I see a good bit of data that supports the need for certain platforms to drive sales, but rarely in my position do I get to hear from some of the biggest companies about the challenges they face in understanding and effectively using multiple channels to positively impact sales. For many, sifting through the myriad solutions, platforms and providers can be daunting.

Recently, I read a Digiday article titled “What Retailers Worry About: Attribution, Platforms and Data,” by Shareen Pathak. The feature recapped Digiday’s Retail Summit and shared the feedback they got from some of the biggest brands in retail.

During the summit, several big-name retailers expressed concerns about both internal and technical challenges inherent in multi-channel retailing. Their key problems were buy-in to grow e-commerce from leadership within the organization and the inability to track and quantify in-store traffic driven from desktop or mobile platforms.

Below are challenges cited from some of the summit participants:

Erin Dwyer of Kardashian Beauty said, “the biggest challenge is deciding what platforms and channels are worth investing resources and time in for innovation and to stay ahead of the curve while balancing the brass tacks of what drives sales, engagement, lead, etc.” She continues, “adapting is imperative, but also uncomfortable for many companies and people.”

Kevin Snell of eBay spoke about how focused they are on the seller community and the correct use of new technologies to disrupt the traditional commerce model while maintaining the brand promise. The real eBay story is delivered through marketing, advertising and digital experiences all working together.

Everyone that Digiday spoke with understood that a well thought-out and executed digital marketing strategy can directly and positively affect their company, but efforts to establish that strategy are often stalled by challenges that originate from a corporate boardroom level all the way down to the retail store associates.

In today’s hyperconnected commercial environment, establishing a meaningful, user-friendly online experience and designing continuity that connects the online experience to the in-store visit has become almost as important as your product. For retailers everywhere, establishing that integrated experience is still a work in progress. Consumers are caught up in a constant upgrading cycle in which retailers continually do more and do better to connect to each customer. With competition looming everywhere, it’s important that all businesses from the biggest retailer to the smallest mom and pop store clearly understand the type of experience, online and in-store, that makes their target customers happy and then focus on developing that, above all else. Because in the end, your happiest customers are also your most loyal, and that hard-earned loyalty inevitably results in more sales.

– Submitted by Brad Bond, Creative