One Step Ahead's Linda Lomax on Channel Integration
Sure, you've got a Web site, a catalog, maybe a retail store. These days, customers have to be able to purchase from you using whichever channel they please. But increasingly it's not which channel a customer uses to make a transaction, but how many channels she uses. The average multichannel customer spends $466 per year, while a single-channel customer spends just $313, according to last year's Forrester Research/Shop.org survey of retailers. With so many dollars at stake, it makes sense to dedicate resources to increase your chances for cross-channel success.
For One Step Ahead, a multichannel children's products retailer, cross-channel promotion remains important because although "a very high percentage of sales occur online, matchback analysis shows that the vast majority of online sales are driven by the receipt of a recent catalog," says Linda Lomax, director of marketing for the Lake Bluff, Ill.-based merchant. Lomax spoke to Target Marketing about cross-channel integration and some of the tactics she employs to leverage selling opportunities.
Target Marketing: Historically, One Step Ahead was a catalog business. How have you approached the issue of multichannel integration?
Linda Lomax: We continually try to improve our integration across all points of customer contact. One of the simplest efforts was changing our internal language. Previously, we were focused on the schedule of our catalogs. Everybody talked about which catalog comes next and how would we promote it. Now we've changed our planning and our communication to take into account cross-promotional cycles rather than what we're doing to support each catalog drop. We have quarterly branding meetings that involve cross-functional teams to make sure we're communicating in a unified voice across all our points of contact, as well as cross-functional, seasonal kickoff meetings to discuss what happened during this promotional cycle last year across both channels and how we might change for the next year.