Posted by Ranga Bodla, Sr. Director of Industry Marketing, Manufacturing & Wholesale Distribution
Retailers, distributors and manufacturers are all quickly coming to understand the importance of omnichannel commerce -- the need to see customers and inventory across channels and fulfillment opportunities across the entire supply chain. Yet with the ever evolving expectations of customers and changing business models, few understand how to get there.
Manufacturing, distribution and retail businesses are working with increasingly complicated IT networks, often with different systems for inventory and warehousing, order management, point of sale, customer service and ecommerce. Too often, these disparate systems weren’t built to share data, so companies created their own integrations and workarounds to bridge the gap. Over time however, those stop gaps have the tendency to turn into bottlenecks that prevent the business from operating efficiently and supporting growth.
To turn your business into a truly omnichannel operation it’s important that your underlying technology embrace these principles:
- A Single Integrated Platform. Eliminate integrations between separate systems with natively unified ecommerce, POS, inventory and order management, marketing, merchandising, customer service and financials. With a single system, gain unprecedented real-time visibility across your business by bringing fragmented sources of data into a single repository to make informed, timely business decisions.
- Enable Innovative Experiences. Rapidly create unique, personalized and compelling mobile, web, and in-store experiences to differentiate your brand and exceed customer expectations. Responsive web design allows you to build device-optimized online shopping experiences that display elegantly across all devices, from mobile to tablets to laptops to desktops.
- 360-Degree Customer View. Get a single cross-channel view of every customer to provide consistent and personalized service, build customer loyalty and deliver highly engaging, personalized shopping experiences.
- Support Intelligent Order Orchestration. Meet customer expectations to buy, fulfill and return anywhere while maximizing profitability with a single view of inventory across channels and supply chain and centralized management of orders and returns.
- Allow for Unlimited Expansion. Run your business around the world from a single platform that supports multiple countries, languages, tax rates and currencies. Combine business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) selling models on a single platform with a dramatically lower investment and without the need to maintain separate systems.
Multichannel businesses need an omnichannel platform, with integrated back office, front office systems. They need to be able to draw on all manners of data throughout the enterprise, and across business operations, and can consolidate customer data into one repository regardless which channels or touchpoints they are engaging. With added tools such as real-time KPIs, dashboards, analytics, and content personalization, multichannel businesses will be well equipped for growth.