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The 3-step Mantra to Master Omnichannel E-commerce

The 3-step Mantra to Master Omnichannel E-commerce
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Unless you have been living under a rock, you must be aware that omnichannel commerce is the new eCommerce. 

Your target customer group has changed. It is no longer restricted to a region, age, gender or such constraints. Omnichannel eCommerce has redefined the rules of eCommerce. 

As omnichannel eCommerce continues to blaze ahead in full force, e-retailers must pick up ropes of the all-pervasive trade model to remain competitive and profitable. 

I thought it would be fun and informative to share some Omnichannel wisdom with those are plotting to become masters as it. 

Omnichannel has certain pivotal points which distinguishes it from other forms of selling. 

First, orders come in from everywhere - online, offline and a combination of both. Order management forms the crux process.

Second, inventory management is the key to order fulfillment and profitability. 

Third, you need more than just a standalone software. Private cloud solutions, third party integrations and extensions are essential. 

Automate order processing

In multi channel eCommerce, order processing is pretty straightforward and simple. You have separate modules/systems to handle orders from multiple online and offline channels. 

However, in omnichannel retail, this is not possible. A customer making an online order for a Nike shoe might want to pick it up from your physical store. This complicates things, especially if you are depending on a manual order management system. 

The key to improving efficiency in order processing is to automate it. If possible, to a cloud-based system where everything happens in real-time with clockwork precision. 

Such a system will automate order processing and bring together orders from multiple channels under a single roof. It can augment the fill rate of a business by notches.

Integrate inventory channels

Only 16% of businesses are profiting from an omni channel eCommerce strategy. The rest are still to taste profits. Most of these loss-incurring businesses make the collective mistake of maintaining discrete systems for inventory management. 

In an omnichannel eCommerce environment this is simply insufficient. Every retailer or wholesaler must be able to have a pulse on their inventory levels and availability. Failing to do so will create severe operational problems like, promising the customer something and offering something else. 

The thumb rule to master omnichannel eCommerce is to integrate every inventory channel under a single umbrella system. A single inventory management system that spews real-time inventory information can amplify help amplify the chances of omnichannel eCommerce success.

Buy in to third party integrations

As a e-retailer, you can have your own store, sell on Amazon, ebay or any other online store too. There are myriad of selling points to explore. But, can your omnichannel management system handle it?

What if the system is not integrated to update real-time stock levels from multi-vendor selling platforms? You will be at a loss and might even get barred for failing to achieve order fulfillment. Online stores like Amazon maintain stringent seller policies that remove sellers from selling further if they fail to meet desired order fill rates. 

Hence, the need for third party integrations. They bridge a connect between your backend inventory management system and multi-vendor storefront thus eliminating the problem of stock-outs, missed orders and rest of the tragic story. 

Finally..

Accept the fact that omnichannel is here to stay. There is no turning your back to it. Gear up to become a master of omnichannel eCommerce with these 3 mantras. 

As mentioned above, there are businesses which are profiteering from omnichannel eCommerce. With a lean and focussed strategy that puts inventory, orders and integrations at the heart of management, it is possible to eliminate all chaos in omnichannel eCommerce.

 
Edition: May 2017

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