3 Mistakes Omnichannel Retailers Make And How To Avoid Them
This is an exciting time for you to be growing a business – the development of the ecommerce market has greatly improved how you do business and who you do business with. It’s new enough that you can still be on the cutting edge of a lot of its developments, but it’s been around long enough that you can avoid some of the missteps that early adopters had to make and learn from.
There are some challenges associated with these new ways of doing business, however. You know why it’s important to have both a physical store location and an online marketplace, but each venue requires different work on your part. It can be hard to maintain all the tasks that go into keeping each facet of your business running smoothly. These new omnichannel approaches to retailing can be daunting, but having the right program on your side can make the process a whole lot easier.
Check out the common mistakes omnichannel retailers make when managing their retail enterprises, and learn our tips for keeping them from happening to you.
1. Using different systems to monitor orders and inventory
It seems like common sense, right? Your online store operates differently than your traditional store, so you should be using different software to manage and track your orders.
While this may seem like a logical plan, it’s overlooking some important facts about your omnichannel market. Your customers may be making purchases on different channels, but they’ll likely require products that come from the same inventory. Using separate systems to place orders will disrupt your inventory management. The last thing you want as a retailer is to make a sale and then discover that the coveted product is no longer accessible to you – if an online order takes the last of an item from your warehouse and your brick-and-mortar store managers can’t see this on the same software, it will disrupt their order timelines when they go to restock.
Having an all-in-one system for order management and inventory will significantly simplify the selling process. With one convenient dashboard you can see what inventory is needed and when, saving you from any wasteful delays.
“Customer service plays a crucial role in a patron’s shopping experience.”
2. Relying on just one shipper
Another problem that retailers can get into is relying on only one company to ship their stock. When you’re just running a physical store, you may not have to do a lot of shipping to customers. Most of them will get their purchase in store and leave with it that day. But when you start integrating online order fulfillment into your practices, you suddenly need to worry about increased volumes shipping to further distances and with more frequency. Your same ol’ default won’t always be the most cost effective or reliable service to use.
That’s why you need a shipping management system that allows you to shop around for the best deal. Entrepreneur recommends that businesses work with direct shipping consultants and compare services from every shipper. However, that can be a tedious and time consuming process to do on your own, so a program that presents all the options to you all at once makes those cost-saving measures a breeze. With the added benefit of click-to-print shipping labels and built-in tracking tools, the right omnichannel software can simplify your shipping.
3. Not remembering your customers
Customer service plays a crucial role in a patron’s shopping experience. According to an Accenture consumer survey, 67 percent of respondents said that they would abandon a business for one of its competitors after a bad customer service experience, the No. 1 answer for why they would leave a business. According to Robert Wollan, managing director of Accenture’s CRM Service Transformation practice, “consumers around the world are deserting companies in record numbers when they encounter experiences that don’t meet their expectations”.
Customers often choose to visit a brick-and-mortar store to have a personal experience with sales staff, but that experience doesn’t need to be lost online. Having a customer relationship management system in place that allows you to monitor one person’s sales and history with your company so you can create a more personal experience. Duplicating past customer orders, saving shipping information and giving them a direct pipeline to your customer service team will improve their connections to your business and increase sales across all platforms.