It’s no surprise that, in the midst of this pandemic, the retail industry is in severe crisis. Retailers’ fortunes have worsened as a result of the global pandemic. Delivering the same customer experience across multiple channels becomes tiresome after a while. As a retailer, half the battle is already won, if the right tools are applied for the right strategy to propel both customers and operation. To stay in the game and to put your best foot forward, analyzing changing customer behavior and learning how to keep up with the industry is where it should be started.

Those brands and companies which can zero down on the cream from the crowd by incorporating the right tactics end up having convenient customers and efficient operations. Then, what lies behind the “new normal” and what to apply?

We’ve witnessed that having full control over the order journey and executing a true omnichannel order management is one such way that can help business owners thrive. Before going ahead, let’s take a glimpse of the challenges that can be a colossal reason for failure in operational efficiency before entering into omnichannel order management.

Unavailability of Accurate Data

What makes retailers lose revenue and customer loyalty is mainly because of the inaccurate data which causes lack of communication and loss of sales. Ended up with out-of-stock, overstock problems, and dissatisfied customers is just what retailers get if they can’t manage their channels, balance their stocks and have full control over their order and inventory in real-time. That’s why retailers need an order management system; to be more aware of what they have, to analyze and transfer their inventory to their top stores to use their inventory more efficiently and less costly, and most importantly to avoid saying “no” to their customers.

Disconnection between Online and Offline

It becomes critical and difficult for most retailers to keep all channels’ data and insight for informed predictions. Managing physical stores, eCommerce sites and marketplaces’ inventory data is now more important than ever since the pandemic hit and changed the balance of the share of channels.

Here is what happens when retailers don’t acquire the right omnichannel strategy. First, keeping up with the stock changes becomes nearly impossible which prevents them from investing in the right channel. Secondly, for the will of stores, tracking customer behavior and developing the right strategy ends up with failure as they can’t access real-time visibility and unified look of inventory.

Adversity in Returns and Exchanges

Gone are the days when customers were satisfied with what was being offered to them. As the saying goes, now, the customer holds the key of the industry; determines which channels to buy from, which technology they’d like to use, etc. They are no longer okay with the conflicts in return and exchange processes as it’s been a big pain point for customers and a determinant while choosing a brand to shop for. Omnichannel return & exchanges offer multiple ways that meet their customer’s demand including requesting return regardless of which channel they made the purchase to benefit from several exchange options.  

What Happens as a Result

In a nutshell, the result is complete customer dissatisfaction and operation inefficiency. The number of channels for customer interaction is rapidly increasing as technology advances which makes the control much harder than ever. The more the interaction increases, the more the demand and inventory should be directed in the way that retailers benefit from. As the competition is fierce, retailers prefer not to refuse the customer. However, without real-time data and systematic operations, it’s hard to execute.

How to Achieve Efficiency in Operations

Retailers can better satisfy their customers and avoid all of the challenges to make their customers smile from ear to ear by utilizing integrated technology. Shopi’s Order & Inventory Hub provides the right engine to help retailers manage their channels unified which gives the right order & inventory data and the status of them to track what you have and where they are located presently. It allows retailers to monitor the advanced analytics of both their stores, channels, and more specifically their store associates and it gives the operation a vision for what comes next and has them be prepared for the next step thanks to business intelligence. This way, retailers take advantage of using their inventory in the most efficient way, balance their stock levels according to demand and give access to any channel of the inventory that avoids lost sales. To learn more about Omnichannel Order & Inventory Hub’s capabilities, get in touch with our experts!