Hayden Sutherland was involved in the early days of web development and has been pivotal in the implementation of some of the largest and most highly regarded sites on the internet.
The political satire TV programme ‘The Thick Of It’ coined the word Omnishambles back in 2009. We then saw it used by real life politicians in the House of Commons, it trended on Twitter for a while (#omnishambles) and it was subsequently nominated as “Word of The Year” in 2012.
Created by the merger of two words: the Latin prefix ‘omni’-, meaning "all" and ‘shambles’ the word for a total f**king disorder… it has already crept into usage by Opposition MP’s and BBC Newsnight presenters.
But now we are in danger of a very similar word becoming popular in the online & e-commerce industries. One that sends a shiver down my spine when I hear it uttered… Omnichannel.
Once again forged by combining ‘omni’ with an obvious word, it creates a term that for retailing means: (via Wikipedia)
“a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available shopping channels, i.e. mobile internet devices, computers, bricks-and-mortar, television, catalog, and so on”
So why does it get my goat so much?
It’s my opinion that the word "Omnichannel" has just been thrown into various online conversations and white papers by consultants just looking to distinguish themselves from others in the market merely offering ‘multi-channel'.
Still, it could be worse… I recently heard someone say in an eCommerce presentation “there is now no channel”, which is either a further way to differentiate themselves from the growing Omnichannel mob or a Buddist/Matrix reference.
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