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Agile Development: Blog Post

Omnichannel 1.0 is Dead. Long live Omnichannel 2.0 | @ExpoDX #DigitalMarketing #DigitalTransformation

You don’t have to look very far to see that bricks-and-mortar retail is struggling under the burden of transformation

Omnichannel 1.0 is Dead. Long Live Omnichannel 2.0

From Toys ‘R’ Us to the Bon-Ton, you don’t have to look very far to see that bricks-and-mortar retail is an industry struggling under the burden of transformation. The broad strokes of this disruption are easy to spot: Amazon.com’s massive ecommerce juggernaut has reached verb territory, as one retailer after another gets ‘Amazonned.’

Traditional retailers, of course, have had plenty of time to get their act together, as Amazon is a survivor of the dot-com frenzy of the 1990s. To be sure, they have each implemented one online strategy or another, but as they soon realized, simply selling goods online barely accounts for a blip on Amazon’s inexorable growth trajectory.

As the Digital Era dawned with the rise of smartphones, retailers realized they had to reinvent the sales channel or face extinction. The multichannel strategies of the late 1990s and early 2000s – adding ‘web’ to ‘in-store,’ ‘phone orders,’ and ‘mail order’ – wasn’t going to turn their fortunes around.

And so, omnichannel was born.

The Struggles of Omnichannel

The idea of omnichannel was to rethink the notions of channels altogether from the perspective of the digitally savvy customer who would bring their phone with them on shopping trips. ‘Showrooming’ – the practice of comparison shopping on your phone while in a store – became the first omnichannel use case.

Was such a customer shopping online or in-store? The answer: that’s the wrong question. The right question is how to create one comprehensive experience that delivered value to the customer regardless of technology touchpoint or interaction modality.

However, while some retailers focused their omnichannel efforts on the shopping experience, the practice soon took a fateful turn, focusing instead on product delivery. From the perspective of the bricks-and-mortar retailer, the way to compete with online retailers was to expand the ways customers could get their products.

Soon, retailers were rolling out a variety of delivery services to add to their traditional buy in store and take the purchase home model (aka ‘cash and carry’). Such new models included ordering online and delivering from the store (aka ‘ship from store’) and ordering online and picking up at the store (aka ‘click and collect’).

Just one problem: ship from store and click and collect cost retailers more money than cash and carry, crushing their margins. Add to the mix the hairball problem of product returns, furthermore, and the entire omnichannel movement became little more than a complicated way to go out of business.

Where Bricks-and-Mortar Retailers Went Wrong: Minding the Customer Journey

Omnichannel as it’s generally practiced today – what we might call ‘omnichannel 1.0’ – has largely been a failure, because retailers remain focused on making the sale. In fact, most of their key business metrics focus on sales – it’s all about the ka-ching.

However, one significant lesson of the Digital Era is that the sale is not the most important metric. The customer is – how happy, delighted, and successful the customer becomes over the lifetime of interactions with that individual.

In other words, it’s not about the sale. It’s about the customer journey.

Amazon gets this principle, of course, as Amazon Prime centers on the customer journey. Sure, each sale is important – but more important is the ongoing relationship with the customer. Get that right and the sales will pour in.

And it’s unquestionably working. What’s the recent news about Prime? First, it has over 100 million customers in the US. Second, Amazon is raising the price for Prime for most customers by $20.

Yes, that’s $2 billion added to the Amazon bottom line without selling a single additional item (assuming the number of Prime customers remains steady, which is a good bet as new members are likely to balance cancelations in spite of the price hike).

However, with few exceptions, bricks-and-mortar retailers have nothing like Prime that drives revenues the way Prime can. Today’s feeble attempts at customer loyalty programs and mobile apps for a brand’s biggest fans pale in comparison to the serious dough Prime is bringing in.

Solving this problem will take time, money, and courage to be sure, but the first step to fixing omnichannel – moving to the proverbial ‘omnichannel 2.0’ – is to shift the key performance metrics away from sales-centric numbers to customer journey numbers like lifetime value.

Reinventing Omnichannel for the Digital Era

If omnichannel is all about digital and digital is all about technology, then maybe retailers just need better technology, right? Wrong. If anything, there has been an excessive and poorly-placed emphasis on technology that is in part responsible for leading bricks-and-mortar retailers astray.

You can easily find evidence of this fundamental mistake simply by looking on how traditional retailers organize their omnichannel divisions. What was the web division in the mid-1990s became the ecommerce division and then perhaps the web 2.0 or social media division in the mid-2000s, only to become the digital or omnichannel division in the 2010s. The problem? It’s still a division.

Meanwhile, senior leadership still manages and runs store operations separately from their omnichannel activities, and even the marketing efforts often bifurcate between traditional (print, in-store, signage) and online/digital.

For such organizations, omnichannel isn’t so ‘omni’ at all, is it?

This bimodal pattern of separating the innovative, technology-empowered omnichannel efforts from the traditional in-store efforts is sinking the entire ship, as neither one separately can keep the company afloat.

Instead, the entire organization must itself be ‘omnichannel’ – that is, reorganize horizontally to better serve the customer across all channels along the entire customer journey. It’s no mistake that Intellyx has been calling such reorganizations Digital Transformation.

The Intellyx Take

The accelerating pace of innovation in digital technologies is unquestionably a driver of innovation in retail, but unless retailers can reinvent their businesses, such technologies will be little more than fingers in the dike.

Given the expanding capabilities and variety of such technologies, coupled with the increased focus on privacy and customer empowerment, understanding which technologies to apply and how will be increasingly important.

Yes, retailers may be able to track customers’ every gesture and glance as they wander the aisles, but will such capabilities help them with their customer journey metrics, or will they simply scare customers off?

For bricks-and-mortar retailers struggling to survive, there is a glimmer of good news: even Amazon faces its own struggles to move forward in this disruptive, omnichannel 2.0 world, only from the other direction.

True, they’ve nailed the ecommerce piece, but they’re still trying to figure out the right ship from store and click and collect modalities – or perhaps other modalities as yet invented. In fact, its Whole Foods acquisition is largely an experiment, both in retail delivery as well as in optimizing the perishable supply chain.

Omnichannel 2.0, therefore, is largely an unwritten book. Century-old retailers have every bit as much of a chance at success as Amazon or the fresh crop of cloud-based retailers from the new millennium. The good news is that regardless of who wins this war, we consumers are likely to be the winners in the end.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Phillip Pessar


DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the conference tracks for CloudEXPO |DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York.

DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City.

Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.

A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Show Prospectus V041818 Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

2018 Conference Agenda, Keynotes and 10 Conference Tracks

DXWordEXPO New York 2018 and Cloud Expo New York 2018 agenda present 222 rockstar faculty members, 200 sessions and 22 keynotes and general sessions in 10 distinct conference tracks.

  • Cloud-Native | Serverless
  • DevOpsSummit
  • FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event
  • CloudEXPO - Enterprise Cloud
  • DXWorldEXPO - Digital Transformation (DX)
  • Smart Cities | IoT | IIoT
  • AI | Machine Learning | Cognitive Computing
  • BigData | Analytics
  • The API Enterprise | Mobility | Security
  • Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO 2018 New York cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 200 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor brings together the world's leading companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail.

As your enterprise creates a vision and strategy that enables you to create your own unique, long-term success, learning about all the technologies involved is essential. Companies today not only form multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, but create them with built-in cognitive capabilities.

Cloud-Native thinking is now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector.

CloudEXPO is the world's most influential technology event where Cloud Computing was coined over a decade ago and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals.

FinTech Is Now Part of the DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO Program!

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 22nd CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City will find fresh new content in two new tracks called:

  • FinTechEXPO
  • New York Blockchain Event

which will incorporate FinTech and Blockchain, as well as machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning in these two distinct tracks.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Show Prospectus V041818 Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. DXWorldEXPOCloudEXPO are pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program.

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are accepting speaking submissions for this new track, so please visit Cloud Computing Expo for the latest information or contact us at [email protected]

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Show Prospectus V041818 Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck ▸ Here

Only DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO bring together all this in a single location:

Attend DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO. Build your own custom experience. Learn about the world's latest technologies and chart your course to Digital Transformation.

22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO, taking place November 11-13, 2018, in New York City, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Show Prospectus V041818 Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Show Prospectus V041818 Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

Sponsorship Opportunities

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising on 4,5 million article pages in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Unmatched editorial coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 100,000 plus Twitter followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

Secrets of Our Most Popular Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact [email protected].

Show Prospectus V041818 Here

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Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is now open.

Secrets of Our Most Popular Faculty Members ▸ Here

Submit your speaking proposal Here or by email [email protected].

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About DXWorldEXPO LLC

DXWorldEXPO LLC is a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based trade show company and the creator of DXWorldEXPODigital Transformation Conference & Expo. The company produces and presents CloudEXPO, DevOpsSummitFinTechEXPO Blockchain Event, the world's most influential conferences and trade shows.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.