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From Sourcing 2 Selling: Omni Channel Integration & Automation
People shop in tunnels, in the air, and some do so while sitting in traffic. They search for different buying options for services and products equally with the expectation of a personalized buying experience whenever and wherever they shop. A recent research revealed that; “….Customers loved using the retailer’s touch points, in all sorts of combinations and places. Not only did they use smartphone apps to compare prices or download a coupon, but they were also avid users of in-store digital tools such as an interactive catalogue, a price-checker, or a tablet.” This study shows that shoppers today are in love with integrated Omni channel experiences which boosts sales.
Furthermore, the retention of customers is massive when there is Omni-channel automation and integration. With Omni-channel retail strategy, customers should be able to browse a product in-store, scan it with their app and then add it to their cart to buy at leisure. They should be able to browse online and explore social media for better choice or even a coupon to redeem. Thus the brand should make the shopping experience seamless with integration of all channels to give customers the flexibility of shopping as they like. Automation should be such that customers get notifications on their smart phones about new releases and offers.
It is said that “Customers spend more on brands with a smart Omni channel strategy.” From sourcing 2 selling Omni channel integration and automation is thus a must. From placing orders to tracking, invoices and shipping all systems must be integrated and working in sync. It is not a viable option to do things manually nor is it sustainable when a brand grows and everything has to be automated. It is therefore advisable to go in for cloud based platforms which provide process and application integrations, and data that can seamlessly connect marketplaces, web stores, CRM etc.
Automation is part and parcel of this Omni channel integration and there is the necessity of adopting artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and IoT in order to increase employee productivity and have a band of satisfied customers. Forrester Research is of the opinion that soon “service will become more ubiquitous, via speech interfaces, devices with embedded knowledge and wearable for service technicians.” So brands need to adopt these technologies at a time when the struggle is unending because of the pandemic in order to stay afloat .There is real time interaction capability and this is great for customer engagement but the integration across channels must be seamless and smooth otherwise a brand will not enjoy the competitive advantage that it is supposed to enjoy via automation and Omni channel integration. Where customer service is concerned humans can be used to handle exceptional cases otherwise automation can integrate the channels exceptionally well.
- “Omni-channel retail helps companies to generate ideas on how to create offers that will encourage their customers to come out and get engaged while shopping at the physical stores.”
- Through Omni channel sales even old stocks stand a chance to be cleared out.
- Every arm of your business is automated and in sync. Which means that order management, customer experience management, product information, dynamic pricing, inventory levels and fulfilment data are changes that must be incorporated. A single view of inventory improves efficiency of operations and the advanced customer intelligence solutions helps the retailer to improve his customer experience.
The primary step is to integrate all retail systems on one Omni channel platform that will allow data exchange and workflow automation. One must invest in technology that enables the process of integration and automation. After all “Providing a seamless shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores and through a variety of digital channels not only differentiates retailers from their peers but also gives them a competitive edge over online-only retailers by leveraging their store assets.” The time is now to adopt this strategy and gain a competitive edge.
At Eunimart we are ready for you with solutions that really shine providing an affordable and easy to use interface that will make work easier. Our solutions are tailored to suit individual business needs and we urge you to utilise them at this apt moment to stay ahead of competitors. After all “Integration saves the time, money and resources retailers can’t afford to lose in this ever-growing competitive landscape.” Let us not discount the fact that any forward-thinking retailer is at this point evolving his strategies and taking advantage of the shift to get connected experiences. The digital and physical worlds have already converged for many, and it is time for you to take the plunge. Combining online and offline touchpoints enriches customer experience and engages them further; all to the retailer’s best advantage.