Digital agencies, systems integrators, eCommerce platforms and everyone in between have been more intensely focused on an omnichannel strategy. For companies who already have efficient eCommerce infrastructure, an omnichannel approach can maximize those efficiency gains. The goal for B2C retailers is to create a seamless omnichannel customer experience including payment processing. In other words, omnichannel helps connect the physical and virtual worlds. This includes purchasing through kiosks or with mobile devices, to in-store pick ups as well as curb side pick-ups. The FIS’ Global Payments report by Worldpay indicated that payment methods like eWallets surpasses debit card payments of the past two years. These are popular with customers as they create a dynamic customer experience and omnichannel is laying the building blocks for this in the future.
Post COVID businesses require a technology designed for dynamic, high-volume, complex operations. A system where retail wholesale and eCommerce channels come together to keep inventory process fluid while maintaining good customer experience. This is forcing retailers to embrace data centric omnichannel high yield fulfillment operating models. This enables high-yield decisions taken with actionable intelligence. Decisions that consider inventory, resource constraint, time along with the customer needs. We have this omnichannel strategy in Lululemon’s recent purchase of home exercise start up, Mirror. This acquisition is part of a larger strategy to lean into a more omnichannel approach as the company realizes their brand is more than what is sold on the shelves. Similarly last month, Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid announced the launch of an expansive omnichannel retail program. This is part of a larger digital strategy to maximize customer value on all digital platforms.
At this point proclaiming omnichannel as the future of eCommerce is obvious. Consumers welcome these changes. Consequently, companies must adapt or get left behind. When looking to pivot to an omnichannel approach, it is important to ensure inventory managed on any channel is done using one system. This is so merchandizing teams, the ERP, Stock Keeping Unit merge to use a single inventory view. Notably, eCommerce sites recognize there is a hierarchy of inventory. They know technology companies build systems to manage separate inventories. In an omnichannel approach siloed inventories are used for specific channels instead.
Omnichannel integration keeps the system flexible as it can quickly adapt to change. Moreover, omnichannel supply chains should be adaptable, agile and flexible that grows as the company grows. An omnichannel system must also support cross-utilizing resources and optimizing similar resources. Different peaks must be effectively managed without additional investment in the digital infrastructure. Finally, high-yield fulfillment systems can support scalability. It allows for building a common infrastructure that includes software and hardware. AI and machine learning capabilities help limit errors, increase efficiency gains and revenues.