Because virtually all retailers have historically organized themselves around their sales channels, there is major conflict.
Because customer data typically resides in silos, a mighty struggle exists to provide a holistic, customer-centric view.
Because systems are not integrated, attempts to provide a seamless customer experience are fraught with friction.
Because companies most often employ metrics and incentives that are aligned against internal dynamics, rather than the way customers shop, tensions abound.
As the channels evaporate in consumer’s minds, the battle between what your customer wants, needs and expects, and that which your various silo chieftains and defenders of the status quo try to hold onto, is intensifying.
To be sure, the shift from a channel-centric culture to a customer-centric one is incredibly difficult. The investments to integrate data, inventory, point of sale systems and supply chains can be enormous. The complexities in reworking incentive structures and performance tracking are undoubtedly time-consuming and challenging. And re-mapping processes and re-training an entire organization is hardly trivial.
But in the battle between customer and channel is there any question which side will ultimately win?