The Impact of Next-Gen Technology on the Customer Experience

Omnichannel marketing is more a matter of customer experience than of technology.That was one of the key messages from a well-attended thought leadership panel that opened the Retail Executive Summit on June 22 at Laguna Beach, California.

The panel’s topic was “The Impact of Next Gen Technology on the Customer Experience.” Several panelists made the point that the customer’s needs and wants have to drive technology application; it can’t be the other way around.

“To be quite frank about it, I think the information side is less relevant than the latter part of the title of this panel, which is the customer experience,” said Michael Schrage, a research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Digital Business. From retailers’ perspective, the number of choices for reaching consumers has expanded dramatically due to digital technology, but so has competition, Schrage said. The problem is that a lot of companies have personnel with technical capabilities and responsibilities, but there is no internal alignment of these capabilities within the organization.

“Omnichannel is a code word, not for a seamless experience for the user, but for how the heck are we going to get aligned within the organization?” Schrage said.

Click here to read what the other members of the panel — Brian Kilcourse, RSR Research; Jonathan Epstein, Sentient Technologies;  and Josh Sigel, INNIT, Connected Home Innovations  — had to say on the topic.