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8 ways to win the omnichannel game in commerce (part two)
Business transformation

8 ways to win the omnichannel game in commerce (part two)

Written by

Vickie Scullard

|

June 27, 2023

Table of contents

TOC Example

In the first blog post, we discussed four strategies that will help D2C manufacturers and retailers win the omnichannel game creating a seamless customer experience, leveraging customer data, personalization across channels, and embracing mobile.

In part two, we continue with the final four strategies, which explain the importance of the omnichannel approach and ways that businesses can implement them into their commerce strategy.

A successful omnichannel approach builds brand trust. Customers are more likely to shop with you again and recommend you to others when they feel trusted, which enhances the reputation of your company.

Try out your own augmented reality (AR) experience now

Strategy 5: Integrated inventory management  

According to Big Commerce, omnichannel inventory management, which includes tracking inventory across all sales channels – whether that be online, mobile app, or in store – is what retailers should be focusing on. Customers are expecting it now and 72% of retailers intend to provide it.

Omnichannel integrated inventory management refers to a system or approach that allows, for example, furniture companies to effectively manage their inventory across multiple sales channels and touchpoints.  

It involves seamlessly integrating and synchronizing inventory data and processes across various channels, including physical stores, online platforms, mobile apps, and other sales channels.

By implementing this, companies can ensure accurate inventory management, optimize order fulfillment, improve customer experience, and drive operational efficiency.  

It enables a seamless and consistent inventory management process across various sales channels, supporting the goal of delivering a unified and personalized customer experience.

How to ensure that inventory is seamlessly managed across all channels

Omnichannel integrated inventory management offers furniture companies centralized inventory visibility, synchronized inventory across all channels, optimized order routing and fulfillment, click-and-collect and ship-from-store services, and data-driven insights.  

This enables accurate inventory tracking, prevents overselling or stockouts, optimizes order routing and fulfillment processes, and streamlines returns and exchanges. The system also streamlines the process by tracking available inventory for replacement items, improving customer experience and efficiency. By leveraging data-driven insights, furniture companies can make informed decisions about inventory planning, stock replenishment, product assortment, and marketing strategies.

Best Buy

Best Buy's successful implementation of omnichannel integrated inventory management has enabled them to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers. It ensures accurate inventory information, efficient order fulfillment, and convenient options like click-and-collect.  

By integrating their inventory management across multiple channels, the company has improved operational efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

READ NOW: Create compelling product descriptions that convert (2023)

Strategy 6: Offering flexible delivery and pickup options  

Offering flexible delivery and pickup options is a crucial aspect of implementing an omnichannel strategy. It allows customers to choose their preferred delivery or pickup method based on convenience, resulting in a seamless and personalized shopping experience.

How to implement flexible options across all channels  

Home delivery is a popular and convenient option for customers, offering various delivery services like standard, expedited, and same-day or next-day delivery.  

In-store pickup, curbside pickup, locker pickup, alternate store pickup, and local delivery partnerships provide customers with the convenience of online shopping and immediate fulfillment. These options can be customized based on location, product availability, and customer preferences.  

Local delivery partnerships with delivery services or third-party logistics providers enable fast and efficient delivery services, especially for customers with immediate product availability.

Equally, a smooth returns policy is important. This data shows that 84% of consumers say they would not shop with a retailer again after a negative returns experience.

Amazon Hub

Amazon offers various self-service pickup options where customers can choose a place to receive their packages at their convenience.  

By offering these flexible delivery and pickup options through Amazon Hub, the online retail giant ensures that customers have a range of choices to fit their preferences and needs.  

Whether it's picking up packages from lockers or retail stores, in-home delivery, or expedited shipping, Amazon Hub enhances the overall shopping experience by providing convenient and personalized options for customers.

These services provide a one-stop-shop experience for package pickups, returns, ticketing, printing, and other needs.  

Strategy 7: Measuring and optimizing your omnichannel strategy  

Research by SDL states that 90% of customers expect consistent interactions across all channels. Measuring and optimizing your omnichannel strategy is crucial to ensure its effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

By continuously evaluating performance, gathering data, and making data-driven adjustments, you can ensure that your omnichannel strategy evolves to meet the changing needs and preferences of your customers.

How to use data to continuously improve your strategy  

Firstly, establish clear objectives for your omnichannel strategy, aligning with business goals and measuring metrics like conversions, customer retention, and satisfaction.  

Then identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success, such as sales revenue, customer engagement, conversion rates, and satisfaction scores.  

Make sure you implement robust data tracking and analytics to capture relevant data across channels. Analyze the customer journey across touchpoints and channels to identify pain points, areas of friction, and opportunities for improvement. Conduct A/B testing to test various elements of your omnichannel strategy and gather data-driven insights.

Track attribution and customer lifetime value (CLV) to understand customer movement across channels and allocate resources effectively. Continuously analyze collected data, KPIs, and customer feedback to identify areas for improvement and refine your strategy.

3D product configurators can also be used to help measure and optimize your omnichannel strategy. Specifically, they assist in streamlining stock and inventory control by providing real-time inventory updates, component tracking, bill of materials (BOM) management, order fulfillment optimization, and stock visibility and reporting. Additionally, they enable data-driven decision-making, forecasting and inventory optimization, and reduce stock movement and assembly time.

Nike

Nike has successfully measured and optimized its omnichannel strategy, implementing a robust approach while continuously evaluating its performance to enhance the customer experience and drive business growth.

Through a data-driven approach, seamless customer experience, performance tracking, testing, and continuous innovation, Nike has successfully measured and optimized its omnichannel strategy. They use insights gained from data analysis and customer feedback to refine their approach, drive customer engagement, and maintain their position as a leading global brand.  

READ MORE: A complete guide to building 3D interactive product models for e-commerce  

Strategy 8: Incorporating product visualization  

In terms of consumer spending, the AR hardware industry was estimated to be worth 2.4 billion dollars in 2023, but it is anticipated to reach over nine billion dollars by 2027. Statista says that this is supported by the introduction of new AR headset devices, such as the Apple Vision Pro.

Offering product visualization in an omnichannel strategy empowers customers to make confident, informed purchase decisions. It enhances the customer experience, fosters personalization, and sets furniture companies apart from competitors. By reducing returns and improving customer satisfaction, visualization contributes to the overall success and profitability of the business.  

How product visualization allows customers to view and interact with products before purchase

Furniture is a visual and tactile purchase. Offering product visualization tools such as 3D and AR allows customers to visualize how furniture will look and fit in their space before making a purchase. The best thing is they don’t need to find a tape measure.

This reduces uncertainty, enhances confidence, and helps customers make informed decisions, resulting in reduced returns and increased customer satisfaction.

Pepe Garden

Pepe Garden added 3D and AR functionality to their website so that shoppers could visualize their desired product in their own home. Owner John Watkins branded this See in your Space feature a "gamechanger".

The company aimed to modernize and make it more mobile-friendly and responsive while maintaining its existing customer demographic of older, predominantly female customers with above-average disposable income.  

To improve visibility, they addressed SEO, Google Shopping, and paid advertising. More recently, they launched a Pepe Garden store on Amazon, using a Shopify back-end for POS systems, stock control, and social media integration.

Augmented reality: the next frontier of omnichannel  

Augmented reality (AR) technologies have brought a new level of possibilities to the omnichannel experience for both sellers and buyers.  

Manufacturers and brands can now create visually stunning product presentations at every stage of the buyer's journey. Shoppers benefit from unparalleled convenience, control, and confidence when making purchase decisions.  

With AR, buyers can virtually place products in their home environments, even while on vacation or far from the store. By scanning a QR code, they can visualize product specifications and functionality from the comfort of their own homes.  

AR also enables shoppers to try out virtual fit-outs and trial runs, increasing their purchase confidence and enabling on-the-go ordering. Additionally, users can now share 3D photos socially, obtaining real-time "second opinions" from friends.  

With the advent of spatial computing through Apple’s Vision Pro, AR will be instrumental in allowing sellers to connect with buyers in an immersive and simultaneous manner across various channels, epitomizing the concept of omnichannel engagement.

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