If you want to make your customer the empowering hero of your retail story, you need to deliver seamless omnichannel experiences that forge satisfaction and loyalty. Of course, you also need to drive enhanced revenue growth, better conversions, and higher average order values – across stores and online channels. Although in the last 1+ years, the pandemic forced retailers to focus on strengthening their eCommerce presence, as some stores open and eCommerce continues to grow, what does this mean for customer journeys that span channels and modes?
Retail challenges in the post-Covid economy
In the post-Covid world, retail experiences cannot be limited to a single sales channel; they need to extend across sites, stores, devices, screen sizes, and social media channels – and need to ensure consistency across all platforms. But given the rising expectations of tech-savvy customers, how can you address some of the most central challenges facing them today?
- How do you effectively implement strategies such as BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up in Store) or SFS (Ship from store)?
- How do personalize marketing campaigns, product suggestions, and cross-sell/upsell opportunities for a higher conversion rate?
- How do you re-architect, re-platform, or remodel your site for better performance and reliability?
- How do you create and bring a mobile-first, customer-centric design to life? How do you sustain it?
- How do you effectively cater to peak surges in demand during the holiday season?
An omnichannel strategy for seamless retail experiences
An omnichannel growth strategy is critical not just to improve customer satisfaction or drive better sales; it also helps boost customer loyalty and retention. By designing all your processes, touch-points, and channels to specifically serve the needs of your customer, you can enable a seamless experience across merchandising, payments, and warehouse management. Here’s how you can deliver the best omnichannel experiences to your customers in today’s dynamic retail landscape:
- Leverage microservices to drive agility: In today’s dynamic retail landscape, quickly adapting to trends is the only way to survive. Microservices provide a great way for retails to drive business agility across channels and devices and stay a step ahead of customers and competition. Combined with a headless, low-code/no-code architecture makes it easy for you to build new features and solutions and quickly respond to demand – with little or no coding – and seamlessly extend the paradigm of a gratifying shopping experience. So, whether you need to update your POS system or integrate analytics into your eCommerce web design, microservices can make it happen quickly and easily.
- Focus on in-store digitization: In addition to revamping your eCommerce site via modern digital technologies, it is also important to cater to customers who are slowly beginning to return to your brick-and-mortar stores. Delivering store-centric commerce and consumer apps become extremely essential to create a shopping experience that is as gratifying as the online experience. Using the power of AI, you can bring personalization to store applications and campaigns, transform in-store shopping experiences and move from transaction efficiency to experience optimization.
- Enable third-party integration: With the IT ecosystem constantly expanding, integrating enterprise data and third-party services can ensure every interaction your customers have with your business is optimized – regardless of the device they’re using or where they are located in the shopping journey. Bringing all major POS, merchandising, ERP, and Order Management platforms and all 3rd party services such as Reviews, Personalization, Campaign Management, GTM, etc. together can provide a better understanding of what challenges your customers are facing. That will tell you how conversion rates can be increased by delivering more fulfilling customer experiences.
- Up your inventory and order management game: Investing in advanced inventory and order management capabilities are also critical to delivering seamless omnichannel experiences while achieving better returns on the inventory – and thus lesser lost sales. Modern solutions not only enable the visibility of inventory across DC, Stores, Suppliers, and other logistic partners; they also enable the power to receive, transfer, and return inventory across channels – allowing you to arrive at a better business logic to allocate and replenish inventory across channels. Such granular visibility into inventory can help you optimize deliveries and align them with customer transactions in real-time.
- Always update payment models: The payments landscape is constantly undergoing transformation. As customers get used to digital convenience and benefits, you will be required to always update your payment models and methods – so the checkout process is quick and seamless. With contactless payments becoming a hot trend in the post-Covid era, bringing in new models such as Chip and Pin, NFC, or PayPal is critical to mobilize point of sale and drive exceptional customer experiences
The customers of tomorrow no longer want responsive interactions; they are increasingly seeking adaptive interactions that best suit them as individuals – and for their particular device. As a retailer, the only way you can achieve this is by enabling omnichannel integration that is future-proof and scalable – across processes, channels, and touch-points.
A strong omnichannel strategy can allow you to architect and integrate data sets from multiple sources and achieve a unified view of data in real-time across the entire retail spectrum. The right strategy will also allow you to get insight into challenges and opportunities from an enterprise-wide perspective, fulfill and process orders in the right manner, at the right place, and at the right time, and optimally serve the needs of the customer.