Last week I watched a presentation given by Barton Stabler at this years eTail conference entitled, “Why Multi-Channel is Toast” and I have to say it was one of the strangest presentations I’ve seen. Stabler seems like an accomplished User Experience professional who has based his impression of multi-channel on bad experiences. I’m not sure what the author’s intent was, and after a few days of confusion over the content — only rivaled by my confusion after seeing the movie Mulholland Drive — I think he not only proved the exact opposite, and despite his best efforts to the contrary, demonstrated why it is so important to implement properly.
Stabler begins with an interesting philosophical paradox, Buridan’s Ass, which states when a mule is placed equidistant between two bales of hay, he will starve to death
being unable to make a decision on which bale to eat. The premise of the paradox is that the mule lacks the free will to make a decision given two completely equal choices. The consumer is the mule in this case and I found it an interesting lead in to the presentation to metaphorically call the consumer an incapable ass with no free will.
Given the presentations presumptuous title, I thought I’d organize my walk-through of the presentation highlights by pulling some equally interesting assumptions from history. Here we go…
“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” –Mark Twain
Much like Mark Twain’s demise, reports of multi-channel being toast are also greatly Continue reading