In the current, highly competitive, retail climate customer expectations are higher than ever before. In order to stay relevant, it is becoming essential for retailers to offer a seamless omnichannel experience.
In this blog we explore some of the more common challenges, and what questions you should be asking yourself when embarking on an improvement in this area. This guide should act as a useful checklist for planning:
Enabling / Incentivising stores to prioritise online:
- What are the appropriate physical operational changes required to facilitate online packing from a bricks and mortar store?
- Additional Staffing / training
- And the all-important question – who get’s the credit for a store fulfilled sale?
Protecting against store stock file inaccuracies ( without reducing the sales opportunity)
- It’s common practice to use safety factors to protect store stock – but for a fashion retailer who may only stock a small number of units per size / colour, this can be too blunt an instrument
- How can we ensure we are not over-protecting stock (and therefore preventing sales) without risking cancellations?
Offering a competitive delivery proposition – without over reaching
- It’s a frustrating experience for a customer who engages on the basis of a premium delivery service (next day, nominated etc) only to find at checkout the service is not available in their area, or for the whole basket.
- How can we:
- Understand more about where the customer is upfront?
- Give clearer messaging, earlier on in the journey to avoid disappointment / frustration?
Meeting the customers delivery demands – without skyrocketing logistics costs
- Faster delivery and fewer parcels are desirable by customers
- How do we avoid the need for costly consolidation activities in the DCs and Stores by allocating orders optimally in the first place?
Enabling flexible order amendments – without placing a strain on DC operations
- Allowing customers to make a late cancellation will likely avoid unnecessary costs for an almost guaranteed return
- but how can we do this without causing disruption in large DC Operations?
Enhancing the customer experience through Call Centre – and leveraging the ability to upsell
- How to achieve robust and granular stock awareness to enable ‘save the sale’ and upselling
- How can we anticipate and communicate earlier in the process when issues occur, to avoid a poor customer experience?
Ensuring Performance for Peak Activity – without breaking the bank
- Events like Black Friday / Cyber Monday and even Singles Day are increasingly becoming the norm
- How can we prepare for and successfully navigate these sales volume peaks whilst managing IT costs?
Empowering the customer through greater self-service options
- In this digital age, customers are showing they prefer to be self-sufficient in the management of their orders
- How can we share up-to-date information to allow richer functionality through services such as ‘My Account’?
- Payments Options – for a global market
- Traditional Credit/ Debit card options may not cater for customers across all regions
- How to make sure we offer choices like Cash on Delivery, Payment up front via online transfer, and credit options to suit all needs
Business Intelligence – in real time
- Dependency on overnight reporting jobs mean business are running a day behind
- How to surface information more quickly to Business Intelligence and Operational Reporting tools to ensure we always have the latest picture