Compared to the traditional single-channel retail model, in which retailers rely only on either offline or online selling of products, multi-channel has added greater convenience for customers. Through the multi-channel model, you are able to make a purchase from multiple devices and online platforms. To take things one step further, is the omnichannel retail model which takes advantage of both the online and offline customer experience.
It taps into website campaigns, email and text marketing, social media and print advertising to expand the brand’s reach to various channels working at the same time. Through its dynamic digital presence, omnichannel retail also gives customers an instant and continuous stream of content that solidifies the experience the product offers and builds brand loyalty. Despite the benefits it brings to customers, creating a seamless omnichannel model for your retail business does have its challenges. In this blog post, we’ve decided to shine the light on four major ones and possible ways to solve them.
1. Data Synchronization
With so much information to analyze from multiple channels, mistakes are bound to happen. Data loss and misinterpretation of customer trends and purchase interests and patterns happens without a solid omnichannel strategy in place. We advise retailers to stick to a single reliable enterprise-grade eCommerce system like SAP Hybris or IBM Websphere Commerce, which helps streamline operations smoothly and handles multiple customer touch-points. Reach out to our eCommerce Team, to further discuss the benefits of replatforming your online business.
2. Channel Conflicts
All of your channels should be monitored equally; however it is often the case that attention is paid in one certain area, which leads to others lagging behind. This means that not all channels are fully integrated with one another, and have different control and distribution. Prioritizing one channel over another is not effective, as it may lead to missing orders. Omnichannel retailers must keep up to date with inventory data for each channel and measure sales growth respectively.
3. Lack of Visibility
It’s very hard to offer great products tailored to a specific customer base without clear inventory visibility. Now, add all of those channels into the mix. What happens when you’ve listed 2-day delivery, but the item arrives 2 weeks later? What if there is different item information across channels? Or worse, you realize the item is out of stock. Besides having an effective order fulfillment process in place, gaining visibility is critical for making forecasts for future product demand. Your eCommerce platform should have automated inventory management for real-time inventory data and tracking.
4. Ineffective Logistics
Just as making a purchase should be an easy, pleasurable experience, so should returning an item and asking for a refund. Your product may have arrived damaged, or it might have been the wrong size, color or style from what the customer ordered. A simple return process that’s accessible from any channel and device is critical to keep customer satisfaction up. Shipment status and tracking is also an important feature paired with constant communication, which should both be implemented in order to alleviate the stress of your customer and keep them updated.
Create a Great Omnichannel Customer Experience
The first step to improving your omnichannel retail model, is being aware of the challenges and facing them head on. Scalefocus is here to help. Our eCommerce Team is able to provide full replatforming, custom chat bots, integration with international shipping and warehouse providers, and sophisticated affiliate management which will all take your omnichannel customer experience to the next level. Reach out to our industry experts to discuss the course of action that’s best for your business.