Macy’s using omni channel solutions to better serve customers
Merchants across North America have made integrating omni channel solutions into their practices a top priority. With these tools in hand, they hope to give consumers the modern shopping experience they expect, which in turn may lead to more satisfied customers. Of course, with the right omni channel solutions, retailers can also bolster their retail operations and accelerate efficiency.
With that being said, perfecting the omni channel shopping experience isn’t something that can simply be done overnight. Merchants don’t just buy omni channel solutions and flip a switch to get the best results. It takes a lot of creative thinking, careful testing and masterful integration of solutions to maximize the benefits of these systems.
Because using omni channel solutions is a relatively new practice, there are a few merchants that have capitalized on these tools and delivered exemplary shopping experiences to their customers as a result. Merchants should consider these retailers as they look to perfect the use of their own omni channel solutions:
1. Crate & Barrel
Some customers are no longer single-channel shoppers – they start their research on one channel and complete the purchase on another. Crate & Barrel did an excellent job of understanding this trend. When users sign into a website or mobile app, the merchant will save their shopping cart and allow shoppers to access it where ever they are.
This seamless shopping experience extends to wish lists and wedding registries as well, letting people purchase items from these lists and removing them in real-time so no duplicate purchases are made. People creating registries can add items online or scan item barcodes while in physical stores, Multichannel Merchant added.
Fashion retailer Oasis brings a “set it and forget” type mentality to the retail space. Brick-and-mortar stores are armed with iPads that customers can use to make purchases online. This embraces the “showrooming” trend that other merchants have feared in the past, but adds an extra layer of convenience and flexibility to the shopping experience.
People can try garments on in-store, but if the line is too long and they don’t mind waiting a few extra days for shipping, they can use the in-store devices to simply place the order online and walk out. Additionally, shoppers can order out-of-stock items through the iPads, which helps Oasis turn sales they may have lost otherwise.
Smart Insights reported the introduction of the iPad was a significant boon to both eCommerce operations and in-store sales, with 20 percent of purchases made at brick-and-mortar shops stemming from iPads.
Though Macy’s is one of the largest brick-and-mortar retailers, that doesn’t mean the department store is oblivious to the benefits of online retail. Macy’s made a huge investment in omni channel solutions in 2013, according to CBRE Group, spending nearly $1 billion in an effort to craft a better, seamless shopping experience.
Macy’s focuses on serving the customer with their omni channel efforts, allowing them to buy items when they want and how the want. That could mean flexible order fulfillment in-store, online or some combination of the two consisting of in-store pickups, ship-from-store or other similar features. Everything from reverse logistics to customer service to browsing can be done in a seamless fashion at Macy’s.
Integrating omni channel solutions is a great first step, but simply having the tools isn’t enough – merchants also need to find creative and meaningful ways to use these tools to improve the omni channel shopping experience. With more retailers experimenting with different ways they can use omni channel solutions, now is the time to think seriously about leveraging these tools to better serve customers in this new retail space.