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Introducing Forrester’s Omnichannel Commerce Playbook

Brendan Witcher
Brendan Witcher
Vice President, Principal Analyst
February 5, 2016

Today we announce the launch of our brand new Omnichannel Commerce Playbook! In its many forms, omnichannel is quickly resetting customer expectations, and redefining what it means to deliver seamless, fully-integrated commerce across the enterprise. This playbook provides a structured framework to help eBusiness leaders strategically  plan, launch, and maintain omnichannel capabilities and services.   

Customers today forge paths to purchase that seamlessly cross channels, screens and stores.  For example, U.S. consumers in 2015 spent a whopping $1.5 trillion in-store that originally started or were influenced along the way by digital touchpoints. Retailers who offer omnichannel fulfillment are directly responding to customer expectations for this seamless experience. As such, services like ‘buy online, pick up in store’ and ‘ship-to-store’ drive store traffic and provide significant, measurable benefits to retailers and customers alike.

However, omnichannel commerce goes far beyond fulfillment; the full spectrum of omnichannel capabilities encompasses marketing, merchandising, and even customer service. This playbook helps eBusiness professionals analyze and deliver the omnichannel services that are right for their customers, including how to measure their impact and then optimize over time.

The Omnichannel Commerce Playbook will help you:

1. Analyze the business impact of omnichannel integration. Understanding how to identify and quantify the projected net value of omnichannel capabilities and services translates into a strong business case that drives an organization's overall omnichannel strategy and road map.

2. Plan a comprehensive journey to transform into an omnichannel organization. Effective planning helps business leaders who are charged with bringing omnichannel capabilities to market focus on what's important, while avoiding pitfalls that omnichannel  pioneers encountered. This analysis will determine essential versus "nice to have" tools and features and also will identify any service gaps.

3. Allocate the right internal and external resources and responsibilities. Omnichannel success will be elusive if the right resources and responsibilities are not in place. As omnichannel programs go into pilot phase and then are launched more broadly, eBusiness professionals must fully understand the ‘who, what, when, why and how’ of the organizational structure, processes, and technology needed to support and excel in these programs.     

4. Optimize continually by understanding omnichannel program performance. Monitoring and optimizing your omnichannel services is never ending. Organizations must benchmark themselves against competitors' programs with a performance management system that is based on a set of proven key performance indicators (KPIs). eBusiness leaders must then optimize their omnichannel capabilities based on these metrics to reap the full benefits of their investments.

To date, we have published seven playbook reports, including Mastering The Art Of Omnichannel Retailing (the executive overview chapter), Building The Business Case For Omnichannel In Retail (the business case chapter), Paving The Path To Omnichannel Fulfillment (the road map chapter), One Customer, One Organization, One P&L (the organization chapter), Build A Profitable Omnichannel Fulfillment Program (the Processes chapter), OMS Platforms Bridge The Gap Between Online Commerce And Store POS For Omnichannel Retail (the Tools And Technology chapter), and Omnichannel Mastery: Optimize In-Store Pickup (the Continuous Improvement chapter). Look out for our Vision chapter, “It’s Only The First Inning Of Omnichannel Retail,” on February 11th,, and additional chapters in the coming months.  

As always, I welcome continuing the conversation with our clients via Forrester’s inquiry process, and look forward to your questions, comments and feedback. 

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