Omnichannel Revolution underway…

“Omnichannel” is not just the new buzzword to replace “crosschannel” or “multichannel” in the constantly evolving world of Marketing terms. In fact, these terms are very often incorrectly used or used interchangeably by some pundits, as if they had the same meaning! While multichannel simply means having a presence on more than one channel or platform and crosschannel is about, seamlessly and interchangeably, using multiple channels to market, sell, and interact with your customers, on the other hand, Omnichannel is about true continuity of customer experience beyond a single brand’s universe!

The Ultimate Customer Experience

The reality today is that Internet has forced the pace of evolution on businesses in every field or industry globally! Nobody is spared! Customers’ expectations have changed a lot in the past decade and social media has totally evolved the engagement between brands and their customers. For brands, an Omnichannel strategy, designates the aim of delivering consistent brand experience across all possible channels. Brands adopting an omnichannel strategy are wary about providing the same experience and message across different channels and devices involved within their interactions with customers. As a result, businesses are very attentive to the fact that the customers’ shopping journey is not fragmented, but completely seamless. Keeping up with the aspirations of tech-savvy customers regarding brand visibility, availability, service quality and satisfaction are the prerequisites in an Omnichannel environment…

Omnichannel: Turning Evolution into Revolution

Omnichannel is not just a marginal evolution of existing concepts but something that is absolutely going to revolutionize the retail, marketing and global business landscape! Customers are already transacting in an Omnichannel way, and hence, for brands, this can be translated as follows: aligning the brand to the connected-customer needs in order to generate brand loyalty and secure competitive advantage. In other words, it allows brands to get closer to their customers and make customized offers and at the same time, it brings many virtues to customers including enjoying the convenience of their preferred channel, a wider selection of items and a wealth of buying opportunities. Renowned brands like Sephora, Starbucks, Virgin Atlantic, Disney or Macy’s are already reaping the benefits of this strategy. Let’s take Macy’s. There has been a stark contrast in earnings compared to the lackluster figures reported in previous quarters driven mainly by Macy’s investments in its digital efforts. The famous US department store’s omnichannel strategy has been finally paying off!

Will Omnichannel become omnipresent? One thing’s for sure, it is a win-win for everyone! Not to mention that it blurs the lines between online, brick-and-mortar, smartphones and social media for a five-star seamless shopping experience. There is no doubt that Omnichannel is gathering momentum. Not only is it here to stay but businesses not yet present in the Omni arena will strive hard to compete!

Do you know other successful examples of an Omnichannel Strategy ? Feel free to share.

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Ultra-exclusive social Networks

Tired of Facebook? Too many invites, pokes, unrequited connections or even worse, leaks in privacy… Well, you will soon be able to leave the world of “been there, done that” behind when you discover these new exclusive networking sites …

Welcome to the social world!

Over the past two decades, one of the most dynamic developments related to digital media has been the rise of social network sites. Despite what you would have thought that the current buzz around social media would facilitate engaging in meaningful conversations with like-minded people, it has, in fact, become quite challenging… Do you remember being a member of a “cool club” in your student days? Yet, once anyone can join the “cool club”, it’s not cool anymore! This very idea has given rise to a new breed of ultra-exclusive social networks.

So if you are tired of being overwhelmed with irrelevant connections and want to have meaningful exchanges with your peers, take a look at these five top-notch social networks…

A new breed of social networks

Seeking to engage with like-minded individuals all around the world? Affluence brings it members exclusive, high-quality content and advice from industry experts on topics like art, technology and travel. Squa.re is a community-generated internet TV focusing on nightlife, style, high living and luxury travel. The world of Eleqt will help you live your “life in style” by keeping you up to date with the latest trends from fashion to finance. It’s also a great tool to meet fascinating people during exclusive social events, as well as discovering the finest buzzing hot spots from restaurants, hotels to nightclubs. Along the same lines, Pursuitist showcases remarkable experiences and products by bringing you the hottest information on online travel, style, food and top leisure destinations. And last, but certainly not least, EO, with their “business-oriented” vibe, lets you engage with the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs.

Ultimately, it’s about who you are, what you are achieving and how you are achieving it that will define where you want to be in the world of social media!

Are you a member of a high-end online social network? Is it worth it? Share your thoughts with me.

Picture above: Courtesy of Brainsonic ©

Internet of Things (IoT): The rise of the machines!

If you grew up with James Cameron’s Terminator epic, you might perhaps feel a little uneasy about the Internet of Things. But you better start getting used to it as the rise of the machines revolution is well underway! You’ve heard about connected people (Web 2.0) or connected machines (Web 3.0), the Internet of Things (IoT) is actually the next great phase of the Internet (Web 4.0), a scenario connecting inanimate objects to our needs and desires. These objects could literally be anything from your keys, to refrigerators, lavatories, traffic stop lights, cars, the list really is endless.

IoT: The smart revolution

Are objects around us getting smarter? Physical objects are made “smart” by connecting them to the Internet utilizing ubiquitous sensors aiming to track all sorts of data. People very often tend to hang on the “Things” aspect of IoT. Actually, the real value and insight comes from the data provided by these objects or devices. For the first time in history, we have data on almost anything: from how we brush our teeth to how we drive, how we eat, how we sleep and so on. Today even wigs are getting smarter and your lavatories too! Well, it might seem crazy but imagine your lavatories providing health related insights about pregnancy, bacterial infections or even prompting you to seek medical advice! While smart cement equipped with sensors used in the construction of bridges or buildings will alert us to fix problems about cracks or shocks before causing human tragedies! Despite such benefits, IoT is seen by many as a major challenge to our privacy that needs to be addressed before it goes mainstream!

IoT: Redefining industries and economies

After the introduction of the steam engine (1st), the setting up of assembly line mass production (2nd) and the establishment of automation (3rd), it is now time for the fourth industrial revolution. Already tech giants are getting involved, viewing this as a logical progression from the personal computer and smartphone of previous decades. What does it mean for businesses? This isn’t just about money savings, but this is a huge and fundamental shift. The fact of starting making things “intelligent”, is going to be a major engine for creating new products and services. IoT is paving the way to a whole new “smart” Industry or Industry 4.0, which will very soon become the new Manufacturing standard! And what’s in for us, customers? On top of enjoying a “Smart Home Ecosystem”, where household chores can be handled by opening up an app, everything surrounding us will soon become vital communication tools in helping to make our lives easier, healthier and more productive. Although it all sounds like a futuristic life, thanks to IoT, the future has never been so close!

“The IoT has the potential to transform our society, economy, and how we live our lives,” Samsung CEO Boo Keun Yoon said during a keynote speech at the CES 2015 trade-show in Las Vegas. If organisations are struggling to cope with the rising tide of data volumes at the moment, they’re going to be overwhelmed once the IoT gathers real momentum. Why? Because the IoT is not just about gathering data; it’s also about the analysis and use of that data. And how firms approach this will be key to their success.

Is IoT the next industrial revolution? Feel free to post your comments!

Picture above: Courtesy of Brainsonic ©

Wearable Technology: Blending function with fashion

When it comes to wearables, people instinctively think about smartwatches or Google glass as “techy” accessories designed for men! Contrary to popular belief, wearables are not just a man thing! A study by The NPD Group, the US market research company, revealed that women (58 percent) outnumber men among prospective buyers of wearable technology. However, wrist-bound wearables and smart glasses aren’t the only things we expect to see! Smart jewelry and fibre-optic fabrics are two categories among others that are making headway in this new industry being particularly eyed up by high-end fashion companies!

Data, data, everywhere: But “wear”, why and how to use it?

In our big data era, data is of no use if you can’t see it when you need it! Wearable technology is an electronic sensor worn by the user that captures information about motion, location, speed, visualization and more. The promise of wearable technology is bringing into your field of vision the requested data which becomes accessible anytime you decide to glance at it! In other words, it brings the power of the smartphone but this time out of your pocket! Today the biggest market in wearable technology is health and fitness. Yet, wearables can be used not only track your heart rate, blood pressure and food consumption details but in other industries including security (road safety or self-defense), mining (safer workplace), construction and energy sectors (easily seeing inside pipes and walls), retail (increased productivity by accessing information on-the-go) and of course fashion.

Chic FashionWare

Perhaps the biggest complaint about wearables was their lack of aesthetic qualities. In other words, both genders liked using them, but for consistent wearability, women wanted more options, particularly more stylish ones. Things have changed a lot and today more and more fashion designers and retailers are collaborating with the tech world and all of them having one common goal in mind: “women” ! Designer Tory Burch created a line of sleek, sexy skins for FitBit, Diane Von Furstenberg worked with Google last year to come up with designer frames for Google Glass, Rebecca Minkoff is developing a notification bracelet that lights up when you receive a phone call or text and more recently Michael Kors also expressed an interest in breaking into the wearable tech space but without getting into specifics!

Ergo, it seems that Technology has finally found its way into the fashion industry, thus raising some important questions: Will this new smart fabric technology market be led by tech giants or by fashion houses? Will we soon be wearing gadgets instead of carrying them around with us? Indubitably, women are the heaviest users of today’s most vital technologies, hence compelling companies to keep women in mind if they want to compete successfully in this flourishing industry! 

Wearable Technology: Is fashion going to revolutionise this industry? Post your comments.

Picture above: Courtesy of Brainsonic ©