Forget the term omnichannel — start thinking like a consumer instead.
That’s the conclusion of David Geisinger, head of retail business strategy at eBay Inc., who spoke on “eBay’s Focus on Innovation in an Omni-Channel World” at Stella Summit 2013 at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
Geisinger believes that the word omnichannel is “grossly overused.” He noted that because consumers don’t use the term, there’s no reason for retailers and marketers to use it either and that the focus should really be to “start thinking like a consumer,” instead of silos of distribution such as buying online, on a mobile device and in brick-and-mortar.
For Geisinger, thinking like a consumer really means learning how to integrate the platforms so that service becomes the key to engaging the customer.
He gave an example of abandoning an online shopping cart for a particular brand, and then heading into the city the same day and going into that brand’s store and having to find all the things that had been in the online cart to put into the physical cart. His point is that from the consumer’s standpoint, it would be easier and better if he could walk into a physical store and the store associate would know automatically to put the same items in a cart for him. In some respects, those tools are in place given the mobile gadgets that consumers carry.
Similarly, when a consumer buys online and goes to a store for pickup, the experience now is that one has to go to customer service and is lucky if the item is already available for pickup, Geisinger said. Even if the item is already ready for pickup, “that may be efficient, but is that engaging the consumer?”
Geisinger explained that it would be great if the store associate could pull complementary items for what was ordered to hold up to the consumer and suggest whether such and such items are also needed.
Mobile should be thought of as a complement to existing tools to reach customers because not all people need mobile as a platform, he said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast