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    Omnichannel Retailing

    Omni-channel Retail Solutions & Strategy

    Omni-channel retailing is across all channels, as the name suggests. It is a fully-integrated approach to retail commerce, that unifies shopper experience across offline and online channels or touchpoints. Ideal omni-channel shopping ranges across brick-and-mortar locations to mobile sites, an e-commerce marketplace, social media, retargeting and all aspects in between. Is retail omni-channel? While the channel’s true potential is only obvious when the way of selling is integrated, the future omni-channel retail strategies point to the growing value of the click-and-mortar/brick and click model. Multichannel management is not only about a presence on multiple channels. Mobile, merchandising, marketing, marketplaces, and fulfillment – all of these need to be considered if the omni-channel retail strategy is adopted. Retailers with physical, as well as digital presence offer seamless, quality customer experiences within and between contact channels. Delivering a consistent experience across online and offline channels means consumers are set to interact with the business using omni-channel retail technology and platforms.

     

    Benefits of Omni-channel

     

    • Greater Acceptance from Shoppers

    Research estimates reveal omni-channel retail customers use apps for price comparison or discount deals, along with in-store digital tools like tablets, price checkers or interactive catalogs. Omni-channel customers spend 4% more time shopping in-store and 10% more on virtual stores as against single-channel consumers.

    • HIgher Customer Spend

    The more channels customers used, the more they spend. Estimates show customers using 4 or more channels spent 9% more in stores compared to single channel clients.  Research also found retailers using omni-channel retail marketing strategies saw a transaction size increase of 15 to 35% on average, with a 5-10 percent rise in loyal customer profitability and 30% higher lifetime value as against shoppers using only a single channel.

    Retailers using omni-channel strategies avail benefits like a significant increase in annual revenue, lower cost per customer contact and higher customer retention rates.

    Retailers can also use data to target customers in a more relevant and accurate manner, allowing a deeper relationship and fostering brand loyalty.

    There’s also a credible sense of familiarity and a focus on peripheral vision. Brands ensure visitors are retargeted and brand advocacy and loyalty grow.

    The objective of omni-channel retail goes beyond managing sales across channels. It also focuses on integrating all the channels so customers and sales individuals can gain an optimal functional range of sales capabilities and excel at the online experience.

    #1 Greater Efficiency

    One of the biggest benefits of an omni-channel retail strategy is that retailers offer consistent experiences to informed consumers across platforms. They cater to customer needs with a central database of products, offers, and prices. Consumers can experience the brand with promotions and products consistent across retail channels.

    So, purchases in physical stores may be augmented by other channels to optimize digital and mobile experience. Brick-and-Mortar stores thus become extensions of the supply chain.

    #2 Higher Margins

    A well-designed online sales structure does away with the need for deep discounts. Omni-channel retailers can sell products at full prices and benefit from integrated channels that widen their reach to customers with deep pockets.

    #3 Better Data

    As a business enjoys visibility across a plethora of retail channels online and offline, this translates into more personalized customer experiences. When retailers can track clients across multiple channels, this makes way for more relevant offers and precision in marketing. Omni-channel retail lets businesses engage with customers better.

    #4 Integrated Communication or Data Analysis

    With omni-channel strategies, various information systems are available for business. Information streams are better understood for meeting customer demands. Further, analytics serves to comprehend, quantify and review communication with customers.

    Omni-channel retailers also benefit from cross-channel capabilities.

    Therefore, omni-channel retailing helps in the realigning of business operations, implementation of infrastructural changes and a pathway to attract, and retain customers, driving greater sales.

    #5 Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

    With the emergence of new customers or shoppers, retailers can develop and implement strategies using omni-channel retail that enables shoppers to switch between channels effortlessly. This enhances customer satisfaction. Customers expect integration and blurring of channels translates into a better and more fulfilling retail experience.

    Giving shoppers a chance to buy from a convenient channel, omni-channel retail increases buying opportunities and provides customers with wider selections.

    A well-framed omni-channel sales framework is essential for fostering customer trust as well.

    #6 Building a Powerful Brand

    Building a stellar brand from the start is difficult, given how competitive a marketplace is. Retailers having brick and mortar stores or online ones can control and regulate pricing power and achieve sales volume through omni-channel retailing.

    #7 More Productivity

    Omni-channel strategies allow efficiency and productivity to flourish. Click-and-mortar stores and retail outlets are more equipped to transform customer information into a loyalty-building service to boost retention, and increase productivity.

    Omni-channel retailing offers a 360-degree view of purchases to serve customers better.

    Breaking barriers between channels also ensures the customer is empowered and exercises convenient options in a way that boosts sales.

    Centralization of data for omni-channel retailers further promotes accurate sales forecasts and demand sensing. This eliminates wasted inventory and costs linked to overproduction and warehousing of surplus products. Data centralization opens up ways to sell products on new channels. This helps in using inventory transparency between channels as well.

     

    Future of Omni-channel

    A majority of modern retailers agree omnichannel strategies are critical to business functioning. Omnichannel retailing helps to boost the lifetime value of customers, improve the buying experience and boost customer spending. Clearly, this integrated approach holds value. Future of omni-channel retail strategies is predicated on the state of advancing technologies and the growing value of personalization.

    Omnichannel is Expected

    Omni-channel retail is now expected, not just accepted. Technologies and innovation are marketing a new evolution. Retailers are looking to push the boundaries even more as they aim to create fully integrated ecosystems for customers to experience.

    For years before, the only option shoppers had was to buy from brick-and-mortar stores. This changed with e-commerce stores which became a popular option due to their accessibility and convenience.

    Better Buying Options

    To access physical and digital buying options, multi-channel retail gave way to an omni-channel approach. The advent of online shopping marked the emergence of omni-channel pathways and provided customers with better buying options.

    Omni-channel retail gives customers a smooth, integrated and seamless shopping experience.

    Customer Retention

    Companies with omni-channel engagement strategies retain a majority of their customers as against weak or non-existent integrated retail structures.

    The more channels a customer uses to make a purchase, the more valuable they are to a retailer over the lifetime, as against mono-channel counterparts.

    As more channels to purchase products and services will emerge, more touchpoints will become important.

    Mapping Customer Journey

    Traditional customer journeys were short and linear. As technologies advance, customers will seek more options at every stage of the purchase journey.

    As the number of touchpoints rises, omni-channel customer journeys will be complex and extensive.

    Product Discovery Reworked

    Product discovery will be followed by extensive customer research. More customers will explore multiple avenues such as social media networks, e-commerce sites, and review sites before coming to a purchase decision.

    The next phase of this evolution will mark the shift from omni-channel retail strategies to a  fully-functioning complete omnichannel retail ecosystem for your business.

    Exclusive Stakeholder Network

    Omni-channel ecosystems will generate value through expansive and exclusive networks of vendors, partners, and digital services to offer shoppers a thoroughly seamless experience. From trying to give customers what they seek to actually succeed, the shift in omni-channel retail is data-driven.

    Customers will have more options at digital checkouts. Soon, all elements of the buying process will be seamlessly interconnected. In an omni-channel ecosystem, the retail web will be expansive and intricate.

    There will be a choice of multiple retail channels, market research and fulfillment, and payment options and integrated digital business tools. This helps to create a comprehensive, seamless omni-channel ecosystem.

    Omni-channel ecosystems will soon be customized to suit retailers implementing strategies to cater to specific audiences and customer niches. The branding, corporate image and level of service across online channels and offline stores will soon be comparable, with the increasing sophistication of technologies. The entire customer experience will be seamless, effortless and intuitive.

    Omni-channel will also achieve man-machine synergies, tapping digital technologies and workers to emerge as an omni-talent driven ecosystem.

    Brands, Not Channels

    Customers buy from brands and not channels. Businesses need to rethink customer engagement and how they provide a seamless experience by unifying the channels.

    Focusing on cohesive user experience at every touchpoint, the focus will be on the big picture, and not just pieces of a puzzle. Brand narratives will evolve a distinct storyline that meets customers at the point where they are.

    Engaging With Customers in Real Time

    By engaging with customers in real time, higher conversion rates and more sales will bring retailers in the future solid ROI and profits that multiply.

    But implementing an omni-channel retail approach requires having standardized frameworks in place and this is exactly where you need the services of a leading retail consultancy like Your Retail Coach. As a consultancy with strategic specialists and experts in the field of omni-channel retail, YRC can be a partner for bringing about positive transformation. Your retail business needs to capitalize on every advantage in this competitive marketplace. Align your retail business with strategies proposed by YRC and gain the winning edge you need to race past competitors and streamline your operations. E-commerce consultant YRC helps with omni-channel customer solutions. As a customer service consultant, Your Retail Coach offers impeccable services for the perfect solutions geared to meet the challenges of a growing business.

     

     

    About Omni-channel

    Omni-channel retail solution is all about providing contextual, unique and consistent brand experiences across multiple touchpoints including marketplaces, web, mobile, social, and brick-and-mortar. The focus is on allowing individual customers to purchase in line with a channel of their choice and it works on the basis of communicating in ways in tune with a given channel. Right from the sale to the unboxing experience, omni-channel retail marketing can impact client satisfaction in specific ways. Basic omni-channel user journey examines information in one sales channel to invite participation in another. When well implemented, omni-channel retail strategies ensure buyers seamlessly transition from one brand to another. As they evolve from buyer to loyal customers, your brand’s omni-channel strategies reflect where customers are in the journey. While multi-channel retailing focuses on companies selling through multiple online channels, omni-channel is a step ahead with retailers expanding their physical and digital presence both.

    CASE STUDIES

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    We work only for Visionaries.

    PROCESS AUTOMATION

    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

    VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

    IT INTEGRATION

    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

    WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

     

    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

    UI & UX DESIGNING

    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

    SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

    PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

    BRANDING

    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

    ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

    CRITICAL PATHWAY

    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

    BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

    MARKET RESEARCH

    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.