Business Impact:
The advent of Omnichannel retail has transformed the retail business processes tremendously. Omnichannel retail resembles an evolution of multichannel retail, but internally it impacts the retail business in greater ways. So, what do the researchers have to say?

2/3rd of online shoppers made purchase from multiple channels in recent past. As noted by studies, Omnichannel customers are spending 208% more than the in-store customers.

Customer retention improvements have been observed for those retailers who provide exceptional Omnichannel experience. Additionally, there is a long list of empirical evidence in favour of Omnichannel retail beyond the ones already stated above.

So, what are the promising technologies for supporting the next generation retail? For example, Micro location technologies can drive personalization to the next level. It can allow sending customized notifications on customer device based on different situations. NFCs can simplify product information availability and product purchase to an enormous extent. Other advancements in cloud and analytics are perpetually improving our understanding of customer.

Omnichannel Experience:
Now in these favourable scenarios, retail solution providers have to bring about those necessary advancements in their solutions to enable a seamless Omnichannel experience. But then,

  • What does it exactly mean to provide Omnichannel experience to a shopper?
  • What are the complex customer journeys and what are customers expecting of retailers today?
  • Also, what can applications do about it?

It is evident from the recent trends that customers want to buy products anywhere, receive the product anywhere and return the product anywhere. To elaborate with an example, a shopper wants to purchase a t-shirt from web and pick up the pack from a store and in case of discrepancies he can ask the retailer to collect it back from his home. In multichannel or single channel retailing, the channel agnostic purchase and return was not feasible. This obviously implies a major modification to the retail order management, merchandise management, inventory counters etc. now. It also means that all the channels have the view of one single inventory which has to be updated on real time.

Learn More:
The corresponding whitepaper attempts to explain these changes in greater depth. It presents the work that is happening around Omnichannel retailing solutions as of today, and in future editions we shall discuss on each of these aspects in greater detail. Hope you enjoy it and please stay tuned for the next post.