Retail

All Expertise

Digital & Multichannel Excellence

We help clients set comprehensive multichannel strategies that unlock the full potential of digital media.

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We partner with clients to embrace the opportunities afforded by new platforms, develop comprehensive multichannel strategies, and improve overall digital performance. We combine McKinsey's expertise in strategy and organizational transformation with leading edge digital capabilities across the retail business system.

Our approach

A recent McKinsey survey among top executives highlighted two major points in building or expanding an online presence: lack of standardized impact measurements and limited in-house talent and tools. As a result, efforts are often uncoordinated: a banner ad here and a smartphone app there. We help clients take a holistic approach to multichannel, e-commerce, and digital marketing, flexibly adapting to a highly dynamic environment.

Commercial
We help our clients use digital technology to accelerate sales growth across channels, both directly (e.g., through e-mail) and indirectly (e.g., by using social media for reputation building and traffic generation). Specifically, we work with our clients to realign category strategy and merchandizing offers with the needs of all digital points of access. Additionally, we offer proven tools that enable clients to integrate digital touch points into their commercial strategy and budget allocation process. We also aid clients in coordinating their pricing, promotion, and direct marketing approach across channels. To ensure economic sustainability, we help them build digital capabilities in merchandising and marketing.

Operations
Digital technology prompts strategic questions for consumer clients, but it also presents substantial operational challenges. Very few companies are able to extract profits from their online operations. We engage with our clients to create a smooth, compelling, and economically sustainable customer expereience across channels without compromising on operational efficiency. In particular, we help clients manage the cost of multichannel order fulfillment to ensure profitability. To this end, we work with them to coordinate and streamline supply chain and inventory management across channels. We help clients manage multiple evolving technology platforms and develop the required organizational structures, talent management schemes, decision processes, and performance metrics.

Tools and solutions

We bring a set of dedicated tools to help retailers track and optimize their entire digital presence. Examples include:

  • Online Observatory, which can be used to conduct 360-degree grocery retail benchmarking, assessing marketing performance, building skills to use customer insights, and driving competitive differentiation
  • Multichannel Grocery Operations Tool, an approach that can be used in designing and optimizing multichannel grocery operations
  • Multichannel Non-food Store approach to help clients rethink their category strategy and plan accordingly
  • E-commerce Sales Boost helps to quickly improve conversion and online sales leveraging analytical benchmarking of online sales panels and metrics 
  • Digital Marketing Factory, an off-site training facility for capability building in the context of a real-life online wine store (situated near Munich)
  • Multichannel IT solutions navigator to identify the best technology to support a given retailer’s multichannel strategy

We partner with industry associations and leading digital players to ensure digital excellence across all geographies and topics. We update, refine, and enhance our toolkit to take advantage of new technologies and opportunities.

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Latest thinking

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The value proposition in multichannel retailing

May 2011—Consumers love low prices, but retailers shouldn’t overlook the way shoppers perceive value online and in stores.more

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