Omnichannel is table stakes for retailers today. And a single source of the truth is a must-have for those aspiring to deliver true omnichannel excellence.
Accurate and accessible data on stock levels and product information is paramount to seamlessly linking shopping experiences across all channels.
Without it, the omnichannel experience becomes ineffective for all involved. Customers visit a store to collect orders that aren’t in. Order fulfillment becomes a minefield of substitutions. And employees lack the ability to offer accurate information and updates to those shopping in store.
Three undesirable outcomes that erode customer loyalty and employee trust in an age where both are at a premium.
On the upside, a good omnichannel experience for customers can have big rewards for retailers, with increased sales and recurring orders being two of the main cited ones.
The use of digital devices before or during shopping will influence 58% of in-store sales by 2022, according to Statista.
To ensure success, selling on multiple channels requires clarity on stock levels and product information for everyone involved. And the tools needed to achieve this are closer to hand than you think.
Single source of truth
Delivering a unified view of information requires a few steps to be taken. Integrating your technology stack is an important part of the process. It’s the only way to ensure a single source of truth for all involved. No easy task, but vital to future-proof operations. Hear three retail experts discuss the challenges and best practices in our recent webinar.
Once the heavy lifting of aligning the back-end is complete, you need to give employees and customers a window to view the data to deliver friction-free omnichannel. And retailers are increasingly investing in omnichannel.
With such widespread use of mobile phones, smart devices are the perfect tool to offer that window. Especially when equipped with smart data capture technology to ensure employee and customer-facing apps can scan barcodes and surface the real-time data in various processes — even using augmented reality to display it visually.
But the window needs to be two way. Inventory levels need to be updated in real-time as items get picked and purchased, otherwise the disconnect will hit satisfaction and efficiency levels.
The right tools for the omnichannel job
Giving every employee a smartphone powered by smart data capture for use in daily tasks means that inventory levels can be updated in real-time with every scan, be it order picking or restocking shelves. With a device in every hand, every scan will add to your inventory accuracy. And Scandit Smart Data Capture ensures reliable, accurate scanning performance that captures any barcode, even torn or damaged, even in shadow or glare.
No need for employees to spend time carefully lining up barcodes or worrying about mis-scans during inventory or stock takes. Data flows seamlessly from wherever the store associate is and gives everyone the same big picture.
Empower associates to confidently answer questions
Store associates can be fully confident about answering questions on the spot when dealing with customer queries, because they have the latest stock availability information from the back-end systems. By linking production information to inventory, a scan of the item barcode can reveal a wealth of information.
In a fashion store, for example, different sizes and color options can be accessed and talked over with the customer, adding value and increasing satisfaction, all with a device that fits in the employee’s pocket.
The challenge of recruiting and retaining retail staff has been well documented. The right tools can go a long way to ensure they feel empowered and satisfied at work.
It’s not only employees that will be happier. Customers too will reap the benefits which in turn deliver bottom line results for retailers.
Omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel.
With apps powered by smart data capture, the customer can point their device at the shelf or item and real-time information can be accessed from the barcode and displayed on screen.
AR overlays can deliver anything from stock levels to nutritional information or even personalized promotions like this UK retailer has successfully implemented.
Giving them all they need to make an informed decision and enhancing their experience.
Why stop there?
The same device helps support the full omnichannel experience. Facilitated by accurate and accessible data, retailers can offer consumers the option to buy products that may not be available in store at that moment. A quick scan of the barcode using a smart device reveals the options for home delivery or pickup at a nearby store — an endless aisle experience.
Enabling the omnichannel
Technology integration from the back-end through to smart devices in the hands of employees and customers is the enabler of the omnichannel. Through the provision of accurate data and a single source of truth, capabilities such as buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) become possible.
Omnichannel is about things working together. Integrations via APIs and SDKs help fuse the e-commerce site, mobile apps and brick-and-mortar stores into one consistent experience.
It’s how retailers can meet the customer wherever they are and provide them with everything they need to make an informed purchase decision.
Learn more about how smart data capture supports omnichannel in our new guide ‘Create an Offline-Online Hybrid Store – Fast’.