The practicality of endless aisle when supply chain delays cause in-store stockouts
In retail’s busiest months when supply chains are most strained, stores face stockouts that translate to lost sales and potentially lost customers.
Endless aisle improves a brand’s ability to satisfy customers by offering a more robust product selection.
Online, selections are virtually limitless; endless aisle solutions allow traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to effectively compete and save sales.
Extending in-store inventory
True omnichannel offerings match, complement, and sync customers’ online and mobile experiences with that of an in-store visit.
Endless Aisle can be achieved simply at your store by offering inventory visibility to both customers and associates through mobile touchpoints.
For example: While that Michael Kors bag may not be on the shelf in hot pink, it is an available color offered by the brand.
Using an in-store mobile device, a customer can peruse all the brand’s selections, and an associate can place the order for any desired color—as well as any matching accessories—and have it delivered to the customer’s home.
Though the delivery will still have to pass through the same supply chains, the customer is satisfied in knowing the item has been purchased and is on its way, rather than feeling the frustration of not getting the item upon which they had set their hopes.
Checking stock availability for BOPIS
In addition to extending the in-store experience, Endless Aisle can manage a number of tasks for at-home shoppers as well.
That includes stock visibility for those who want to check whether a product is available before heading in-store to purchase, as well as those who simply want to pick up their online orders at a retail location.
Buying online and picking up in store (“BOPIS”) has significantly increased due to COVID-19: Research firm McKinsey reported in the early stages the global pandemic that BOPIS usage grew 28 percent year over year in February compared with 18 percent in January.
For those shoppers wanting to avoid the ecommerce delivery wait with impacted supply chains, getting visibility into in-store stock availability helps them leave the house with a plan and a high probability of its success.
Saving sales for out-of-stocks
It’s estimated that 10% of online and in-store sales are lost due to items being out of stock.
It’s even possible that, if potential customers are turned away, they may never return, compounding the loss of revenue.
Providing associates with quick and easy one-touch access to inventory of a network of stores or warehouses reduces the likelihood of losing sales, especially when the product is in stock at another store location.
Creating a personal shopper experience
Endless Aisle solutions offer retailers flexibility with inventory: Stores don’t have to stock every single item.
They can showcase best-selling items in their (often very) expensive retail space.
Pricey or very large items can be represented on the retail floor, and a full complement can be viewed in-store within the Endless Aisle on a mobile device, with an associate close at hand to answer any questions.
In that way, salespeople become trusted advisors, instantly accessing detailed product information and stock availability, searching for products in other store locations and within warehouses.
AI-generated style recommendations can help round out a sale with perfect add-on accessories.
Orders are placed directly and can be sent right to the customer’s home or business.
By avoiding lost sales and delighting customers with virtually limitless options, Endless Aisle technology can boost revenue and sales.
An effective Endless Aisle solution blends the best part of online and in-store shopping, helping you outpace the competition.
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