Omni-channel Retailing sounds Ominous but it’s already in the Cloud
There is a relatively new term in retail “Omni-Channel Retailing”. This is an evolution of multi-channel retailing (that this blog argued in a previous column was a misnomer and should be called cross-channel) whereby that omni-channel allows a seamless approach across all sales channels for the consumer.
Omni-Channel Retailing is certainly a new buzz word in key retail titles and blogs. But how can retailers fulfill such an approach to ensure a seamless consumer experience. For example a customer buys three products online from a retailer’s website. Two of the products are delivered next day but to different addresses, one to the customer and one as a gift to the customer’s sister. The final product is arranged to be collected from the customer’s nearest store three days later. The customer’s sister returns her product to store and switches it for a gift card to spend at a later date, thanks to the gift receipt with the product. For many retailers this would require a huge amount of work to be done to link different software systems together and then try and get them to operate in real time.
But, with a centrally served retail system all this is very simple, as it shares the same product and customer file. This means staff can see all stock levels in real time across all locations (stores, warehouses etc) and can reserve, ship, sell stock from any given location. What’s more with a central customer file staff can see the customer’s history all their past transactions and so forth. This tool also acts a central repository for customer information, a live CRM system for retailers. But, Omni-channel goes a step further and allows the retailer to share its vision and clearly communicate its goals across the business. Cloud based retail systems can also act as communication channel and allow retailers to empower their workforce through this medium.
Cloud based retail systems, like Cybertill’s, is making a huge difference to retailers in joining all their sales channels cohesively together and allowing retailers to offer their customers a seamless experience. Omni-channel retailing may be the latest buzz word, but some retailers, like Graham and Green, have been offering such a retail experience for several years. You can find out more about Cybertill’s omni-channel retail system by clicking here (although we still call it multi-channel) or by contacting us directly.