Omnichannel Commerce

mapping the customer journey end-to-end for the perfect shopping experience

What is omnichannel commerce?

Omnichannel commerce or omnichannel retailing is an important part of the digital transformation in retail. The development of disruptive technologies has changed today’s customer expectations and created new information and sales channels. Customers no longer limit their purchases to just one channel. Online customers often first look at a product in a store before searching online for the platform that offers it at the best price. Offline customers, on the other hand, often find out more about a product online before buying it in a store. For retailers, this means that online and offline channels must be connected in order to offer a consistent shopping experience with appropriate omnichannel fulfillment services.

What distinguishes omnichannel from cross-channel and multichannel?

In multichannel or crosschannel retailing, different on- and offline channels either exist independently, or already interact with one another. Omnichannel retailing differs from its predecessors since consumers receive the same information on products and prices across all channels. As a result, customer expectations and requirements continue to change. Today, retailers need to be wherever customers want to shop. By implementing an efficient omnichannel fulfillment strategy, retailers can meet these expectations.

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eCommerce as the basis of omnichannel commerce

Online retailing has been booming not just since Covid-19. Being completely independent from opening hours, home delivery and the resulting time savings, as well as a greater product selection and variety, make online shopping so attractive for consumers compared to brick-and-mortar. Retailers can benefit from connecting their eCommerce and store network as well as from the resulting omnichannel synergies.

Benefits of omnichannel commerce

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Increase sales

With an omnichannel strategy, retailers increase the number of potential points of sale. Omnichannel users also shop more frequently and their merchandise purchase value is higher with each purchase.

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Raise awareness

The introduction of omnichannel services such as click & collect can have a very positive impact on the awareness of retailers' stores and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.

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Establish seamless processes

Connected, integrated systems and coordinated fulfillment processes allow operational workflows such as picking and packing to be designed efficiently.

Why digitalization plays an important role?

Connecting eCommerce and stores also inevitably leads to progressive digitalization, which simultaneously optimizes retailers’ processes.

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Improve demand planning

With a central database, inventory gaps are avoided and fast subsequent deliveries are ensured.

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Handle processes quickly

Linking the systems creates automated processing of incoming orders.

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Avoid errors

Due to various end devices such as smart devices, staff are optimally equipped to carry out work processes precisely and efficiently.

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Challenges in omnichannel commerce

Designing omnichannel experiences and meeting customer expectations

Customer expectations in terms of delivery times, convenience and additional (omnichannel) services such as click & collect are increasing more and more. As a result of the newly established omnichannel shopping experience, customers expect that they will receive their goods within a few days, that they will be able to check the availability of items in the store as well as in the online shop, and that they will also be able to return their goods at all touchpoints.

Retailers are therefore faced with the challenge of adapting their entire processes to these changing needs and designing a seamless customer journey in order to meet the ever-increasing competitive pressure. A successful implementation of an omnichannel fulfillment strategy can support them in this.

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Realize the potential of your omnichannel services through proper marketing

With the establishment of an omnichannel commerce strategy, retailers must also control the advertising of their services cross-medially on various channels. Only in this way can omnichannel commerce develop into a successful concept.

For example, in the case of click & collect, it is important that retailers fully integrate the service into the processes and advertising measures of their online shop. Even if the point seems self-evident, the click & collect service offer is hidden in the checkout in many online shops. The recommendation of the International Retail Federation (IRF) is to promote and offer click & collect not only on the homepage, but also on the product detail pages, as fast product availability has a positive influence on the customer’s decision-making process.

Click & reserve also offers advantages that should be actively advertised. Customers have the opportunity to view or try on the goods ordered online in the store before paying for them. This increases customer satisfaction and reduces returns.

The same principle applies to the promotion of in-store returns. Retailers should make customers aware before they buy that they have the flexibility to choose whether they want to conveniently return their ordered goods by mail or return them to a store. This creates convenience for the customer and can positively influence the final purchase decision.

Successfully implement omnichannel commerce

To master the entry into omnichannel business, retailers must first establish an online shop and thus a digital presence before they can connect their stores with online retail. An optimized strategy centered on the customer from the outset is crucial for a better customer experience and the ultimate success of the omnichannel concept.

According to a survey by Statista (2018), customers want the following services in particular from a connected online and offline presence:

 

  • Free (return) shipping
  • Consistent prices in the online shop and store
  • The possibility of in-store returns
  • Store navigation
  • Online indication of availabilities in stores
  • Possibility to set up a reminder
  • Online availability check
  • Contact on website
  • Online reservation in store

 

In order to meet these requirements in omnichannel commerce, omnichannel fulfillment with sophisticated, digital processes forms an important basis. Examples of flexible eCommerce fulfillment processes are models such as click & collect or ship-from-store.

In addition, a modern software architecture for fast scalability, easy integration and optimal performance is of high importance. Only in this way can an online order be processed efficiently, whereby the optimization of the following process steps is important: inventory management, storage, picking and packing, shipping or collection, and returns management.

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Omnichannel retailing: Examples and benefits for retailers

Creating personal touchpoints in online retailing due to click & collect

Optimize store utilization

  • Increase profitability
  • Increase service level for customers
  • Reduce dependence on shipping service providers
  • Reduce CO2 emissions
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Using stores as mini-shipping warehouses with ship-from-store

  • Optimal use of store resources
  • Enable next-/same-day delivery
  • Scale eCommerce through flexible fulfillment processes
  • Increase out-of-stock rate through higher product availability
  • Reduce environmental footprint
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Enable in-store returns with a returns management system

  • Reduce transportation and logistics costs
  • Reduce time to re-sell
  • Increase relevance of stores
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Manage store and warehouse inventories through an inventory management system

  • View and control business processes centrally
  • Manage store inventories
  • Identify optimization potential and plan better
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The most relevant omnichannel services for customers

Click & Collect or BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store)

The customer orders and pays for the goods online and picks them up at a selected store.

Click & Reserve or ROPIS (reserve online, pick-up in store)

The customer reserves the goods online, then picks them up at a store of their choice and pays for them on the spot.

Click & Return or BORIS (buy online, return in-store)

The customer orders and pays for the goods online. The goods are then delivered to the customer, who returns them to a selected store.

Click & Meet or ROMIS (reserve online, meet in-store)

The customer books an appointment online with the sales staff and is advised by them in the selected store

Click & Ship

The customer orders and pays for the goods online. They are then delivered directly to the customer (or to another defined delivery address).

Shop & Ship

The customer buys and pays for the goods in the store. They are then delivered directly to the customer (or to another defined delivery address).

Crucial for the implementation of the services above are the following tools:

Seamless omnichannel fulfillment:your success factor

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Benefits of omnichannel commerce for customers

Omnichannel commerce adds significant value to the shopping experience for consumers.

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Experience an integrated customer journey

Consumers enjoy an integrated customer journey tailored to their personal needs, optimizing their shopping experience.

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Shop flexibly

Consumers experience increased flexibility as they can shop conveniently and regardless of location and time.

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Great a great choice

They also benefit from better product availability as well as product range selection and can view availability online.

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Reduce waiting time

Flexible delivery and pick-up models can be selected depending on personal preferences. In addition, the delivery time can be shortened.

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Contact us

Would you like to know more? Send us a message – we look forward to a personal conversation and will be happy to discuss your options.

Send messageSubscribe to newsletter

Contact us

Would you like to know more? Send us a message – we look forward to a personal conversation and will be happy to discuss your options.

Send messageSubscribe to newsletter