The future of channel management for retailers during a covid world
What does channel management look like for retailers in the future?
To survive retailers need a hybrid combination and integration of a physical channel and an online channel with a unified and seamless experience to serve customer needs more effectively. A combination of the two is more effective than any one by itself.
Retailers need to consolidate data from across channels and systems into an integrated customer profile. Retailers need to show their products wherever consumers are spending their time. When retailers own all these channels it enables cashflow 24/7 from multiple different sources and devices.
The 5 most important omnichannel strategies are:
- Provide “click and collect”
- Provide “ship from store” and “endless aisle”
- Sell on Marketplaces and Social
- Allow loyalty points, rewards and gift cards use and easy product returns from any channel
- Provide relevant real-time personalised experience across all channels
The consistent requirement is SYSTEM INTEGRATION.
Some other strategies include digital mirrors, augmented reality (try-on or view products in your environment), reward social sharing and reviews of in-store purchases and provide in-store mobile functionality (eg compare, wish-list, reviews, videos).
To what extent have retailers moved towards a truly omni-channel supply chain model during COVID-19?
acidgreen has been very busy since the start of the pandemic quickly improving omni-channel functionality and marketing for our clients.
99Bikes received unprecedented demand for bikes and a huge shift in customer behaviour to shopping online. Together we stepped up customer communications around in-store stock availability, brick-and-mortar stores adjusted hours to give employees more time to assemble online orders for customers, and we improved click-and-collect via multi source inventory management. In April 2020 alone they sold 1,500 bikes per day (AU$3.1 million for the month).
For our client Petbarn when covid hit they wanted to provide a fast delivery service for customers in self isolation. Within 2 weeks we added a “Same Day Delivery” service using Uber Direct as a “ship from store” solution.
With covid restrictions some retailers have been offering carpark click and collect via pop-up stations to deal with increased demand.
Another client Camilla were suffering from store closures due to covid so we quickly (within 2 weeks) created a dedicated Online Warehouse Sale website. This allowed customers to receive warehouse discounts online.
Our client Flowerpower received a significant increase in interest for online orders during Covid so we converted their brochure website to include online checkout with home delivery and “Click and Collect” options. We also improved the “garden lovers club” loyalty program so that online and offline purchases build multichannel loyalty points and we improved the “wish list” capability to allow a mobile shopping list with extended product information.
For Godfreys we setup and integrated instagram shopping and marketplaces so that no matter where their customers are (website, marketplace, social or in-store) they would find their products and receive consistent messaging and ease of purchase. We added a “store locator” and “click and collect” (with integrated stock levels) and a “compare” function to help both online and in-store customers select the best product for them.
For more information on how to successfully become an omnichannel success contact acidgreen today.