Adopting a “Click & Mortar” Strategy: Doing business in an omnichannel world
Today’s consumers, whether they are businesses or retail customers, expect to be able to purchase what they want at any time, through any channel, at the lowest available price. This market reality is driving traditional brick and mortar businesses to explore new distribution models, most notably “omnichannel” marketing that integrates in-store and online shopping.
Creating a true “omnichannel” distribution platform requires more than adding an online shopping site or a mobile app. It is a multi-stage process that includes:
- Ensuring a consistent customer experience across all purchasing channels, from the storefront to the website, mobile app, social media channels, and on the IoT. This requires employing uniform, client-facing technologies and building connectivity between all point-of-sale channels. An integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can help you manage inventory levels and locations and coordinate product promotions across platforms, so the customer experience is the same no matter how they shop.
- Linking online shopping to the brick & mortar store, if it exists, so that the shopping experiences can complement each other. Enabling such customer conveniences as ordering online and picking up at the store requires that numerous systems seamlessly connect, from online platforms to inventory and sales management at the storefront. It also means that in-person service platforms must be coordinated with online portals so the two work together to ensure uniformity in customer service, regardless of the touchpoint used. In this way, the right items will be delivered to the right place at the right time in a coordinated way to maximize customer satisfaction.
In today’s rapidly evolving client-centric market, many businesses are being driven to rethink their distribution strategies and to weigh the resources necessary to build competitive platforms, such as those providing true “omnichannel” customer experiences.
As your business considers its options, reach out to your Washington Trust Relationship Manager for financing strategies that can help you realize your distribution goals.
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