27.7 billion.
2013 Annual Report:
- 26 Mentions of Omnichannel, 23 Mentions of Experience.
- Sales = $27.9 billion. Oh oh. Growth is Ending.
2014 Annual Report:
- 31 Mentions of Omnichannel, 21 Mentions of Experience.
- This is "Peak Omnichannel".
- Sales = $28.1 billion.
2015 Annual Report:
- 23 Mentions of Omnichannel, 22 Mentions of Experience.
- Labels annual report as "Agility to Adapt", introducing another failed buzzword.
- Sales = $27.1 billion. If omnichannel was so successful, why are they mentioning it less and why are sales now in decline?
2016 Annual Report:
- 23 Mentions of Omnichannel, 32 Mentions of Experience.
- Sales = $25.8 billion. Sales in the omnichannel era are now down 10%.
2017 Annual Report:
- Just 12 Mentions of Omnichannel, 36 Whopping Mentions of Experience.
- Sales = $24.8 billion.
"Peak Omnichannel" was 2014 ... sales of $28.1 billion.
In 2018, "Experience" is mentioned 3x as much as "Omnichannel" ... the branding is complete and done for a good reason ... sales are $3.3 billion (yes, BILLION) less in the three years after "Peak Omnichannel" happened.
When you listen to the "Customer Experience" thesis, you hear the same nonsense that you heard in the "Omnichannel" thesis ... great seamless/frictionless experiences across channels ... integrated marketing campaigns ... 360 degree views of the customer ... blah blah blah.
Your job is to sell stuff ... not to adhere to a vendor-driven thesis that used to be called Multichannel and then was called Omnichannel until Omnichannel brands saw horrific sales declines and then was rebranded as Customer Experience because nobody can argue with providing a great Customer Experience, right?
As a new Marketing Leader, you have to make a choice.
- Do you follow the failed vendor-driven Multichannel / Omnichannel / Customer Experience thesis that has to be rebranded every five years because it doesn't work?
- Do you follow the "Great Eight" and come up with a credible plan for your specific business?
Get the booklet for $0.99 (click here) and get started doing the latter.