By integrating back-end and front-end processes into a centralized commerce platform, retailers are able to deliver a consistent customer experience. What it really comes down to is automation and consistency.
Having a POS ecosystem can create a cohesive omnichannel experience in the following ways:
Having a robust POS system allows inventory information to get pushed to all channels making inventory visible throughout the organization, in all store locations, and online. Customers today don’t want to go into a store unless they know that what they’re looking for is in stock. Pushing inventory information to e-commerce sites simplifies customer’s lives; rather than going through the effort to call a store, they can check online. Visible inventory also makes checks efficient for sales reps since there is no longer a need for them to call other stores to find an item a customer is looking for but that isn’t in stock at their current location. Instead, they are able to use the online system for expedited inventory information. To complete the ecosystem, stores are used as fulfillment centers which allow products to be shipped from the store, with the item in stock, directly to the customers home.
Centralized Cost and Pricing
Updating SKUs and pricing is a reality of running a business. When that information sits in many places—on your e-commerce site, your POS systems, business to business portals, etc.—keeping it up to date can become a nightmare. With an integrated system, this worry goes away. Are you offering a promotion on certain items or want to add new products to your inventory? One upload of this information pushes out to many places, automatically creating SKUs or updating pricing information. Not only does this remove room for human error, but it also saves you time and ensures consistent information is displayed in all channels of your business.
Complete View of Your Customer
With a robust retail store POS system comes a complete view of your customer. Customers interact with your brand in many ways from your e-commerce site and social media pages to in-store purchases and sales floor interactions with a sales associate. This centralized database makes tailoring those interactions with your customers much easier since associates can pull up details on previous purchases, made both online and in-store, understanding that particular customer's interests and history with your brand. This allows you to understand the cross-channel ways the customer was served, rather than just being able to see your customer’s in store history or no history at all. This not only acts as a sales assist, but wows the customer and makes them feel like your sales staff truly care.
Retailers are only as effective as the data they use whether this be for inventory selection, tracking sales, or customer communications. When making decisions on product selection, looking at metrics from all channels is key. What sells online, via a drop ship fulfillment solution, or in-store? And in what regions? Centralizing metrics allows you to make that decision based on the full picture. Some retailers fear that building an e-commerce presence could cannibalize their in-store sales. However, when measuring success as a whole business, both an overall sales increase as well as different channel increase is good news. In other words, a sale is a sale. The goal is to get customers to buy from your business rather than turning to online super giants such as Amazon. Not only that, but providing products to interested customers on a variety of fronts increases brand awareness and keeps you top of mind when a customer is in need of that special something.
Want to see how you can the right POS can transform your business into an omnichannel leader? See how the right retail technology can revitalize and reinvigorate your business.
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