Call it “Circular Commerce” not Omnichannel Retail

Call it “Circular Commerce” not Omnichannel Retail


Omnichannel. Omnichannel. Omnichannel.

It’s the buzzword of the retail industry right now. But one woman, Andrea Weiss, co-founder of The O Alliance, says we should “stop thinking about omnichannel, and think about circular commerce.” That quote comes from this article. The author goes on to say she was “referencing the idea that each channel should feed into one another versus operate as separate silos and that teams should be integrated.”

I wish I thought of those words myself. Though, as the author of the article says herself, “It may be a simple matter of semantics, but brick-and-mortar retail’s fixation on ‘omnichannel retail’ is lulling those companies into a dangerous sense of complacency because it is often misinterpreted to mean multiple channels doing their own thing, one retail consultant is warning.”

Even if it is just semantics, it’s extremely important to realize that being an “omnichannel retailer” doesn’t mean you should create multiple siloed channels that customers can shop on. Also, it’s extremely important to realize that in-store shopping IS A CHANNEL. That is one of your channels and the experience there must mirror the experience you provide online.

We once quoted another article before:

The term ‘omnichannel’ refers to the zigzag paths customers often take to arrive at a purchase.

Your customers will absolutely shop or research or browse at all of your channels at least once. And there is no linearity to their experience. It would be a shame if they stopped shopping with you because one of your channels didn’t provide the same brand and shopping experience as another.

Carrington Williams

Carrington is a co-founder at Q where he heads the product team. Before Q, he built the marketplace metrics and strategy and business development functions at

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