Customers love retailers with omnichannel strategies. Shopping is on their terms: They can choose the time, the location and – if they change their minds – the way to make the return.
No longer are the channels online stores and brick and mortars; today, a brand can also sell products through pop up storefronts as well as Instagram and Snap Chat.
It’s all about connecting with customers at their convenience.
When retailers give customers the flexibility to choose the way they shop, they are also able to connect and provide personalized promotions and timely recommendations. OptCulture for Retail Pro opens up the ability to create personalized promotions and loyalty programs by unifying customer data across channels.
With so many points of engagement between customers and brands, scaling operations is challenging.
Today’s shoppers don’t consider brick and mortar and online stores separate shopping destinations. Instead, they expect unified experiences across every touch point. Retail Pro Prism makes it possible to offer this convenient, omnichannel buying experience.
Order Management and flexible fulfilment
Order Management is critical for a holistic commerce strategy. It connects omnichannel demand to omnichannel supply.
Buyers have insight into inventory across all sales channels, accurately and in real time.
Retail store associates, dropshippers, warehouses, distribution centers and third-party fulfillment providers use commerce technology to fill and deliver orders efficiently.
A system that has communication between each channel and allows seamless management of inventory and stock replenishment to take place is important for providing omnichannel and minimizing strain on your supply chain and operations.
Determining the best fulfillment options means finding solutions that shorten the distance to the customer, increase delivery speed, and reduce costs.
The omnichannel model emphasizes shipping from decentralized inventory sources, such as ship-from-store, buy online pick-up in-store, ship from a partner, or drop-ship from a manufacturer.
Making the right decision improves customer service, because delivery is quick, accurate and cost-effective. Ensuring the ‘last mile’ is optimized by collecting the data in a centralized visual analytics tool saves you money, time, and frustrated customers.
In a warehouse fulfillment model, orders are picked using a variety of methods, including discrete, zone, or wave picking or any combination.
Filling orders from a store limits the type of picking that can be done and retailers often use discrete picking and fill one order at a time. The benefit to in-store picking, however, is the proximity to the customer, who may opt for curbside pickup, eliminating shipping charges.
Curbside pickup has its advantages for shoppers in a rush but for retailers, enticing customers inside to make additional purchases has bottom-line benefits.
However, Pick-up-in-store customer personas are different from an online-only or in-store-only customer personas: They want immediate gratification — they can’t or won’t wait for shipping.
This is a demanding group that generally has little tolerance for friction during pickup. Therefore, clear, precise messaging about when the order will be ready and instructions for pickup are imperative. The pickup process can be made even more streamlined and convenient with Retail Pro Prism mobile POS.
And the pickup purchase process should be quick and easy for customers and employees. Customers’ perceived value of in-store pickup will evaporate if they can find the item on the floor faster.
Inventory management strategies and shipping
Shipping from the store can get customers their orders delivered more quickly. But other times, the warehouse is closer to the customer.
Having the option to ship from one location or the other is critical for flexibility and to keep customers satisfied.
In-store cycle counting can help by keeping inventory counts up to date and confirmed, so at fulfillment time products are where they are expected to be.
When they aren’t, sometimes items have simply been misplaced: an RFID system can help locate them very quickly. With RIOT RFID for Retail Pro, retailers can locate items out of the line of sight and complete inventory counts in a matter of minutes at an affordable price.
Customers have high expectations of how their shopping experiences should unfold, and retailers have a full plate managing and fulfilling orders while recognizing the unique characteristics of every consumer.
What delights one customer may not work for another. Retailers must be flexible and willing to implement customer feedback to create an efficient, intuitive customer experience that, ultimately, is profitable.
Retail Pro Prism POS gives you the flexibility and customization needed to connect your physical and digital store experience: offer customers fulfillment options, empower associates to order specific products from another store, discover shopper insights, and more.