fall-foliageThe Personalization Roundup is an ongoing blog series featuring the most evocative news, articles and blogs curated by Baynote each month highlighting the rapidly growing topic of web personalization. Over the last month we saw one theme rise above them all: omni-channel retail.

From Shop.org keynotes to Burberry bringing  their online shopping experience into retail stores, omni-channel is all the rage. It’s not enough to optimize your online assets and brick-and-mortar stores in silos. You need seamless integration to provide customers with the holistic experience they demand. Not only will this lead to happy customers, but increased customer engagement and sales. But don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Omni-channel is a broad topic touching on inventory systems, all the way through personalization.  Baynote can help you to cut through some of the clutter to master the omni-channel trend

“6 Ways to Dominate the Holiday Season,” iMedia Connection – It’s that time of year again — retailers are starting to prepare for the 2012 shopping season. While many retailers find this to be a daunting task, there are some simple steps they can take to ensure a successful holiday season. Baynote’s CEO, Bill Hustad, detailed six of these steps in this recent iMedia Connection article.

“Key Reading Material for the Shop.org Annual Summit,” Adotas – If there was one overarching message from Shop.org this month, this was it: Retailers need to execute an omni-channel strategy that seamlessly integrates all consumer touchpoints. While digital plays an important role in this strategy, brick-and-mortar stores still have their place. Companies must bridge the digital and physical worlds to create a cohesive customer experience and to increase chances for success. In case you’re looking for more details on the highlights and themes from Shop.org, check out this Adotas article that includes my thoughts along with links to all of Baynote’s Shop.org insights.

“Why Burberry Wants to Bring the Online Experience to Stores, and Not Vice Versa,” Mashable – We hear a lot about how online retailers need to study brick-and-mortar stores in order to truly create a personalized online shopping experience. This Mashable article demonstrates that it’s not a one-way street —brick-and-mortar stores can learn a lot from ecommerce. According to Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailer, “People are interested in what goes behind products now. You can show so much more on the web through video and text and moving imagery. So what we wanted to do, for example, is if I try on a trench coat and approach one of the mirrors that we’ve enabled with RFID, content comes up on the screen that shows how we’ve made that trench coat, what it looked like on the runway. We’re putting stories behind clothes and fashion.” A great way to bridge the digital and physical worlds!

 “Five Ways to Embrace Omni-Channel Retailing,” Econsultancy – As the above Mashable and Adotas articles demonstrate, creating a seamless customer experience across touchpoints is now a necessity for retailers. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Luckily, resources are popping up to make the task a little more manageable. This article recommends the following: Utilize social media channels to engage personally with customers, embrace customer product reviews, integrate your physical and online presence, implement innovative in-store technology and create local ecommerce landscape. Great tips for all retailers.

“eBay Debuts Setify, Its Own Pinterest-Like Tool to Share Collections of Items,” TechCrunch – This article not only introduces us to eBay’s newest social sharing tool, Setify, but also projects what it could be used for down the road. According to TechCrunch’s Leena Rao, “you can imagine that [Setify] could be extended to all items on eBay, creating a Pinterest-like platform for users to collect and share items that they want or have purchased. And if more eBay users engage with Setify, tagging items they like or own, this gives eBay more data to help with the personalization of the marketplace’s shopping experience.” Not surprisingly, it all comes back to personalization!