Is omni-channel omnipresent?

Make a quick stop at the local store to try on a jacket you found online after checking availability? Use your smartphone to retrieve additional information on the product? Modern omni-channel environments make it easy for customers to switch between stores, catalogues, teleshopping and online shops on their desktop or mobile device in the course of a customer journey. However, the results of Omni-Channel Commerce 2017, the latest study conducted by EHI Retail Institute, show that some German retailers still have room for improvement: While many offer multiple sales channels, they fail to connect them. Linked sales channels offer an array of new opportunities for points of sale. implexis‘ software module xReach.omnichannel helps tap these opportunities.

According to the results of the Omni-Channel Commerce 2017 study recently conducted by EHI Retail Institute, connection multiple channels is a topic of much discussion in Germany, but its implementation still is not axiomatic. Nearly 50 percent of the top 1000 shops that sell their merchandise only online or to complement their catalog and/or retail business still rely on the multi-channel principle involving several non-connected sales channels. This means, they operate their web shop and catalog business or their retail store side by side without offering customers the opportunity to switch between channels. Cross- and omni-channel retailers relying on e-commerce in connection with catalogs and/or retail stores as linked touch points also have room for improvement. The results of the study show that Click & Collect followed by payment online and/or in the store is a combination widely used by cross- and omni-channel retailers. However, less than 50 percent provide information on product availability or in-store return options.

A tailor-made solution for retailers

Customers expect future retail to combine the benefits of all sales channels. To meet these expectations, retailers must link their individual points of sale. xReach.omnichannel, a module under the software brand xReach, and other solutions delivered by implexis amalgamate all relevant data centrally for a 360° view across channels. In this way, retailers have consistent control of processes in their stores and online shops to match their business management systems and identify customers’ requirements and address them in a targeted manner. Inquiries regarding product availability, comprehensive product information and other advantages of web shops are transferred to the retail stores where, coupled with consultation services offered by competent staff members and the opportunity to take merchandise home right away, they ensure attractive shopping experiences. Users benefit from a seamless customer journey; retailers reap the rewards in the form of high customer satisfaction rates and long-term retention.

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