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Right now, “omni-channel strategy” is something of a buzz-word in eCommerce circles. Whether they’re discussing traditional brick-and-mortar businesses expanding their reach online, popular eStores opening a physical location, or evaluating the endless list of shopping portals and social media outlets, most of the conversation has centered on the channels themselves.

I find this sort of exchange quite interesting, but I’m typically the guy in the back of the room that not-so-politely clears his throat and says, “Um, how exactly will this affect your brand?”

Brand development is typically not at the top of a busy executive’s list of to-do’s, but I like to remind them that their brand is all they’ve got. If your brand loses its potency, you’re doomed to engage in price wars with other companies that may even be favored to win.

While it’s comforting to talk at length about omni-channel strategy, it’s important to remember that your customers don’t care about any of that. 99% of them have never used the term omni-channel in their life, and channel distinctions are fairly meaningless to them. No matter where a customer encounters a brand, they tend to see it all as a seamless whole from which they base their feelings. Your customers only care about their needs, certainly not yours, and you have to be enormously empathetic to them.

Wait a second here. Feelings? Empathy? Yeah, I know, this is getting kind of weird and uncomfortable, so let me bring it back down to the bottom-line: Buying is emotional. The less feeling a customer has towards your brand, the less they buy from you.

Now that should make you feel uncomfortable. In order to avoid that outcome, we need to get a little weird. We need to get out of our rigid routines and really evaluate why we're doing what we're doing. If meeting your customer's needs isn't your core inspiration, it's time to recalibrate. After all, you don't ultimately determine the success of your brand—your customer does. Continue Reading Article...

About the Author: Eric Yonge is an eCommerce branding expert based in Atlanta. You can reach him for consultation at www.ericyonge.com and his e-commerce development company is www.eystudios.com.




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