In a marketplace that’s changing drastically, the key to retail success is being able to adapt and stay ahead of the pack. Let there be no doubt: Sellers need a serious strategy to win the game of omnichannel commerce.
That’s why Webgility’s own CEO and Founder Parag Mamnani partnered with Out of the Box Technology to offer a webinar about the fundamentals of a successful omnichannel commerce plan. Watch the recording below or check out the following takeaways from the program that you can apply today to fuel your omnichannel growth.
8 Fundamentals of Omnichannel Commerce Success
1. Map out the customer journey
To be successful in selling across different channels—especially with a brick-and-mortar business and online—it’s important you have a great sense of where your buyers originate, as well as where they browse and purchase. Having a good understanding of that customer journey and documenting it is key, so that everyone on your team understands and can design systems and processes to adapt.
2. Build strong processes
You want to map out that customer journey so you can create strong processes for everything: inventory management, order fulfillment, your supply chain, the customer follow-up experience, and more. You want to know exactly what your customer journey is going to be and what you need to do as a retailer to be successful in serving buyers across different channels.
3. Know your numbers
This sounds like an obvious one, but what typically happens when you go from a single channel or are expanding to online is the numbers become exponentially more complex. You’re having to track inventory, your customer orders, and your supply chain from multiple channels. That means you can often run into collisions or data loss. Also, you may be looking at aggregate data as opposed to channel-specific data. When you drill down into your numbers at the channel level, that’s when you’ll know how your business is truly performing.
4. Track your inventory
You’d think this goes without saying, but it’s surprising how many businesses don’t have a great inventory management strategy to track stock distribution across different channels. It’s not enough to have just one inventory account and allocate it the same way. You need to really understand what your inventory is by channel and what your strategy for success is across each channel.
5. Communicate with your team
As you expand channels, you’re going to build out a team. It’s really important to keep everyone in the loop when it comes to running a successful omnichannel business. Whether you have your own lightweight CRM system, leverage your order management system for communication, use Slack or chat, or whatever mechanism you find, make sure you create a strong communication strategy with your team. This will ensure you always know where the customer order is, and whether you’re missing your shipping and cut-off dates.
6. Customers expect speed
Next-day delivery has become the norm, thanks to Amazon. Customers not only expect speed in terms of delivery—they also expect it when it comes to responding to their requests, telling them what’s happening in the market, and adapting to the changing landscape. Understand the customer’s expectation for speed, and design your business around it.
7. Always be listening
In many large omnichannel companies, success is driven by how frequently the business is taking feedback from its customer base. This is especially important when you see a tremendous amount of growth in your online orders, but a significant amount of returns coming back to your door. You’ve got to really think about what that customer experience is, be mindful of what they’re telling you is working and not working, and be able to adapt.
8. Automate, automate, automate
Absolutely automate everything. Margins in omnichannel and retail are razor thin, so your competitive advantage is your speed. Without automating your processes and systems, it’s incredibly hard to build a successful and profitable business. You have to find every ounce of optimization and automation you can in your customer base.
About the Presenter and Host
CEO and Founder, Webgility
Parag Mamnani has spent the last two decades building software that helps small and midsize businesses be more successful. Before launching Webgility, Parag managed Amazon’s Webstore platform and founded a digital agency for online businesses. Today, he runs Webgility and helps the company serve more than 5,000 customers.
Out of the Box Technology
Serving numerous clients in the retail industry, including a heavy focus on online retailers, Out of the Box Technology leverages a client’s accounting solution to allow them to focus on business growth. Out of the Box founding partners Denise Loter-Koch and Lisa McCarthy have been bringing a bold and transformational approach to the QuickBooks and accounting community for over 30 years.