Omni-channel retailing seeks to seamlessly integrate all available shopping channels, from catalogs, TV, radio, and brick and mortar stores to contact centers, the internet, mobile, and social media. This integration supports customers as they move through the buying cycle, from discovery to trial, purchase, pick-up, and, in some cases, returns. The idea isn’t new of course. Omni-channel retailing got its start years ago, as consumers became comfortable with using smartphones and tablets to research and purchase products.

Of the phases of the buying cycle, purchasing gets the most attention, even though it is just one aspect. 2014 holiday shopping results show that customers rely on brick and mortar retail stores for the majority of their holiday shopping, even as on-line purchases continue to grow. As digital measurement and analytics firm comScore reported, e-Commerce retail set records in 2014 for both Thanksgiving Day ($1.01B) and Black Friday ($1.51B), up 32% and 26%, respectively, from 2013 levels. Cyber-Monday’s on-line sales were even higher— $2.04B, up 17% from 2013. Total on-line sales for the period between Thanksgiving and Cyber- Monday were $6.56B, up 24% from 2013

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