Transforming retail with omnichannel technology
Founded in 2014, Ace Turtle is India’s market leader in omnichannel technology for enterprise brands. It is at the forefront of new era commerce, bringing efficiency and scalability through the digital transformation of traditional brands and retailers.
The pandemic has had a profound impact on how customers shop, forcing brands and retailers to adopt an omnichannel approach and elevate the purchase journey. Due to frequent closures with physical stores closed or operating at reduced capacity, brands and retailers have had to make quick business decisions to meet the needs of their customers. Seamless integration between online and offline channels enabling a better shopping experience was the need of the hour.
Now that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, the demand for omnichannel has increased. The rise of e-commerce, changing customer behavior and intense retail competition have made omnichannel retail increasingly relevant. According CB Insightsa well-regarded analyst firm, there has been a significant increase in the mention of “omnichannel” in the context of “retail” during executive earnings calls.
Top Omnichannel Trends Amongst brands and retailers
- Build customer loyalty through multiple touchpoints
When retailers and brands use omnichannel customer service solutions, they meet the individual where they are and provide support across all channels, including social media. Providing multiple opportunities for customers to interact with brands enables more practical solutions of how customers like to connect, leading to a positive customer experience and improving loyalty. Omnichannel technology is a mutually beneficial initiative for customers as well as retailers, as customers can benefit from increased customer service and a variety of delivery options and retailers can maintain sales and margins through effective delivery strategies. Customers buy brands, not channels. Essentially, channels are just a means that depends on the need of customers to purchase a product.
- Scale on demand to meet changing shopping habits
Omnichannel technology helps manage unexpected spikes in demand through better inventory management and order routing through order management systems (OMS). It helps retailers stay flexible by activating and deactivating distribution points to bring products to meet customer expectations efficiently. This was of utmost importance to all retailers during the pandemic, when customer shopping habits changed and retailers saw more and more shoppers buying online and ordering products in bulk in anticipation of delays. Delivery. Multi-client fulfillment centers can also help retailers grow their e-commerce operations at a faster rate than they could on their own. Thus, retailers with omnichannel support will be able to handle sudden changes in e-commerce orders and continue to run their operations efficiently even in turbulent times.
- Multiple demand channels integrated with the retail store
In the traditional retail model, walk-in customers of brands only had visibility into the retail store’s inventory. Store sales depended entirely on customer footfall. Omnichannel retail makes it possible to order from anywhere and ship from anywhere. Customers can order from any of the demand channels such as the brand’s online store, online marketplaces, conversational commerce, social commerce, and endless aisle. Orders can be fulfilled from stores or warehouses.
The Endless Aisle is an in-store app that allows customers to browse and purchase inventory not available in the retail store. Benefits of Endless Aisles include reduced lost sales due to product and size unavailability, improved up-selling and cross-selling, and improved brand engagement through superior multi-channel in-store service. .
The retail store is not just a physical touchpoint for customers, it can also become an omnichannel fulfillment center for online orders. Omnichannel technology platforms help brands and retailers reduce delivery times and optimize in-store inventory with ship-from-store. It is an efficient way to utilize inventory by preventing stores from holding unprofitable inventory and increasing their inventory turnover.
- Maintain sales by managing retail stores such as distribution centers
There has been a huge increase in orders placed online and picked up in stores. When retailers invest in omnichannel strategies such as buy online and collect in store (BOPIS), they ensure a secure transaction during the pandemic and instantly deliver products to shoppers. This leads to a positive customer experience and increased customer loyalty that will last well beyond. In-store pickup initiatives work more seamlessly when retailers design their storefronts to function as mini distribution centers as much as possible. This helps to better manage inventory and save on fulfillment and supply chain costs during this time of uncertainty.
Although there has been a growing awareness of omnichannel adoption in retail globally, on-the-ground adoption in India is still lower than expected. India is a huge market where customers are spread across the length and breadth of the country. Large cities have enough customers to support store openings. But there are many small towns with small pockets of customers that aren’t big enough to sustain store openings. However, they are still reachable online. In fact, many of these cities are closer to major cities and, thanks to omnichannel fulfillment, can be served from stores in these cities.
The omnichannel platform helps digitize, adapt and integrate online and offline channel operations to overcome the challenges of the physical world and deliver a consistent and comprehensive experience across different touchpoints that drive customer buying behavior . The implementation of innovative omnichannel technology has been a key driver in retail’s digital transformation journey over the past few years. The omnichannel platform offers customers a channel-independent journey. Contrary to what brands and retailers often think, customers don’t care so much about the buying channel. They mainly care about a large selection, low prices and a smooth shopping experience.
Transforming retail with omnichannel technology is about thinking beyond marginal improvements. Retailers will need to increase their digital sales as shoppers increasingly use online channels to meet their daily needs. They need to reconsider every aspect of their business, from sourcing and inventory management to employee engagement, training and customer experience. Today, relevant decision-makers have access to a plethora of data and analysis. Retailers need to act today to ensure their business is ready for the future, with the desired brand experience and customer loyalty intact.
Finding the right technology partner is critical to start and drive omnichannel retail transformation; a partner with a strong technical understanding and industry know-how who can help transform your business from the ground up in ways that ensure both profitability and sustainability. Ace Turtle, with its fully integrated omnichannel platform, has helped brands by integrating all their sales channels to provide a single view of inventory and orders, allowing brands to get orders from any channel (in online and offline) and run them from any storage point. The platform helps brands improve product availability and optimize inventory efficiently through multiple demand channels (satisfying from the same pool of inventory), resulting in significant increases in sales and margins.