5 strategies to create seamless omnichannel experiences
Today’s customers have high expectations, perhaps higher than ever before. They expect their orders to arrive in only a couple of days. They want alternative delivery options such as Click and Collect. And they expect seamless interactions when switching between stores and online.
Offering these types of services are critical for retail success. The truth is many are already struggling to meet these expectations. With best-in-class retailers enjoying growth rates on average 10 percent higher than non-connected retailers, the gap is widening between the best and the rest.
You can download our whitepaper on creating flexible supply chains and more insights into utilising order management systems here. The perceived complexities of the technology and the skills needed to achieve true omnichannel operations and experiences have been holding many retailers back. The key is knowing core capabilities you need. Here in our opinion are the 5 most important strategic operational areas that deliver success:
1) Strategic inventory management
Your initial building block begins with visibility, a single source view of all items and orders in you chain. Without the right inventory, you can’t sell products and generate revenue. If you understock, you run the risk of making customers wait, having to split shipments, or losing sales entirely. Overstock, and excess markdowns are inevitable. The goal is real-time visibility across both your stores and fulfilment centres. Don’t stop at current inventory; back-orders, pre-orders, and available-to-promise calculations save your current demand, and boost future profits.
2) Intelligent order routing
Once you have visibility, you can make better decisions on how to get your stock in the hands of your customers. Using intelligent rules to determine the best source of stock for each customer order. Enabling you to reduce delivery timeframes and costs by shipping closer to the customer, optimise sell-through rates from slow moving stock locations, and avoiding costly options such as split shipments. Your intelligent order routing engine ensures you maximise margin for each and every order.
3) Comprehensive store fulfilment options
Turning your stores into mini fulfilment centres is a massive advantage for retailers. Immediately opening up your entire portfolio of store inventory to online buyers has a huge impact on reducing those lost sales through out-of-stocks. Add in flexible options such as Click & Collect and In-Store returns, and you are able to help your customers shop when and where they want.
4) Customer care anywhere
Those retailers that offer seamless experiences retain customers at significantly higher rates. Whether customer care agents or frontline store staff, you must arm them with the tools to handle customer questions. From basic questions such as where is my order?, to their purchase history and even product preferences. Arming your staff with a 360 degree view of each customer enables them to elevate the experience, creating highly loyal, and valuable customers.
5) Advanced intelligence
Making informed decisions, not best guess estimates is key. With all your order and inventory data in one place, you have the ability to dig deeper than ever before. Using advanced and predictive analytics tools enable you to not only calculate and identify best sources of fulfilment, but even understand the future impact of your choices. Answering questions such as should you move more stock from one region to another?, or do you need to order more stock of a popular product line?
While each of these 5 factors are key in achieving success. They must work seamlessly together. A modern order management system is a must. It is this system that determines your success in unifying your capabilities. Giving you the visibility, insights, and agility to create seamless experiences your customers will remember.
You can download our whitepaper on creating flexible supply chains and more insights into utilising order management systems here.