Nothing gives retailers a competitive edge more than pleasing customers. Admittedly, that’s a huge generalization and frankly a no-brainer. However, pleasing customers these days means getting products to them any way they want. That is, customers don’t care if you consider yourself a “multi-channel” business. They make no distinction. That’s why retail leaders increasingly adopt the omnichannel strategy.
Why Retail Leaders Go Omnichannel
Pleasing customers means retailers can’t be content to sell in a store and online. In other words, what have multichannel retailers done for their customers lately? It seems like a logical progression. However, not all retailers that could benefit from omnichannel adopt it, because it requires a bit of adjustment.
UK Does it; US, Not So Much
By one measure, the UK has more retail leaders in omnichannel fulfillment than their counterparts in the US. According to one study, only 29% of major retailers in the US offer click-and-collect, while 69% in the UK do. Moreover, under 39% of US retailers that do offer click-and-collect highlight the offering on their homepage. And click-and-collect is just one part of what we perceive as omnichannel. Retail leaders will offer that option along with in-store purchasing and home-delivery for a true omnichannel shopping experience.
The Benefits of Pleasing Customers
Those retailers that do strive for omnichannel fulfillment appear to be winning. In general, the ability to fulfill orders flexibly keeps customers from shopping elsewhere. For example, if Target saw 40% of online sales fulfilled from stores, the option kept up to 40% of its sales from going to Amazon, theoretically. Other big retail leaders report similar positive results from investing in omnichannel programs. There’s nothing to stop smaller retailers to strive for omnichannel fulfillment. In fact, adopting omnichannel tactics gives some SMBs more hope in future success.
Managing the Omnichannel
Retailers that want true omnichannel need to manage sales and fulfillment with an eye on their entire supply chain. They have to process and rout online orders to the right branch for fulfillment. Meanwhile, they have to monitor inventory in stores to prevent stockouts. In short, they need to be able to manage their entire operation, in realtime across all their channels.
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