Today's customers expect constant and consistent interaction with the brand, regardless of the place of contact. In order to build the credibility of the brand, it is necessary to ensure technological and business synergy between many sales channels. The e-commerce solutions created by i-systems meet the current market needs and successfully support the development of the omnichannel strategy.
The definition of the e-commerce omnichannel
Omnichannel is a new approach of brands towards sales. The omnichannel strategy means conducting activities aimed at ensuring the consistency of experiences regardless of the place of purchase chosen by the customer. The integration of many sales channels means the implementation of business and technology solutions that will allow for a consistent warehouse policy, pricing and discount strategy. Modern e-commerce solutions should also enable seamless interoperation of online and offline sales, for instance, through the click & collect service, a common loyalty program, or the ability to check online the product availability in the offline store. The omnichannel strategy allows constant and steady development of brick-and-mortar stores of the brand, e-commerce system and mobile application.
- Increase in sales through the various channels of reaching the customer
- Building brand trust and credibility through consistent data across different sales channels
- Increased loyalty among the brand's customers, thanks to the strategy focused on multi-channel contact with the consumer
- Strengthening competitive advantage through constant and even development of all sales channels
Consistent warehouse management
The omnichannel strategy has many challenges. One of them is the implementation of a common warehouse policy for online and offline channels. The synergy of several hundred offline stores with an e-commerce system and external portals is not easy, especially for large retail chains. We are specialists in the integration of transaction systems with ERP systems. Thanks to this combination, the brand gains full control over the sales through various channels and is sure that the assortment is available in stock. The solution also allows determining in which warehouse or store a particular product is located.
Data exchange is also useful in sales reporting and discount management. It allows launching the functionality of an online store, thanks to which the customer will be able to check the assortment availability of a stationary point of sale from the online store level.
- Full control over the entire sale
- The foundation to run many omnichannel solutions
- Minimizing the situation in which the product was sold out of stock
- An efficient process of order fulfilment
Purchase online and pick it up offline
The click & collect service allows brand customers to purchase an online product and pick it up at their personal collection point. They may be: self-service devices, for instance, parcel lockers, brand stores or other, such as gas stations or kiosks with the press. This method of order fulfilment is extremely convenient for customers. This is because they can pick up products purchased online in any place and time. According to research, shipping costs and the inability to check a product quality are the main reasons that discourage customers from shopping online. The click & collect service guarantees a free delivery to the store, where the customer can check the purchased products. The solution is also a way to increase sales because customers who collect products in the store often make additional purchases.
The click & collect service works not only for brands with many offline stores. The solution may become the basis for building a competitive advantage in companies that offer large-size products, and the shipping price is high. The omnichannel strategy is an efficient combination of different purchase and delivery channels, for instance, by providing a click & collect service.
- A solution supporting the development of omnichannel strategy
- The possibility of increasing sales
- A frequently chosen way of receiving orders by customers
A consistent pricing and discount policy
The omnichannel strategy is also effectively built by establishing a consistent pricing strategy for many sales channels. An important element of the company’s pricing policy are discounts. They often attract customers and encourage them to make a purchase decision. When implementing the omnichannel strategy, it is worth ensuring that discounts in online and offline channels are the same. Of course, there can sometimes be an exception to the rule, in the form of a special offer available in online store or additional discount in the brick-and-mortar store. It is important to make sure that the decision on the additional discount is a result of strategic decisions regarding the coexistence of both channels, which are evenly developed.
However, managing an extensive discount policy in an online store is not a simple task. The solutions created by the i-systems support the management of many active discounts in the e-commerce system, enable efficient creation of new discounts and protect against the situation in which overlapping discounts would cause sales below the profitable price for the company.
- Building the credibility of the brand
- The possibility of increasing sales
- Response to the ROPO effect
A common loyalty program
Loyalty programs have gained the sympathy of many retail chains. Practically every brand has its own affiliate program. A well-formulated program allows collecting important data on customers' shopping preferences. The administrator can collect information in one place: what, who, when, how often and what value of the basket he buys. With such data, it can create customer profiles and direct them to a personalized offer.
It is worth creating a loyalty program that will be consistent both in online and offline channels, especially while selling through many channels and willing to implement the omnichannel strategy. The most popular form of loyalty programs is awarding customers with points for shopping. The opportunity to exchange collected points for the assortment of the brand, available both in the online and offline store, will strengthen the trust of the customers and make them more willing to participate in the program.
- An effective way to build a group of loyal customers
- The ability to obtain data on customer purchase preferences
- Increasing the number of program participants thanks to one loyalty program for many sales channels
Handling returns, complaints and exchanges easily
Not only the opportunity to buy in various sales channels build trust amongst customers. Customers also expect trouble-free service also in terms of complaints, exchange and return of purchased products. When running omnichannel activities, it is worth enabling customers buying online, efficiently handling the complaint or return process in the offline store. This is confirmed by the study carried out by GfK Polonia, in which as many as 96% of the respondents said they would like to be able to return goods purchased from the online store in an offline one. Solutions created by i-systems make complaint processes efficient, and thanks to the full history of this process the risk that the customer will be left without response is reduced.
- Building the image of a trustworthy brand
- Increasing the number of regular customers
- Efficient service of handling exchange, complaints and returns
The future of e-commerce omnichannel is here
What yesterday seemed as omnichannel strategy today is a present feature. Among them is a personalization of the offer in many channels using business intelligence solutions or a mobile application integrated with the brand's e-commerce system. Another example is the use of web kiosks in brick-and-mortar stores or the recent innovation – integration of offline stores with beacon that provides a stable contact with the customer.