At its core, omnichannel experiences focus on improving the buyer’s journey and brand experience. It represents the desire and need to ensure customers get what they want, when they want it. However, the pandemic shifted the world of retailer, accelerating and solidifying omnichannel as no longer a nice-to-have but an essential for survival. So much so that 45% of retailers admitted to adding new channels to their retail strategies.
However before companies rush to roll out a new omnichannel plan, a business needs to understand the capabilities and constraints of their business set up and the tools they use. Ideally you want to ensure your inventory levels are optimized to fulfill orders and your customers get the personal experience they expect.
Inventory Fulfillment Capabilities and Integrated Delivery
Today, customers expect creative fulfillment channels–whether operating online, in-store, or both. The first thing a modern omnichannel retail strategy needs is flexibility: to ensure real-time inventory levels are always optimized so a business is capable of fulfilling orders, no matter where they come from.
Retailers need to make products accessible to buy via:
- At-home and community hub deliveries via websites or apps with order tracking
- In-store pick-ups for same-day online orders
- Try-before-buying experiences and product demos
- Availability of products through brand partnerships and concession stores
Products also need to be easily exchanged, replaced or refunded. Some customers might want to scan items, drop them off and track returns or head directly into the store. Give customers the option on how to return items that best suit their needs and create a positive brand association so customers come back time and time again.
Add Personalization into the Customer Experience
In order to take customer experience to the next level, a business must invest in personalization.
As customers transition into post-pandemic life, they desire a rich online shopping experience with the same detail, personalization and convenience as in-store shopping. This new trend–called clicks-to-bricks–is a retail strategy that blends online and in-store shopping to form a complete omnipresent customer experience.
It’s imperative to understand your customer on an individual level and connect them to your brand. What this might look like in practice is tailoring ads, offers, discounts and reward campaigns to fit each customer. Start a customer’s personalization journey campaigns online with the goal of facilitating in-store purchases or pick-ups.
How Centric Planning Can Perfect Your Omnichannel Strategy
Once a business knows what’s needed, it’s time to invest in the right tools. Businesses need to synchronize all data in one place, enabling retailers to coordinate and execute complex order and fulfillment strategies with stringent data organization, real-time supply chain updates and transparent cross-team communication.
Centric Planning is that tool. It optimizes inventory data aggregation in order to package, track and deliver all orders, deliveries and returns no matter which channel, with time and cost-efficiency at the forefront.
Plus, when it’s time to drive engagement through a personalized, customer-first approach, Centric Planning enables teams to leverage dynamic usage of buyer behavior reports, predictive models and machine learning to gain a full view of what customers are buying at any store, city or country level and understand which items sell quicker online or in-store. Use this modeling to better predict next season’s best sellers to have the right stock in the right places.
Without a digitally transformative tool, adapting your omnichannel strategy to adhere to fluctuating consumer trends is no easy task. Fortunately, Centric Planning offers a data-driven solution that is easy to integrate, manage and customize. Enabling businesses to have an omnichannel strategy is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity to stay relevant and competitive into to survive the retail landscape today.