The Era of Merged Omnichannel Store and E-commerce
The shift of consumer spend towards e-commerce has been the major retail headline in 2020, and one of the main implications of this shift is the enhanced role omnichannel has come to play for retailers. In the 2020 timeframe, online retail traffic grew 207% over 2019, Queue-it shows us. However, this data doesn’t mean there is one channel for retailers to focus on. Quite the contrary of this saying, with the new customer habit, retailers should find a way to use all their channels, both online and offline, effectively. By now all players in the retail industry must know that this can only be achieved through integrated technologies.
So are retailers ready for this early rise of e-commerce? It seems that they are still providing not-so-integrated offerings in-store, on the website, and on mobile. This lack of integration is leaving customers disappointed and causing retailers loss of revenue, however, retailers are now also realizing -faster than ever- the real advantages of going omnichannel and leveraging this technology to maximize their efficiency and provide the best service possible to their customers.
For a retailer to be able to provide an omnichannel experience to the customer is essential nowadays for the purposes of increasing satisfaction and efficiency. They must rely on real-time data supported by automation that can analyze information to develop the customer profile, and to keep track of store delivery and returns, also, track in-store inventory, store performance, and order fulfillment. Monitoring and controlling the lifecycle of an order is also critical in order to bring the omnichannel experience into life.
The omnichannel experience also involves the store associates offering better services such as enabling store customers to buy from all inventories, (including e-commerce) or to have them easily pick up their e-commerce orders from stores or to return online purchased items easily from the most convenient store. All these scenarios sound easy to implement, however they involve quite complex operational processes for retailers and can only be made possible with the help of omnichannel technologies.
New generation shoppers are considered a force with significant buying power. They are tech-savvy and always checking their smartphones to find the things they need and want to get. As much as this generation is considered very digital, they still preferred going to the store before the Covid pandemic and buying their products in person while also favoring interacting with the brand online. This has created an opportunity for store owners to leverage the omnichannel strategy.
To appeal to these generations and stay relevant, retailers have been looking to embrace innovative solutions. Nowadays physical stores are not preferred as they used to be and retailers will have to find other ways to leverage stores in order to maximize their potential capacity and turn them to profit centers.
Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, stores are not exactly the places people would like to go and spend ample time as the precautions have been stricken. These stores, however, could be positioned as mini distribution, delivery & return centers with the help of omnichannel technologies. This scenario will require a merged display of all inventories including warehouses, marketplaces, offline and online stores. When implemented properly, omnichannel order and inventory management systems will most efficiently optimize fulfillment and will help retailers maximize store capacity which has been dramatically reduced since the beginning of the pandemic.
If retailers can accomplish the implementation of an order and inventory management platform where the inventory is centralized and the order can be monitored and controlled throughout its lifecycle, it will lead to a point where the customer can order from anywhere without facing an out-of-stock warning and retailers can fulfill the order from every inventory they own. With the help of such a system, customers can easily process their online purchased items from a nearby store. The flexibility of delivery and return services such as BOPIS, BORIS, etc. is more critical than ever as touching and seeing the product still matters. What is required to survive for the retailer is the ability and agility to use the resources effectively. With Shopi’s Order & Inventory Hub, whether your online store is popular or not, you will always be on the safe side while managing your inventory and omnichannel order processes and controlling your operation 360 degrees in real-time. To learn more about how Shopi’s Order & Inventory Hub works, feel free to contact us any time!