Mini-Series Part 2: See Customers Not Channels

Mini-Series Part 2: See Customers Not Channels

17th August 2015

Welcome back to the miniseries. As we previously outlined we are going to address the latest buzzwords, Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel. We will look at what this means to your customer, and what your business needs to grow in the new Omni-Channel world.

Generally speaking as the retail industry progressed there were two very distinct paths; physical stores versus catalog. Once the Internet became a tool for commerce these paths became known as channels. As various retailers began embracing these different avenues of selling the term Multi-Channel became common.

The rapid adoption of mobile technology and “always connected” consumers simply outgrew what Multi-Channel offered. While retailers saw customers based on the channel, consumers simply saw retailers as a product source regardless of the channel. Retailers have been limited by their legacy enterprise systems and remain at a disadvantage in meeting the modern, Omni-Channel, customer demands.

Today seasoned experts have technology capable of delivering Omni-Channel solutions that offer real-time data exchanges. This enables retailers to have one view of inventory and one view of the customer across all channels. These systems can typically provide better functionality at a cost that is often less than retrofitting outdated systems. At the heart of the new Enterprise Retail Platform is a strong Order Management System that is synchronizing the various channels by:

– Collecting all order transactions

– Communication inventory changes

– Sharing customer data

– Updating the reporting server with this real-time data

With these capabilities retailers can then see customers, not channels. Yet they are also able to report sales by channel effectively monitoring their marketing efforts. More importantly, they are connecting with their customers by providing global access to their accounts, access to all available inventory, and access to order history regardless of the channel.

Part three of this miniseries will demonstrate how a number of retailers have become Omni-Channel and will detail the technology requirements needed to meet these new demands of the consumer.

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