Did you know retailers who offer multiple channels for placing an order are more successful than those who do not? Employing an omnichannel strategy can ensure higher success in the long run.
If you’re ready to put your business idea in to practise, or you want to experience favourable outcomes with an existing eCommerce venture, then it’s time to adopt an omnichannel strategy.
This brief tutorial on omnichannel shopping for eCommerce will help you to get started.
What is omnichannel retail?
Before designing any shopping experience, it’s crucial to understand it. Omnichannel retail allows customers transactions to take place on multiple platforms; it can either be in-store, online (website, social media, etc.), or via phone (voice or text message).
Offering more than one option for placing an order creates an omnichannel shopping experience.
How to monitor inventory with multiple sales channels
One of the first items to look at when leveraging various sales channels is your inventory management.
Whether you are setting up a new eCommerce business idea, or you’re selling in-store, online, and via telephone, you need to make sure that your product monitoring is seamlessly integrated. Luckily, modern technology makes it easy.
Easily integrate your eCommerce platform with inventory tracking software. Then, use the same software to track all transactions that take place through other sales channels.
Use these tips for efficient inventory management
Although apps will streamline the process of inventory management for products sold through your website, other channels will require new procedures to be effective. Here’s how to ensure your new omnichannel retail strategy is successful.
1. Set reasonable goals
Before you embark upon an upgraded inventory management approach, you need to be clear what your goals are. In this case, the goal might be “to optimise automation of inventory management across all sales channels.”
2. Note all of your warehouses, vendors, and required software
You’ll need a complete list of your stores, vendors, and the software you use before moving on to the next step.
If you need a different set of software for the phone and in-store sales than you use on your website, be sure that it will integrate with the order processing software on your site.
“Before designing any shopping experience, it’s crucial to understand it. Omnichannel retail breaks the mold and allows customers transactions to take place on multiple platforms.
It is best to use as few pieces of software as possible while providing maximum automation.
3. Write a new plan of action
As with all changes to business processes, it is key to write out your strategy. An adequate inventory management plan includes your general inventory policy and goals as well as any items unique to your business.
4. Create policies for all sales representatives
Your official plan should contain all of your policies. Still, you should create a separate document that simplifies the strategy for your sales representatives. Each person who will be assisting with order transactions should have an easy-to-read copy of your policies so that they know what to expect, can help customers to the best of their ability, and to ensure that you execute your plan correctly.
5. Check up on your strategy from time to time
In your plan, it doesn’t hurt to pencil in quarterly, monthly, or even weekly check-ins to the success of your plan, especially during the initial stages.
The only way to make sure your inventory management plan is successful is to monitor it. When you notice something isn’t working, make an effort to remedy the situation. Eventually, you will hone your processes.
6. Don’t be afraid to leverage state-of-the-art technology
Some of the most successful companies in the world are where they are because they are willing to take bold actions. While it may not seem necessary to leverage advanced technology and devices, you definitely shouldn’t rule it out as an option.
Going the extra mile to create a unique shopping experience could be the next step toward seeing your company on the Fortune 500 list. Check out these smart ideas for integrating advanced technology into an omnichannel retail approach
7. Make use of virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) isn’t just a sci-fi future fantasy anymore – it’s here, and it’s now. Two years ago in Spain, Leroy Merlin revolutionised retail by offering Oculus Rift as a visualizer to showcase ready-built kitchens. Customers can see their could-be kitchen in a VR setting.
The software was designed by Virtualware and is accessible from anywhere (in-store or at the customer’s home). Take your VR retail to the next level by accessorising with branded Oculus skins on your in-store headsets.
8. Find out if “smart” shipping software is right for you
In the age of technology, you can’t get away with pursuing an omnichannel (or even eCommerce-only) retail strategy without exploring the current innovations to transportation management systems (TMS).
Smart shipping software automates nearly every process of order fulfillment and delivery, taking significant guesswork, time, and effort out of logistics operations.
Here are the clues that it’s time to invest in smart shipping software
- You need more than your current system offers.
- There are signs that you could be saving money on your fulfillment processes, but you aren’t sure how.
- Warehouse mistakes or lost or damaged packages are beginning to impact your return on investment negatively.
- You are launching or trying to improve an omnichannel retail experience.
- You want to provide enhanced customer service with more automation.
To create an exceptional omnichannel shopping experience for your customers, follow the advice above. Along with other online marketing tools for retail sites, leverage inventory tracking software to automate management across all sales channels. Use the inventory management tips to create and implement a strategy for successful retail.
Go out on a limb to integrate advanced technology into your processes.