Omnichannel retailing – shopper-centred trading
Omnichannel or multichannel commerce optimises distribution for producers of consumable and durable goods. As well as achieving ubiquity and increasing sales, omnichannel retailing makes it possible to speak to customers wherever they are and get to know them better to tailor offers for them.
Omnichannel retailing means the multiple layers of sales and communications channels that consumers use during the buying process. By providing several channels – their own and open platforms – traders increase the probability of customers buying from them. This brings with it an increase in the complexity and costs of processes and systems. The trick is to smartly combine and network the different clicks and mortar channels all the way from the app to the collection point.
Directly or indirectly, producers and traders are all coming up against omnichannel retailing. To manage it, companies need clearly defined processes and efficient organisation. Consumers can no longer be defined as either online or offline buyers. They use several channels at once. Different ways of shopping are merging into a new, combined purchasing environment that is all around the buyer. However, the online option allows the customer to switch between traders and brands in a matter of minutes. The concept of omnichannel retailing empowers shoppers to get exactly what they want. When, how and where they want.
For successful omnichannel retailing, companies have to link all their channels skilfully to realise the synergies of all their internal processes. Prices and promotions need to be intelligently integrated to improve customer experience. To focus all processes on the consumer, companies must have accurate master data and movement data, integrated systems and coherent organisational structures.
For omnichannel retailing concepts, supply chain management and logistics must meet rigorous demands for flexibility, speed and precise inventory management. Flows of goods and information must be synchronised along the whole supply chain to enable automatic scheduling and optimise the "last mile". In addition master data must be completely accurate and available on all channels at all times. All this is necessary for real time analyses and interactions.
The goals of omnichannel retailing:
- Coordination of channels
- Automated information flows, networked systems
- Inventory intelligence, maximum availability, security of supply
- Efficient, economical, cost-effective processes based on standards.
- Needs-based planning and supply
- ECR process models
- GS1 standards
- Omnichannel best practice
GS1 Switzerland provides a link between omnichannel retailing and ECR (efficient consumer response). Category management lays down a structured, permanent process for designing a product range that consistently aligns the range with the shopper's needs and wants. GS1 SmartSearch allows consistent, unique identification of products – for consumers and search engines and on all channels.