September 15, 2017

A major component in a business success is measured by the customer experience. Is the company able to produce a seamless and satisfying experience for the customer no matter where and how they may have interacted with your brand? You can’t just have a great online shopping experience or a brick and mortar store that has loyal customers. Instead, each retail channel needs to work together, creating a shopping experience that’s completely seamless. The outcome of this is customers spending more, returning more often and recommending your business to others.

This seamless integration if you don’t already know is Omni-channel. Omni channel is exactly what is described above, Omni-channel displays the way modern consumers taker their own paths to purchase through any retail channels you offer. That being said, imagine yourself as your customer and consider the end to end experience. Below are a few ways to enhance your Omni-channel:

1. Improve inventory visibility
It is important to know the status of inventory, between distribution centers or retail locations. Retailers have become pretty adept at fulfilling order from either of these stocking locations, but increasingly they are being pressed to accurately anticipate inventory levels tomorrow, and to even re-route inventory in-transit. A central, real-time view of inventory, further and further up the supply chain, can help with this.

2. Enhance mobile experience
A study done by eCommerce states 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last six months. Mobile is the connection between online shopping and physical stores. eCommerce reports that 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews compare prices or find alternative store locations. With this information in hand, companies can enhance and analyze mobile shopping data to create and experience the best suits customer needs.

3. Focus on Transportation
There are many ways to get a product from a brick and mortar retail store or distribution center to a customer’s home. The difficult part is finding the most effective and efficient transportation node to ensure that you are keeping customers happy, while minimizing the fulfillment costs. Choosing the right shipping method for the right customer situation is crucial to Omni-channel.

4. Include a ship to store policy
According to JDA 73% of consumers expect to “click and collect” or purchase online while picking up in the store. Implementing this policy also benefits the company as two in five shoppers have made an additional purchase during an in store pick up. Also, 86% of customers expect to be allowed to return online orders in stores.

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