Shoppers love the convenience of online shopping, but still want the benefits of visiting in-store, which is why having an omnichannel presence is so important.
A unified commerce experience means shoppers can start in-store and finish the purchase online – or vice versa. Returns are easy and customers can even plan their in-store trips with updated inventory available at a mouse click.
Driving both online and in-store sales
Unified retail can offer the customer flexibility to shop how and when they want, while also giving them targeted and appropriate offers and recommendations that are exclusive and will enrich the overall experience.
Digital doesn’t just drive e-commerce; it also gets people in stores.
Smartphones have become a personal shopping assistant for people once they’re inside. Marketing strategies must therefore accommodate customers and help them buy products and services on any channel.
Research has found that omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel. Unified retail helps convert shoppers to buyers seamlessly and with minimal effort on their part.
Stop the Silo
Many retailers are still running on systems that operate independently of each other, with data unintegrated between the two systems.
Siloed information stores information in separate databases and servers. A better system communicates between data and connects all applications, including e-commerce but also POS, back office, vendor supply chain, mobile and order management.
That type of integration can mean, for example, that inventory can easily be moved from a web warehouse to a store and associates can anticipate and plan for that shipment.
Better stock visibility and operational time savings like this can help retailers improve decision making and efficiency, which will be key to scaling brand growth.
Create Better Profiles
With siloed data, brick and mortar retailers only see a subset of information about their customers – the part that is reflected by in-store sales. Likewise, e-commerce sites can only recommend products based on previous online purchases.
Investing in a 360-degree view of the customer provides holistic visibility and provides data on which to base predictive models.
Customer information can be varied and may include: past purchases, contact information, size preferences, website browsing history, wish list, and customer service interactions.
Armed with more complete customer profiles, retailers can shape more personalized offers and experiences, helping customers get what they need and enjoy from the retailer.
Calling all Products
Retailers seeking to unify commerce should determine how product information should be formatted, and then consolidate all of it into a single location.
That will result in fewer redundancies and errors in product information and will allow you to trace and manage products more easily. Retailers should also invest in technology that helps associates check inventory in real-time on the sales floor.
A better handle on products and their availability will help retailers ensure customers don’t leave disappointed by out of stock situations but rather have their need met, even if via a different store in te retailer’s chain.
Unified retail is the next step in providing superior customer experiences. By implementing solutions that work to provide enhanced communication between inventory and the customer, retailers will see more robust sales and, potentially, repeat business due to a more responsive, personalized experience.