Why you need central customer order visibility
Customers are increasingly using a variety of sales avenues to make retail purchases, from brick-and-mortar stores and direct mail catalogs to online websites and mobile apps. The fact of the matter is that most customers are actually multichannel shoppers, particularly when it comes to the highly lucrative millennial demographic. One study conducted by Wharton found that approximately two-thirds of young shoppers regularly use two or more channels when browsing and making purchases.
For sellers, this creates an additional wrinkle in managing sales. Staff members across multiple departments need to be able to keep track of purchases made at any sales point to do their jobs effectively. If retailers lack the visibility to determine how a purchase was made and where, this could lead to major problems later on down the line for multiple people in the process. Here are a few reasons why the ability to see purchase history across all channels is so important:
1. Being able to identify order source and attribution
With retailers utilizing multiple channels, it is crucial that merchants can identify where orders originated from. This allows them to prioritize specific channels – if people are buying online, retailers want to be investing their resources into the optimal channel. Conversely, they do not want to be dumping resources into a sales avenue that is not delivering results. Being able to identify order source is critical for this attribution.
Furthermore, the ability to view purchases from all channels via a single platform allows for more intelligent and efficient response. This extra layer of visibility helps merchants quickly pick, pack and ship orders in the most effective way possible, regardless of where the purchase was made.
2. Sales tracking and repeat purchases
Being able to attribute sales to customers, regardless of which channels they make purchases, is incredibly important. It allows sellers to forecast inventory projections for specific locations, devise marketing campaigns and offer relevant product recommendations. However, many merchants struggle to connect the dots – they do not know customers made a purchase on one channel, which can lead to issues later on down the line. No one wants to receive promotions for a product they already have.
Better customer order visibility can also aid in other areas, such as repeat purchases, as it allows merchants to anticipate purchases and ensure customers get them on time. When retailers know what customers buy and how they pay for these goods, they can better serve their loyal customers.
3. Customer service
Better purchase history visibility across all channels may also fuel improved customer service operations. When people have a question or complaint, customer service agents are on a timer, so they need to find the answer to the question and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, many merchants do not have great omnichannel purchase visibility – an online customer service agent may not have the ability to access order details from a purchase made at a physical store or on a marketplace. This can be a frustrating experience for customers, particularly if they cannot get their issue resolved in a single interaction with service agents.
An eCommerce system that grants merchants a true view of the omnichannel retail empire can be a huge asset and it is something sellers should look to utilize to improve visibility of customer purchases across all sales avenues.