Breaking Channel Silos With Miya Knights

February 23, 2021



Our special guest, Miya Knights, has observed the retail industry from above and within and joins the podcast to provide a fresh view of what omnichannel really means and how retailers can achieve it. What role will new and emerging retail technology play in the modern store? How can retailers change and adapt at the same pace as customers? Is Amazon on its way to monopolizing retail? 

  • Why are so many retail giants still resistant to change? We discuss these questions and more with our special guest, Miya Knights, the Director and Publisher of Retail Technology News.
  • Miya has nearly 20 years of experience as a journalist, editor, author, and research director, and she regularly appears on networks such as BBC and Sky News to comment on emerging retail trends and retail technology.
  • Miya has observed the retail industry from above and within. She joins the podcast to share with us her thoughts on the glacial pace of change from top players, the retail technology necessary to enable omnichannel experiences, and why retailers need to stop thinking in terms of channels and departments.
  • Retailers must learn from tech giants like Amazon in order to create a truly memorable experience that puts the customer above all else.

Conversation Rundown

[ 6:08-7:35 ] Consumers don’t see channels, they just see a retailer.
Consumers don't see channels. They don't think in terms of channels. They see a retailer. We all know this - we're all consumers ourselves. Yet somehow retail professionals can't put this understanding into action by organizing their business in a channel-agnostic way.

[ 12:54-14:04 ] Channel silos hamper the customer experience.
Structural inefficiencies are obvious to your customer. If your customer comes in-store and their BOPIS order isn't ready for pick-up, they're unlikely to order again. Retailers have been rushing to offer omnichannel experiences in the wake of COVID. But there's no point in offering them if the experience is terrible. You're better off axing the entire initiative than making your customer sit around for half an hour waiting for their order.

[ 28:31-30:29 ] Why retail automation is key to customer-centricity?
Manual processes don't cut it anymore in the retail industry. There's no way for your brand to keep up without automation and advanced technology. Yet so many retailers still rely on the legacy tech that creates unnecessary manual processing.

[ 31:28-32:13 ] Measuring store vs online KPIs is a legacy way of thinking
Why are retailers still using tired KPIs to measure success? Why are they still looking at online and offline performance as two discrete metrics? The store plays an important role in eCommerce and vice versa. Ignoring this connection and relationship means you have an inaccurate view of revenue and what's driving it.

[ 35:15-35:48 ] What retailers can learn from Amazon?
Retailers need to stop comparing themselves directly to Amazon. Amazon is a technology company first, and a retailer second. That's not to say retailers shouldn't learn from Amazon, though. In fact, every retailer out there could borrow from Amazon's laser focus on leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience.

Meet the Experts

Miya is an avid contributor in the retail analyst space. With 20 years of experience in retail as a journalist, writer, analyst, contributor, speaker, etc., she has been instrumental in providing key insights and analysis to the retailers in order to understand the changing behavior of customers. She has been a great advocate of the use of technology like Omnichannel, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning to name a few, that can support retailers to thrive in the ever disruptive market.

Retail Tips & Tweetables

Customers don’t see channels, they just see a retailer.

Omnichannel has a lot to do with orchestrating processes across channels in such a way as it appears seamless to the consumer.

The pandemic is not the great irrefutable change in our world, it has only accelerated the greater refutable change, which is digital.

When you digitally augment the store, that store is left more impactful and gives consumers a reason to go and visit.

Order management systems and digital asset management systems are the two keys that can be layered on top of legacy thinking to bring consistency across channels.

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