Omni-channel is seen to be the future of retail, essentially it enables customers to shop how they want to shop, it caters for the evolution of shopping habits and provides the level of service that today’s customer demands. It may seem like a buzz word, yet this form of retailing is growing fast and customers are beginning to expect the features as standard. So when it comes to Omni-channel can your current epos solution keep up with the changes?
The Importance of an Omni-channel Customer
Whilst Omni-channel has long been a buzz word, many retailers are only just starting to see the importance and overall benefits of implementing an Omni-channel strategy. For instance, John Lewis has openly stated Omni-channel shoppers are worth seven times as much to them compared to a single-channel customer. The reason for this being the frequency in which they spend with the brand across the various channels.
Omni-channel Features as Standard
As part of customer expectation, features that were once revolutionary are demanded to be included as standard in even entry level systems. Features including ‘Click & Collect’ and ‘Stock Checking’ are all expected by customers in order to create a seamless integration across all channels. The main purpose of Omni-channel development is to cater for the customer’s lifestyle however Omni-channel features have benefits for retailers too. Take a shoe retailer for example, traditionally staff members were required to visit the stock room when a customer requested a specific colour or size combination, with Omni-channel features, each staff member could check stock directly from their mobile device. This saves your staff time, speeds up customer transactions and in the instance that you are out of stock, could allow you to check stores nearby to locate the item thus ensuring a sale.
The entire concept behind Omni-channel is integration; being able to make all of the channels you retail through work as one. Therefore the ability to integrate with third party platforms is a necessity. It is important to understand the integration potential of your retail solution as whilst many platforms are able to be integrated with that of third parties, to encompass the Omni-channel philosophy and reap the benefits, this needs to be done seamlessly, so it works in real-time.
The need to integrate with third party platforms is likely to grow, with more and more shopping channels being launched each year, the move towards social commerce and advancements in mobile retailing. This means that your retail solution needs to be flexible, for example the Yourcegid software is continually evolved and improved in order to ensure the latest features are available to its customers, negating the need to switch provider or software to gain functionality.
How Electronic Receipts will Aid Transactions
As an on-demand society the last thing we want when collecting our items from a store is a long queue. We have all experienced the frustration of long queues; traditionally retailers would have had to install another till point in order to gain extra capacity; however with the advancements in technology mobile systems are now being utilised as additional points of sale to disburse ques. Producing a secure electronic receipt and emailing it to the appropriate address in the same way an ecommerce service sends an order confirmation to your email.
In terms of Omni-channel, being able to collect the customers email address enriches the data you hold in your CRM and enables you to further enhance the integration between platforms by marketing your online channels from your electronic receipt data.
What to Look for in your Omni-Channel Epos Solution
It is important to ensure that your retail solution doesn’t just allow you to sell through multiple platforms but ensures you do so seamlessly. For instance, if your customer wants to collect loyalty points online to spend in store they can or if they choose to use the Click & Collect feature picking up the items at their local store an Omni-channel solution will synchronise data between each platform within the transaction.
As Omni-channel solutions are developing continuously it is important that your system is not static. Instead your system should have continuous updates preventing your epos solution from dating as rapidly. Retail management software such as Yourcegid has updates throughout the year to ensure your system lasts.
Retail IT specialises in retail management software designed to support retailers’ Omni-channel strategies. Working with clients of all sizes, Retail IT is able to share their expertise to advise the most suitable epos solution for the retailer’s needs. We understand an independent retailer won’t require the same specifications as a global corporation and as such we takes the time to understand your business inside and out before finding a retail system to suit your needs. For more information and to find out what Retail IT can do for your Omni-channel needs please visit www.retailit.com.