How to Win in an Omnichannel World Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

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Customers are increasingly “omnichannel”-testing both online and offline channels -in their thinking and behavior. In order to exceed in this new environment, sellers additionally must be station. In order to excel in this new environment, sellers also must be omnichannel. This implies having explicit strategies for the two core channel functions -supply of information about products and product fulfillment -and offering the appropriate combination of experiences for their customers. The writers have developed a customer-focused framework for delivering these strategies, drawing on empirical research conducted with both offline-first retailers like Crate & Barrel and on-line first retailers like Warby Parker. Traditional, or offline- first, retailers need to leverage the internet channel not only for fulfillment but also as a venue for delivering price, inventory and other information desired by customers. Using data from a natural experiment ran at Crate & Barrel, a retailer of furnishings and housewares, the writers show that by simply supplying exact price and inventory information online, a traditional retailer can considerably increase traffic and sales to offline stores.

The writers describe how Warby Parker has experienced major benefits by developing an offline existence. For Warby Parker, offline showrooms that provide product inventory for customers to sample drive increased sales through the internet station. Furthermore, the authors note, when on-line-first retailers develop offline stations to provide advice, this allows customers to sort appropriately into the channel that is most suitable for them. The writers assert the Omni channel strategies -strategies that balance the need for quality info and timely fulfillment of the customer -are the most popular technique for brand building and retail success. This, they say, is true for conventional brick-and-mortar retailers, pure-play Internet retailers and hybrid retailers uniformly.

PUBLICATION DATE: October 01, 2014 PRODUCT #: SMR506-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about SALES & MARKETING

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