- Gain not just visibility, but availability
Retailers are gradually making the transition to omni-channel data sharing, but complete visibility of inventory alone does not improve allocation and fulfilment. It is necessary to see what’s already on order, in transit or returned across networks to create complete operational control. The retailer needs to be able to view the inventory available to meet the specific customer proposition.
- Put all inventory to work, regardless of location
Being able to fulfil orders quickly and profitably means using every supply source to meet customer demand. This includes stores, which are playing an increasingly important distribution centre role, and improve the customer proposition, allowing Click and Collect within 1 hour for example. Retailers also need to move towards enabling returns in any channel or location, so that unwanted stock can be easily turned into available to purchase inventory.
- Make decisions based on total insight
With the capacity to know exactly what inventory is available to purchase, and the capability to fulfil orders from any point within the business, retailers will find themselves in a powerful position. The key to success at this point is investing in an efficient omni-channel order management solution to maximise sell throughs and margins.
- Empower employees to deliver outstanding customer service
Centralising inventory and order management data can give head office employees the ability to make more profitable fulfilment decisions. Through a single view of customer transactions, sales staff can track orders, look up product availability and address enquiries from all channels – improving customer interactions and ensuring that shopping remains a positive experience.
The opportunities that the omni-channel retail world presents to both retailers and consumers are abundant. With no signs of slowing down, it’s important that retailers reconfigure their business model to ensure they can fulfil orders profitably across all channels and ultimately, take advantage of the opportunities this new retail world presents.