With the latest developments of eCommerce, omnichannel shopping has become a new trend. Customers now prefer to shop and pick up items anywhere and anytime that is convenient for them. This is why a lot of businesses are finding ways to upgrade their stores to the omnichannel model. During this process, omnichannel merchants may have to face many challenges. Here are the 5 most common ones and how to solve them.
Synchronization of purchase data
The core of omnichannel is the seamless connection between different online and offline platforms for shopping. Therefore, a common challenge for omnichannel businesses is the synchronization of data across multiple channels. For example, a customer wants to buy online and pick up in store, but your system at the physical store cannot save this data. When this customer comes to the offline store, the item is temporarily out of stock.
In fact, 45% of shoppers nowadays have chosen this type of omnichannel shopping. As a retailer, of course, you don’t want this situation to happen. Don’t worry, we have a solution for you: a POS system. Many businesses have used POS systems with data synchronization, so they can stay up-to-date about every order. If your store is going omnichannel and facing the same problem, you can consider using a powerful POS system, such as ConnectPOS with its real-time synchronization.
Overstocking or understocking
When going omnichannel, many businesses can face challenges about their product quantities, such as over- or underestimating the stocks needed. Inventory management in omnichannel businesses easily becomes a pain point, as the products are now dispersed to different touchpoints. It is difficult to estimate the quantities of products and (for some businesses) the expiration dates.
Our advice is thus to understand your business – know what has become the deadstocks recently, and what are the bestsellers. It may also be helpful to analyze your sales reports, which again can be auto-generated by a POS system.
From the previous 2 points, you can understand how technology plays an important role in omnichannel businesses. However, this can create another challenge, which is unskilled employees. This is because technology cannot fulfill its roles without the proper control of humans. For this reason, it is also important to train your employees carefully when going omnichannel. You can, for example, provide official training sessions or let staff members try using the systems at first.
Inconsistency between different channels
Despite having multiple locations, your store should also be consistent inside out. The brand images or products should look the same, whether it is the eCommerce website or the brick-and-mortar store. Consistency is not only important for branding but also for customers’ experiences. Consumers might not want to buy an item online, and receive a delivered package containing an item that does not look like on the web. Therefore, inconsistency can be a big challenge for omnichannel businesses. The solution to this problem is straightforward – take great care of your products from the importing to delivery processes. and use the refund/exchange policies.
Going omnichannel often requires extra effort and challenges, as this model is more complicated than an online-only or traditional brick-and-mortar store. Businesses should be prepared for the increased operational costs, including a POS, recruiting more employees, marketing efforts, and so on. Try to have a budget plan as clear as possible in the beginning, so that you can distribute the money accordingly to each checkpoint. Stay balanced and prepared – while overspending more than you need can bring losses, a good investment can bring more revenue.
Omnichannel shopping’s challenges may be present but can be overcome with effective strategies from businesses. As mentioned above, a POS system can be a useful tool to go omnichannel. Contact us today if you are interested in ConnectPOS with our click and collect features and many more!