87% of consumers are interested in a
personalized and consistent experience
across all channels.
Coupled with the fact that 71% of retailers plan
to offer their customers the ability to “start the
sale anywhere, finish the sale anywhere,” and
it’s obvious that no brand can afford to resist the
omnichannel movement as the retail environment
continues to shift.
Digital technologies are influencing the customer
experience across all channels. To compete, retailers
must rely on robust technology that allows them
to collect the data most relevant to their business,
integrates with best-of-breed retail technology
partners and gives them a 360-degree view of their
enterprise in real time.
Merging this data, personalization and inventory visibility
across all channels is necessary to create a seamless
experience and optimize the omnichannel environment.
So, here are five keys to unlocking omnichannel success:
1) Personalize Everything
With eighty percent of consumers saying they are
more likely to do business with a company that offers
personalized experiences, it’s obvious that the ability
to personalize customer interactions is critical to
Retailers must consistently collect customer data, learn
their preferences and engage in relevant conversations
across all channels. Personalization enables brands and
retailers to demonstrate that they know the customer,
enhance the effectiveness of their marketing and
increase spend and loyalty. Having the right systems
in place can help support those personalization
initiatives by enabling associates to access customer
profiles with shopping history, and create personalized
recommendations through the data.
2) Create a Seamless Experience
Customers now expect the same experience and
quality of service whether they’re shopping in store,
online, through a mobile app or any other channel.
This is especially critical considering that so many
consumers shift channels multiple times throughout
their shopping journey. Almost half of all in-store
purchases stem from an online review, and more than
45% of users consult their smartphones before making
a purchase in the store.
Merging the experience across channels requires
cohesive branding and messaging alongside the
technology and systems that support it. Point of
sale and e-commerce platforms must integrate
seamlessly, with sales, orders, inventory and
customer data all syncing between them in real
time. Customer profiles are especially vital, as retail
enterprises will not be able to get a holistic view of
their shoppers—no matter where or how they browse
or spend—without such, leading to missed marketing,
personalization and targeting opportunities.
And in a more literal sense, the consumers’ desire
to start the sale anywhere, end the sale anywhere is
increasing demand for Buy Online, Pick Up in Store
(BOPIS) and Buy Online, Return in Store (BORIS)
options, which also can only be achieved through
integrated e-commerce and POS systems.
3) Use Data to Drive Decisions
Brand leaders expect to hire 50% more data
scientists in the next three years.4 Data is now the
currency of the digital economy, and in the retail
sector it supports everything from marketing and
product selection to supply chain and returns.
Knowing your customers’ interests, how they convert,
what messaging they respond to and where they prefer
fulfillment to occur can help optimize the omnichannel
experience. Nearly half of all shoppers say that they
could obtain better service if physical stores had
information about the online research they conducted
before arriving in store.
The most effective omnichannel retailers are using data
to drive personalization and engagement, while also
identifying ways to better source and price products and
inventory to capitalize on trends related to margin, sell through
and conversion rates.
4) Manage Inventory Effectively
Inventory management and visibility are critical in the
anywhere-anytime retail environment, yet many retailers
are failing to hit the mark: a recent study found tha
shoppers encountered out-of-stock items in one of every
three shopping trips, costing the industry $1 trillion in
Cloud-based systems offer retailers the opportunity to
view inventory across all channels and save sales in
the process. An integrated POS system allows them
to create custom inventory reports to identify trends,
as well as view more granular data to optimize product
selection, price and positioning.
5) Remain Flexible and Scale for Growth
No one can fully predict what the industry will look
like in five, ten or twenty years, but one guarantee
is that it will continue to constantly change and
evolve. Technologies such as IoT, AI and machine
learning, robotics, digital traceability, augmented
reality and blockchain will influence new models
and ways of shopping.
Retailers and brands will have to remain agile to stay
competitive as new devices, applications and strategies
reduce friction in shopping and blur the lines between
channels. Whether it’s deploying tablets to associates
on the sales floor, piloting a new IoT device or opening a
seasonal pop-up shop, a flexible cloud-based POS system
can make it easy to adopt new technologies and adapt
to the new customer channels required to thrive in an
Highly flexible, comprehensive and data-centric
functionality that gives you the edge to compete.
Heartland Retail is a powerful cloud POS and retail management platform designed for retailers, by retailers. With robust inventory, order, promotions, tax, reporting and customer management tools, the software is easy to use, easy to deploy and delivers actionable real-time data across the entire enterprise. Watch a demo or schedule a consultation to learn how our platform addresses the unique needs of board specialty retailers.
BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that Heartland Retail is a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner who is currently offering an exclusive promotion for all BRA Distinguished Retail Members. Be sure to mention BRA when connecting with Jonathan and the good people behind this outstanding resource.
– Doug Works, Executive Director BRA
If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form