What is this Omni-Channel?

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A few months ago, I heard this term called ‘Omni-Channel’.   So I needed to know what this meant and how it related to retailers.  I thought it was some merchandising or inventory buzz word.  Turns out I wasn’t even close!

Instead, Omni-Channel is a type of retailing that provides a ‘seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available shopping channels, i.e. mobile internet devices, computers, bricks-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalog and so on.  To do this, ‘retailers are meeting the new customer demands by deploying specialized supply chain strategy software.’ 

Two main trends are emerging:

  • Omni-Channel will continue to grow as customers embrace online shopping and multiple access points.  Those same customers will expect faster access and faster search responses, regardless of how and when they connect with your store.  Retailers will need to become more social media conscious – tapping into current personal shopper preferences and comments.  Retail will need to invest in an infrastructure that will provide a solid balance between cost effective system and operation management and providing superior customer service.
  • This leads to the second trend.  Retailers will need to integrate between store, web, mobile, warehouse, procurement and financial systems.  Integrated systems create leaner, more efficient operations via streamlined order processing, stock controls and distribution channels like NAV with LS Retail.

The LS Retail Navision Omni-Channel approach provides retailers a system to access anywhere within their company.  They’ll have access to information such as item location and methods to get customers their desired products as efficiently as possible.   If the product is not in-stock, the sales associate can locate the product and offer the customer options (pickup in store, pickup at other store or ship to a specified location).  This can be done from a desktop, a POS, tablet or a mobile device.

The point of sale is configured for fast, efficient transaction throughput for many types of retail and hospitality environments.  LS Retail has a robust back office to handle item maintenance, procurement and the many other day to day functions.  LS Mobile provides a mobile application for today’s cellular devices that allows customers to buy merchandise and gives retailers the ability provide customers with additional promotions and savings from their loyalty programs.

The Omni-Channel approach provides a powerful tool for the sales associate to provide the optimum customer service during a customer-sales associate interaction.  Providing the best possible service to the consumer everyday will lead to a happy and loyal customer for years to come.

Learn more about the impact of technology on the Canadian retail industry and get your free copy of the BDO 2014 Retail Issues & Trends.

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