The future is clear: customers demand one seamless shopping experience across all channels.
Jonathan Levitt of OpinionLab forecasts blurring between online and offline shopping continuing unabated for 2014. Levitt says new technology and intense competition will help consumers make “shopping a seamless experience no matter where they choose to browse and buy.”
Retailers need to make sure a customer can order anywhere, and pick up or receive merchandise anywhere they want. And get it to them when they want too. For some it might be “as long as I get it to put under the tree before Christmas,” but for others, “I need it within the hour, I have a dinner party tonight and really need that soufflé pan to bake my special dish.”
For retailers, the battleground has become how to put together this seamless experience for consumers. Whether its drones delivering Amazon packages to the doorstep, robotically controlled dark stores or malls essentially picking and packing for same day delivery, behind the scenes is where all the data and distribution magic happens.
Whether it is online or off, those who can nimbly keep track of the orders and inventory, and deliver on the time and place will win and keep the customer. Getting your Order Management System (OMS) to this place is easier said than done. Even companies with a great deal of experience in retail and wholesale channels often underestimate how difficult it is to efficiently fulfill customer demand from any location and any channel. As supply chains become more complex such things as inventory visibility, order accuracy, flexibility and efficiency become even more critical. And customers are demanding more control themselves, preferring to self-serve and obtain order information online. Distributed OMS is the key to managing the seamless shopping experience.