Most retailers today sell products both at their outlets and online. In addition, social tools such as Instagram and Facebook provide valuable platforms to sell directly to discerning customers. A multichannel approach is a marketing strategy that takes all these multiple channels and customer touchpoints into account.
According to Shopify, studies show that adopting a multichannel approach can enhance sales by 57%. However, most retailers find it challenging to streamline the marketing process, customer registrations, loyalty management, sales, and support across multiple channels. Multichannel Order Management ensures that customers get a streamlined and seamless experience across all channels regardless of where they shop.
The advantages of a multichannel approach include the following:
- Consistent branding across different customer touchpoints
- Consistent customer experience on all channels
- Quick deliveries and enhanced customer satisfaction
- streamlined backend operations, including order and inventory management
A multichannel approach is not hassle-free.
While multichannel commerce helps retailers gain customers, maintain visibility on different social and eCommerce platforms, and preserve a brick-and-mortar presence, managing orders on multiple channels has its challenging nuances.
1. Inventory management is challenging.
When retailers sell goods on multiple channels, it becomes challenging to maintain an optimal, steady supply of stock. One either ends up overstocking, leading to wastage, or one might end up understocking, which results in customer dissatisfaction. Routing your inventory to an optimal warehouse can also become a challenge, depending on where the order is placed. Deliveries made from a warehouse that is far away can result in delayed order fulfillment and customer dissatisfaction.
2. Order fulfillment is complicated.
A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a unique alphanumeric code assigned to each product so that you can differentiate it from others in the inventory. It is easy to enter SKUs and print individual labels when selling online or offline on a single platform. If you have decided to sell on multiple channels, it’s not humanly possible to keep track of all the SKUs and fulfill orders efficiently. You will also need different order fulfillment processes for each platform, as the way customers interact with products and the platform varies greatly.
3. Haphazard sales data
Managing data can quickly become overwhelming as customers place orders on multiple channels. Whether it is customer registrations or invoice management, it is impossible to have an updated database when orders keep coming from various channels. This results in a distorted view of your business, and you may be unable to make accurate sales forecasts or offer excellent customer support. Loyalty management goes for a toss when you don’t know your most valuable customers.
What is multichannel order management?
Multichannel Order Management is best described as a support system for growing companies and an essential tool for established retailers. It ensures inventory control and order management from different sales channels on a single interface. It helps streamline orders, order fulfillment, warehouse and inventory management, shipping, and other retail-oriented management functions.
It enables you to keep track of your orders from eCommerce platforms such as Amazon or Etsy while monitoring order requests at your retail outlets. All this data is put together under a single umbrella so that you can fulfill orders quickly while improving your customer satisfaction metrics.
How Multichannel Order Management helps retailers
Multichannel Order Management is often delivered as part of advanced Retail ERP systems. Here is why it is essential:
1. Order fulfillment automation
We now know that multichannel marketing has multiple advantages but has some specific challenges. These include the inability to access updated data, duplicate entries, and complexities regarding tracking SKUs. A Multichannel Order Management system ensures workflow automation across multiple sales channels, enabling a streamlined omnichannel customer experience. It eliminates human errors and ensures quick deliveries and enhanced customer satisfaction. Most importantly, you will access a unified point of truth for all business-related data.
2. Accurate predictions and forecasts
As multichannel marketing is a complex process, deriving business intelligence that is accurate can be tricky. Multichannel Order Management ensures you can access precise, AI based business intelligence. Priority’s Retail ERP offers a Multichannel Order Management module that integrates warehouse management, hybrid retail & wholesale functionality, and returns management. Data from these different processes can help you make accurate sales forecasts and predictions.
3. Streamlined POS and inventory management
A unified inventory database is essential if you sell products online and at retail outlets. What you sell at your retail outlets and eCommerce platforms should instantly be reconciled. This ensures accurate order fulfillment. In addition, a Multichannel Order Management tool also provides that customers can purchase online and pick it up at your store, or vice versa. They may visit your store, look at the products, use the POS System at your retail store to make a purchase, and have it delivered home later.
4. Unified loyalty management across channels
A Multichannel Order Management module helps you to implement loyalty programs across sales channels. You can quickly help customers to redeem their loyalty points, regardless of the platform they are on at the time of purchase. For example, customers can redeem their points on your website, social media, and when they visit your physical store, increasing customer satisfaction and ensuring a returning customer base.
Choose a Retail ERP with Multichannel Order Management Support
Certainly, multichannel marketing has several benefits. It helps you sell online on eCommerce and social platforms, your website, and various retail outlets. However, tracking SKUs and managing customer data can become complex and challenging. Multichannel Order Management helps you bring multiple facets of order fulfillment to a single, unified platform.
To bring an omnichannel shopping experience to your customers, choose a retail ERP that includes a Multichannel Order Management module. This ensures that your customer satisfaction metrics remain on top while order fulfillment seamlessly takes place.