Here’s an easy-read article on Line56 talking about the attractions on multichannel retail (see how right Argos get it most of the time: impressive). While it mainly states the obvious I thought that the conclusions on the platform front were striking. They ring true, are clearly presented and give food for thought. Using as website as a veneer is not sustainable.
If you think your first-generation e-commerce platform is sufficient for multichannel, consider Garf’s list of the shortcomings of older systems:
* “Current systems are difficult, if not impossible, for business users to tailor merchandising content, manage promotional campaigns, and access customer information.”
* “Cumbersome integration with other platforms–Retailers find it slow and expensive to integrate current applications with their own software and services from third parties. This lack of integration also means there is limited visibility into real-time data.”
* “Customized and inflexible code that is difficult to maintain–Adding additional functionality is not easy and increases the difficulty of maintaining software doing more than it was designed to do. The resultant new development and maintenance is expensive.”
* “An inability to synchronize e-commerce with other retail processes–With its laser-like focus on the Internet, these platforms are not designed to work with other business rules and processes, forcing companies to attempt to manually create consistent policies and practices.”