How to Optimize Your Omnichannel Services
Brick-and-mortar stores will always be vital to a retailer’s business. We hear talk of a “retail apocalypse”, of customers going to Amazon and abandoning the shopping practices of old, but the majority of American consumers still want the experience offered by brick-and-mortar stores.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the role of brick-and-mortar stores is the same that it was 20 years ago. It is rapidly changing, with experiential retail, showrooming, and other practices becoming commonplace as retailers adapt to changing customer needs. And all of these practices have one thing in common: offering omnichannel services.
Omnichannel services integrate the in-store retail experience with the parts of the shopper journey that exist outside of the store, such as browsing online, ordering items online, or placing items in your account. They take an approach to customer experience where physical and online shopping channels are melded into a singular real-time retail experience, where elements of both come into play during the shopping journey.
Offering omnichannel services is essential to appeal to today’s mobile-enabled customers. However, without allocating the proper resources, these services can be slow, disorderly, and cumbersome for the customer. Implementing these services requires more than just putting them in place; they have to be optimized so that they’re seamlessly integrated into the customer experience.
Here are 3 quick tips you can use to optimize your omnichannel services so you can provide customers with a real-time retail experience:
1. Invest in Your Store Associates
Connecting store associates to essential retail solutions, either on their own mobile device or on one provided to them, gives them the capability to instantly address customer needs when they arise. They can receive notifications when they have to retrieve an online order that a customer is picking up in the store. They can provide mobile checkout so customers can finish their transactions anywhere in the store. And they can access online inventory, giving customers the opportunity to complete their order even if the product is unavailable in the store.
2. Innovate Store Operations
Customers only want to use omnichannel services if it’s easy to do so. This means that they shouldn’t have to wait too long to pick up their online order in the store, and they shouldn’t have to wait to price match an item at the register. Real-time store operations solutions help simplify these processes, alerting store associates when an online order needs to be fulfilled, and streamlining the price matching process so store managers can approve price matches remotely.
3. Refine Labor Scheduling Processes
Omnichannel services create more work that needs to be accomplished in the store. This means that labor schedules need to align with the store’s task workload. With workforce management solutions, variables such as task workload, customer traffic, and weather patterns can be factored into labor schedules, ensuring that there are enough store associates at the store to accomplish everything that needs to be done.
For more information on how to optimize omnichannel services so you can find success with real-time retail, check out our industry insight guide: “Improving the Shopping Experience with Real-Time Retail.”