Online and mobile app shopping continues to grow apace, but that doesn’t mean that shoppers don’t still use bricks and mortar stores for their purchases. Customers are interacting with brands via these multiple channels, and more and more expect to be recognised across them all. And it’s the brands that embrace this omni-channel approach to retail that are the ones that will succeed.
For example, if a customer buys from a company online, he then expects to walk into that brand’s shop and be “recognised”. The actual location where he buys is only one aspect of his customer experience. He expects a seamless experience, regardless of where the brand interaction actually takes place.
The omni-channel IT approach delivers a unified experience, between retail, ecommerce and back-end delivery, seamlessly integrating your shopping channels – web, mobile app, telephone, in-store, third-party sellers – and all your delivery channels.
So how does an omni-channel approach with your ERP benefit your retail operations?
An omni-channel approach:
- Enhances the efficiency of your core business functions
- Allows you to manage each stage of the supply chain
- Gives you a customer-centric approach
- Shows real-time visibility of stock, ordering, ecommerce sales, and financials
- Improves business intelligence and informs decision-making
- Delivers insight into all areas of your business operations
- Supports each of your sales channels
- Provides accurate stock information directly to your customers
- All functionality work off a single database, ensuring a unified approach
Rather than delivering disparate IT systems for each new channel that comes along, an end-to-end ERP system such as NetSuite can unify the purchasing experience across all the channels. NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce product, for example, unifies each stage of a business with multiple channels and locations, including ecommerce, point of sale, order management, marketing, merchandising, inventory, financials and support. The outcome is that the customer gets the same purchasing experience wherever he buys, and he sees the same view of the organisation wherever he is.
Beyond purchasing, there’s also delivery. A truly omni-channel experience also allows your customers to have delivery how they like, regardless of where they buy. So they may buy in store, and have their goods delivered later. Or buy via the telephone, or online or via a mobile app and collect in a store.
As NetSuite says, “Shop anywhere, pay anywhere and receive merchandise anywhere – that’s the omni-channel shopping experience that customers demand.”
If you operate in an omni-channel environment and would like to give your customers some of these benefits, you can call us on 020 8819 9071 or contact us.
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Shopping bags image purchased from canstockphoto.com