Omni Channel Retail from the Consumer’s Perspective

As a savvy consumer, I had heard about Omni-channel retail before and thought it was the new normal, but I was mistaken.

Take, for example, a well-known shoe brand that shall remain anonymous. I went shopping at their store during the holidays and they had run out of a boot model I HAD TO HAVE. I immediately asked if I could simply order the shoes online- clerk’s response: Option not available.

EXCUSE ME? It seems that, despite having a website, theirs is non-transactional. This means that, they have the models available online to look at, a store locator…and THAT’S IT. No way to know if there is any stock left or have them conveniently delivered to me. As a consumer, I was extremely upset with this experience and left baffled and disappointed.

In truth, it is a misconception that all can be bought online…but it’s a reality that MOST THINGS CAN! In this regard, this brand is losing more online-savvy consumers like me who feel like they (the customer) has not been provided for- bad for business indeed.

There could be many reasons why a company does not (yet) have a transactional website.

  1. Lack of finances/infrastructure
  2. Desire to stick to an old model
  3. Belief that target market is not online shoppers

If this company thinks both points 2 and 3 are valid, they could not be further from the truth. All retail brands in this day and age should offer transactions on their websites, the advantages are simply too powerful to ignore.

An industry so trend focused has no choice but to be part of the movement. Omni channel retail is more than a new trend, it’s a bandwagon you want to jump on asap as a retailer as it moves from a trend to a norm, faster than next season’s collection.


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