Easily Manage Your Omni-Channel Retailing with
To keep ahead of the competition, businesses need to look for new places to trade and find new customers. The retail trade has evolved rapidly over the past decade due to the advancements in technology and the way we shop – with access to a global range of products and the ability to shop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Omni-channel retailing is a term used to describe a relatively seamless combination of online offerings with a physical presence on high streets and other locations, often with the option of using the telephone to place orders or contact the customer service department.
E-commerce sales are expected to reach £271 billion by 2018, illustrating e-commerce is here to stay. Consequently, it is important retailers embrace the opportunities Omni-channel retailing offers. Retailers who do not get it right may struggle and lose out to competitors as the retail environment becomes tougher than ever, with consumers demanding even more freedom of choice. In this blog I will show you why businesses must consider the Omni-channel approach and how NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce and Eureka Suite Apps for NetSuite can help you manage an Omni-channel retailing presence through one unified system.
What is the Difference between Omni-Channel and Multi-Channel?
Omni-channel retailing takes multi-channel retailing a stage further. It aims towards a more holistic approach and provides an overall better customer experience. Multi-channel provides various different methods for purchasing but these are often completely independent of each other. Omni-channel retailing entails a link between all the available channels. For example, many companies now have a collect in store feature where the items can be reserved online and then collected by the customer from the physical store. In addition, there are numerous options to consumers when it comes to returning goods as they regularly have a choice of returning items via: in store, by courier, post office and by drop off collection services.
Successful Omni-Channel Retailers
There are plenty of examples of retailers who have notched up significant sales by combining their websites with their traditional physical outlets. For example, a well-known high street catalogue store has reported strong results by combining their websites, shops and a TV shopping channel to great effect. The provision of a check-and-reserve option also provides a more convenient, hassle-free service allowing you to reserve items at your chosen store without having to pay for the items online.
A certain tool catalogue retailer has also adopted the Omni-channel approach across multiple platforms with an app which allows you to reserve items from a mobile device and collect your order using the device in-store. It generates a reservation number and all you need to do is show this at the counter and collect the goods. Trading across multiple platforms not only creates the potential for extra sales but the Omni-channel approach also creates a better customer experience. Using an app allows the customer to reserve items on the go and then quickly collect the items at their convenience.
Those who will succeed in the increasingly hard fought battle for sales will be those who adapt to the online revolution, but do not forget to offer people a choice of how they want to transact. Some want to transact online, others by phone, others face to face – consumers’preferences vary hence why we at Eureka Solutions offer numerous systems and bespoke modules allowing us to tailor systems to suit organisations exact requirements.
What Are The Challenges Faced by Organisations Running Multiple Ecommerce Systems?
One major challenge faced by organisations running an Omni-channel operation is the multiple disparate systems they are running, for example: website platform, credit card processing, EPoS system, promotional pricing across different sales channels, accounting, stock, returns management, inventory. The running of these disparate systems can result in various issues including the manual re-keying of information, the maintenance and support integration between systems and stock quantity issues which may occur due to the separate nature of the systems. By introducing NetSuite SuiteCommerce, this could be a thing of the past.
How Can NetSuite SuiteCommerce Improve Your Omni-Channel Retailing Presence?
- Eliminates the integration between separate systems – SuiteCommerce is one integrated commerce platform with unified ecommerce, POS, inventory, order management, marketing, financials and business intelligence.
- Run your business more effectively – gain unprecedented real-time visibility across your sales channels by bringing all sources of data into a single system.
- Improved data collection – visibility across channels will generate a customised shopping experience. Retailers who can track customers across channels and understand their preferences can better serve their clients – for example capture their attention with certain promotions and related product launches.
- Enhance productivity – retaining customer data makes it easier to build loyalty between you and your end-users.
- Increase sales – retailers who have inventory visibility and availability in the customer’s preferred channel have a better opportunity to settle a sale – consumers who shop across channels are likely to spend more with their favourite retailers.
- Flexible solution – cloud-based systems provide your business with flexibility and adaptability required to keep up with the pace of business, reduce operational costs, increase efficiencies and remove the requirement of managing in-house hardware and software.
Multi-channel retailing has become prevalent with larger companies and many are already progressing to the next stage of an Omni-channel. The economic climate may be improving but businesses cannot afford to wait for a full recovery. Shopping habits are changing and customers may not return to their original habits. Any company regardless of size should consider the Omni-channel approach to maximise sales, retain customer loyalty and find new customers and markets. SuiteCommerce can streamline your business operations and help you run your Omni-channels more efficiently.