Solving the Challenges of Omnichannel Retail
With the majority of customers using omnichannel services like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), it’s a no brainer for retailers to offer these services across their organization. And many retailers agree: 67% of retailers consider omnichannel a priority, with over 60% of retailers seeing BOPIS as a critical part of their omnichannel strategy. At this point, an omnichannel strategy is a necessity to compete in today’s retail environment.
However, the pressure to get omnichannel initiatives right can seem daunting. Implementing new services means more work at stores and more labor to accomplish that work. It means taking on the cost of that extra work and labor, in addition to the costs to implement omnichannel services across your organization.
Understanding the impact that these new services will have on your organization is key to making them work for your customers. With customers utilizing smartphones in stores, expecting a seamless retail experience, any issues with new omnichannel services will immediately stand out, meaning a flawless rollout is a necessity.
Here are a couple of ways to ensure success when launching new omnichannel services:
1. Enable Real-Time Retail
When a customer picks up a BOPIS order, even a short delay can leave them frustrated and dissatisfied with their in-store experience. To avoid this, store associates need to know immediately when a customer is ready to collect a BOPIS order. This real-time response is essential to implementing successful omnichannel services.
By equipping store associates with real-time task management solutions on mobile devices, they can recieve notifications whenever customers need help fulfilling a BOPIS order or when a Ship from Store order comes in. Mobile access to a prioritized list of daily tasks helps store associates always know when they need to support omnichannel initiatives and when they have downtime to complete other critical tasks instead. This ensures that there isn’t unnecessary wait time on omnichannel services and that other projects aren’t being neglected, both of which ultimately improves the customer experience.
2. Understand Your Labor Needs
It takes time out of store associates’ shifts to fulfill a BOPIS order or help customers access the endless aisle. If this isn’t adequately accounted for when implementing a new omnichannel service, some facet of your store execution, whether it’s stocking shelves or setting up promotions, is going to fall behind.
This means that not only does your labor forecasting and scheduling need to accurately account for all of this work, but your labor schedules need to be optimized so more work can be finished with the same resources. A powerful workforce management solution has the capability to accomplish both of these objectives. Next-gen workforce management creates labor schedules and forecasts using cutting-edge algorithms that are tailored specifically to the needs of your organization, ensuring that customer traffic, store workload, employee availability and skillet, and other retail-specific variables are all factored into the scheduling process. By optimizing your labor forecasting and scheduling processes, you can more accurately allocate labor to support new omnichannel initiatives while also supporting new product launches, promotions, and other standard initiatives that also need labor allocated to function.
At Reflexions 2019, the Reflexis user conference, we’re hosting a workshop on how to better manage omnichannel work at stores.
The workshop will take a closer look at these issues:
- Allocating labor to support these initiatives
- Allocating the actual tasks supporting these initiatives
- Dealing with the variable demand often associated with fulfilling online orders
- Ensuring flawless execution of this work at the stores
- Protecting customer-facing time for associates
Register for Reflexions 2019 today and learn how to make your omnichannel strategies a success!