The modern customer is making it more and more difficult for a retailer to function at the expected level, never mind impress their customers. In recent years customers have become used to having the ability to do and have whatever they want at the touch of a button. This has led to a slew of developments on the part of the retailers to try and accommodate their customers. That has advanced from simple online browsing, to online shopping with home delivery and now the latest buzz word has made itself known in the form of Omni-Channel Retailing.
So what is Omni-Channel Retailing and how does it work?
Omni-Channel Retailing is the newest form of retailing to customers. In essence, the concept is fairly basic, customers are no longer restricted to a single platform for exposure or purchase. This means that a retailer is no longer expected to pick a single format of retail. Thus the aim is to widen the possible pool of customers by widening the exposure of a single retailer over as many different platforms as possible. The second characteristic of this new tool is how a single customer is no longer an entity functioning on a single platform but rather an entity that functions on a range of platforms. This allows a retailer to track their activities, purchases and favourites for any given customer and thereby tailor their retailing to said individual customer, making the retailer’s services personalised and relevant.
This new type of retailing is both full of exciting prospects for retailers and difficulties for the individuals responsible for developing, managing and maintaining the logistics behind them. The aim of Omni-Channel Retailing is to provide all the possible retail services, on all possible platforms, for example: mobile, online, television, radio and others. The difficulty lies in how one cross-checks and analyses the information attained from all of these platforms for each customer. It is therefore essential that any Omni-Channel Retailer has a sufficient programme that is capable of analysing and productively condensing all of the relevant information of each customer into a digestible format.
Keeping on top of the logistics
This technology and form of logistics, on this scale has not been required before now and therefore there have been various leaps and bounds made in the areas of this form of technology. These new forms of software allow for the retailer to easily access information, on any chosen customer, at any given point. It is therefore important for not, only the right technology be employed but appropriately trained individuals to be held responsible for handling this technology and understanding the information it presents.
In the last few years there has been a significant growth in the types of information required for successful Omni-Channel Retailing. The essential logistics required for this new form of retailing are efficiency, accuracy and the appropriate control measures to ensure quality service is provided from point of purchase to point of delivery for each and every customer. Without these three categories being successfully employed an Omni-Channel Retailing scheme is likely to fail as they will inevitably disappoint and frustrate customers as well as fail in their information gathering for the corporation concerned.