Marketers have seen it on the horizon for quite a while, and now the time has come: Analysts expect web-influenced retail sales to surpass traditional retail sales next year.

More specifically, as Teradata Senior Solutions Consultant Pat McDaid told those attending the recent 2014 Teradata Marketing Summit, web-influenced retail sales are projected to be $1.856 trillion in 2015, beating out the $1.780 trillion in “old-fashioned retail.” And buckle up –because this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Growth in web-influenced retail sales continues to outperform traditional retail sales, and is expected to do so for the foreseeable future.

What can you do to ensure your marketing organization is able to keep pace?

You need to focus on the omni-channel customer experience. Today’s digitally-empowered consumers expect your brand to be available on the channel they choose, at the time they choose, with the service (or item) they choose. In short, they want everything, everywhere, every time, and – oh! – they want it all up-to-date and seamlessly integrated, too.

Patrick Salyer, CEO of Gigya, the social media integration tools company, reinforced the message at his Teradata Marketing Summit session titled, “How Social Connectivity Drives New Consumer Insights.”

Salyer pointed out that just as social networks and the internet are combining to bring humans together, the “internet of things” is achieving similar integration for devices. Analysts estimate there will be 75 billion connected devices by the year 2020. All the more reason for organizations to implement marketing solutions that can, as Gigya puts it:

1) Connect – deliver regular service with social network log-in

2) Collect – identify, store and index/understand data

3) Convert – provide insights and establishes interactions.

For McDaid, the success of an omni-channel approach comes down to a commitment to a 360° view of customer, inventory and product. As he stressed during his presentation, studies consistently show that consumers want more transparency into which items are in-stock. Meanwhile, for US retailers, out-of-stock rates average 7% –and double that during promotions. Any company that wants to retain its competitive edge will need to resolve this disconnect – and the sooner, the better.

Still scratching your head, wondering if your marketing organization has the capabilities to keep up? McDaid suggested you map out a strategy based on the results of a self-audit. Here are the most important questions he says you need to answer . . .

Today: Does your company measure lost sales, overstocks and customer satisfaction on marketing? If you do, are the results good?

This month: Are there data elements your marketing and supply chains could share to be more proactive in supporting offers?

This year: Would setting up collaborative processes between your marketing and supply chain teams improve fulfillment?

Integrated departments, integrated strategies, integrated data, integrated technology . . . Are you sensing a theme here? Put all of those together, and you’ll be able to offer your customers what they want: a unified, onmi-channel experience.

Experts at the 2014 Teradata Marketing Summit shared their insights about omni-channel marketing. But how do you see it? What steps are you taking to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels and platforms? Let’s continue to conversation in the comments section below.