What is the meaning of omni-channel retailing? How does a company develop an omni-channel strategy? What are the best, and worst practices of omni-channel retailing, as it has evolved since the mid-1990s? The core of being able to analyze, develop, and implement a winning omni-channel strategy is understanding shopper behavior. A winning omni-channel strategy and infrastructure builds in solutions for the friction and pain points that come up during the shopping experience. The goal of this course is to understand how to observe shopper behaviors, how to find the friction, and ultimately build the omni-channel strategy for a retailer or brand, based on study of best and worst practices through real-world examples.
The first sessions of the course will provide an overview of today’s retailing landscape, with special focus on retailer challenges through the Covid-19 global pandemic. We will also learn about the customer journey, and how the levers have changed as the path has become less linear over time. We will explore traditional as well as digitally native companies, and how they are creating engaging shopping experiences. The middle sessions of the course will focus on the role that big data plays in omni-channel retailing, and how the best companies use customer and shopping behavior to drive trial, loyalty, and cross-purchase behaviors, ultimately driving higher lifetime value of the customer. We will explore the role of AI, machine learning, and voice as well. We will cover the financial components of a best in class omni-channel retailer, and how to analyze companies based on key metrics. We will touch on returns, and best practices to manage this important facet of the balance sheet. In the final sessions of the course, we will apply a the studied frameworks to analyze the omni-channel practices of brands and retailers.
The course materials will include HBS cases, articles, and videos, which will be outlined in the syllabus. We will also hear from guest speakers, leaders in omni-channel retailing at a variety of companies including Amazon, Facebook, and others. The final deliverable for the course will be the opportunity to develop an omni-channel strategy for a retailer or brand via a final group project.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Manini Bhakta Madia is a subject matter expert in retail and consumer/shopper behavior. She is the Sector Head for North America Consumer Packaged Goods Consulting for Wipro, and India-based consulting firm, where she leads digital transformation and omnichannel strategy for clients. Manini has twenty-five years of experience working with retail, CPG, and technology clients to generate new customers and drive loyalty within existing...