Insights from our Omni-Channel Roundtable

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11 July 2013
Daniel W. Latimore
Celent recently hosted a client event called New Imperatives for Omni-Channel Delivery. Motivated by the convergence of channels, we designed this forum to explore banks’ need to coordinate all the ways they touch customers across the entire set of organizational silos. Celent’s belief is that in the New Normal, retail delivery will never be the same. Retail banking customers are driving the most fundamental change in delivery that the industry has ever seen; these empowered consumers have new knowledge and expectations that are forcing banks to up their game. Additionally, because the way that banks make money is changing radically, banks have no choice but to reconsider their overall system of retail delivery. A large expense for retail banks is their branch network. It will have to change. The branch of the not so distant future is more than just talk this time; it’s not optional. It will entail transaction and sales/service automation; physical re-design; and cultural and organizational change. Moving to this new branch mindset is a journey, not a destination. Results will almost always delivered in increments, not via a “big-bang." Additionally, branch transformation needs to be executed in a multichannel context, and quickly. Ultimately, this will result in fewer, smaller, more efficient and more effective branches. On the more technology-oriented side, Celent surveys show that mobile banking and multi-channel delivery are “top retail banking technologies.” The tablet will act as a catalyst to the redesign of online banking as online and mobile are growing rapidly in priority. Tablets are unique devices that provide a unique experience and shouldn’t be thought of us simply larger phones. Digital startups are challenging the status quo with slick experiences and innovative business models. In response, banks have to become digital powerhouses; they must take advantage of emerging opportunities and use them complement physical channels. We opened up a free-flowing discussion with a few questions for our banking attendees. We think retail bankers of all stripes will do well to ponder them.
  • What is the customer’s perspective?
  • How do you coordinate between the branch, digital and other channel teams?
  • Do you watch other industries? Who and how?
  • What are you doing to grow digital sales?
  • How will the role of the branch change in an omni-channel environment?
Celent clients can explore these topics more deeply through a host of current reports. We'll be reprising this event in Toronto on November 18; here's the link: Additionally, we'll be hosting a bankers-only roundtable called "Evolve or die: the future of the bank account" in London on October 17. Details at Finally, we'll be hosting a broader cross-industry event on October 3 in San Francisco. Entitled "What's Next: The Search for Disruptive Innovation," you can find out more at Hope to see you there!


  • [...] our clients along their journey through our research, insights, and networking events. Dan in his recent blog post summarized our NYC event on Omni-Channel Delivery. We will also be hosting a banking roundtable [...]

  • This is a great post. As an industry, if we can move away from thinking about specific channels and instead focus on defined customer journeys and interactions - then I think more coherent omni-channel experiences will emerge. Exactly as you say - this will require structural changes in banks to mitigate existing channel silos.

    Sales journeys in particular could benefit from this approach. I think is it fascinating how top banks, like Lloyds in the UK are already driving 25% of their retail sales by volume from their digital channels. This proves the potential. Four years ago as a bank's eChannels product manager, I commissioned research on mortgage sales. This research showed how customers want to be able to research online, consult a salesperson face to face, apply online, ask questions over the phone and receive SMS status updates.

    If banks enable the right processes, for the right customers, via the right channels or devices - then I believe they will see improved sales pipelines, reduce application drop-out rates and higher returns.

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Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America