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5 Big Benefits of Real Omni-channel Integration

March 3rd, 2015

Category: Customer Relationship Management, ERP Enterprise Resource Planning, Online Retailing, Point Of Sale Systems, Retail Business News

Omni-channel retail integration is essential

If there was any doubt that you need to implement a true omni-channel retailing system, that doubt was well and truly blown way at the recent NRF’s “Retail’s Big Show” in New York.

As one respected tweeter put it “I must have heard the words “omni-channel” and “solution” uttered a million times each at #nrf15”

But it is not just about having your products available for purchase through multiple channels including in-store, your online store, eBay, Google Shopping and Facebook.  All channels must be fully integrated to provide consistent information across the channels, and to successfully manage the increasing complexity of facilities your customers are demanding, including “Click and Collect”.

Here are some compelling reasons why you need to fully integrate all your sales channels now!

Consistency of Product Information.

Customers now expect to be able to access detailed information about the products they are considering to purchase.  Your sales associates will also find this information useful.

You can hope that customers find detailed information about your products elsewhere and then come back and purchase from you, but the reality is that they are most likely to buy from the place that provides the information they require. eBay power sellers have proven  that they need to provide detailed product information if they want to increase conversion rates of browsers to buyers.

Creating detailed product information can be a big task, and ensuring that information is available, and consistent, across your various sales channels can be a nightmare.  The CONTROL retail ERP solution solves this problem by allowing you to manage product information on your various sales channels from a single point. Create item titles, images, short descriptions (teasers), full descriptions, specifications, and more for all your channels with a single update.

This will provide the information that your customers are expecting while minimising the effort required to provide it.

Click and Collect.

Allowing customers the option to buy online and pickup in store or “click and collect” is a very popular innovation. Customers like it because it saves delivery charges, can reduce the time it takes to get an item, and delivery is just not suitable for many customers.

Retailers love “Click and Collect” because many customers will purchase additional items when they come into the store to pick up the item they purchases online. “Click and Collect” also eliminates the hassle and expense of delivery to a customer.

From an operational point of view, there are a number of ways to implement “Click and Collect”, but most require significant interaction of online and in-store systems.

The CONTROL retail ERP solution provides tight integration of online and in-store systems ensuring an efficient “Click and Collect” system.

CONTROL minimises the work required to fulfill “Click and Collect” orders while providing excellent service to your customers.

Price Agility.

There are various reasons why you might need to update prices. For example you might want to run a promotion, respond to competitive pressure, reduce prices of certain items to clear stock, or the cost of replenishment stock has changed requiring an update of the selling price.

Without proper omni-channel integration, updating the various sales channels with price changes can be tedious, and some channels may inadvertently not be updated at all, leading to lost sales, or worse, sales made at a loss.

Regardless of whether it is a price reduction or a price increase due to increases in costs, CONTROL will automatically apply the price changes to all required channels. Even if you intentionally have different prices for the same item across your various channels, these prices can all be controlled from within CONTROL.

CONTROL helps maximise profits and eliminate errors while reducing staff workload.

Inventory Control.  
From a customer’s point of view, there are few things worse than being told that an item you have ordered is either no longer available or it will take a long time for new stock to arrive.

So if you are selling through multiple channels, it is very important that all sales channels reflect current inventory levels and are updated whenever a sale is made, regardless of the channel where the sale was made.

The CONTROL retail ERP solution updates, in real-time, stock information and status on every sales channel based on sales made through any channel, as well as stock receipt and transfer transactions wherever they are entered.

Hence, if the stock level of an item passes through your preset threshold levels, whether it was caused by an in-store sale, an online order, or a sale on eBay, then the item will be updated on all channels to reflect as the rules you put in place.

Rest easy knowing all your sales channels are always offering the items you can provide.

Customer  Relationship.
Creating and maintaining a strong relationship with your customers is at the core of retailing.  If  your system automatically and accurately records all purchases that a customer makes, then you can easily:

  1. Offer an attractive customer loyalty scheme that makes sense to both you and your customers; and
  2. Make targeted offerings to filtered groups of customers based on their activity and preferences

The results are very happy customers and increased sales – a win-win we all strive to attain.

But to achieve this you need to maintain a consolidated database of customer details and the purchases they are making, regardless of the sales channel that they might choose for each purchase. You also need comprehensive analysis tools to extract the required details for marketing purposes.

The CONTROL retail ERP solution adds all new customer details to a central customer database, regardless of the channel on which they were initially captured, and as customers make subsequent purchases; their purchase details will be accumulated, regardless of the sales channel they utilise.

Powerful tools make it easy to identify and extract details of customers that are relevant for a particular campaign and to send to the selected customers, via email or SMS, individualised messages with relevant offers.

CONTROL retail ERP helps you maximise sales with minimal effort.

It’s not hard to see why modern retailing management practices dictate that having the processes and technology in place to integrate your various sales channels is no longer a “nice to have”, it is essential if you are to stay competitive in this omni-channel world we live in.

For more information about the CONTROL retail ERP solution, and how it can be used to integrate all your current and future sales channels, please contact Bernie Hogan on 1300 646 536 or email bernie@crecom.com.au