Retail's New Normal

Omnichannel Customer Experiences in Retail’s New Normal

Customer Convenience has Taken Center Stage

Providing consumers with an adequate amount of fulfillment options—regardless of channel—is becoming a difference-maker for customers when deciding which brands to engage with and ultimately where to shop.

Agile & Adaptive

For nearly every consumer today, the buyer journey is no longer linear or isolated to one channel. Everything falls on a continuum of interactions that can result in a sale in virtually any form and at any point. One customer may buy online andAgile & Adaptive pickup in the store. Another may browse online, and then want to schedule a store appointment to try on an item.Still another customer may shop and purchase in a 100% digital manner. To remain competitive, retailers and stores must be able to offer as many shopping and fulfillment options as possible and engage in meaningful ways.

 

However, legacy technology systems make carrying out those missions time-consuming and labor-intensive. Despite stores teams’ best efforts, the result is often sub-optimal customer experiences and precious time diverted from their other critical responsibilities. Giving customers endless choices and personal service – while maintaining profitability – requires true omnichannel operations. That means leveraging stores as micro-fulfillment centers with efficient picking processes. It means complete inventory visibility and management. And it means next-level engagement that rewards shoppers’ loyalty and makes them feel valued. In short, success requires technology designed for the demands, and opportunities, of an omnichannel world.

The Customer Makes the RulesThe Customer Makes the Rules

It’s not enough to have a distinctive brand and great products. The past two years have accelerated the adoption of online shopping and fulfillment methods like buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, home delivery and more. Those options, offered as a means of survival for retailers, are now permanent fixtures. As a result, shopper expectations have never been higher. These days, they want to dictate how, when and where they interact, purchase and receive their orders.

Successful Retailers Enable Customers To:

  • Buy through any channel
  • Select from a real-time enterprise view of inventory
  • Browse the endless aisle so they can always find what they’re looking for
  • Choose any fulfillment option and delivery speed
  • Use any payment method including pay-by-link and other contact free methods
  • Apply promotions across channels
  • Utilize digital self-service options post-purchase, including real-time updates on orders, easy cancellation, and access to reliable virtual or in-store customer-service experiences
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Making Service & Support Personal

Shoppers don’t just have higher expectations when it comes to buying where and how they want. Their favorite retailers are the ones that can provide timely, individualized service and support. A modern approach to customer engagement requires more than mass emails and basic promotions

It means giving customer service reps and store associates easy access to a 360-degree view of the customer that includes: past purchases, wishlists, returns, social interactions and more. That information can help associates offer up a complement when a customer is greeted. It can offer real-time insights and inventory visibility so the associate can provide relevant alternatives – and generate sales – when a customer comes to the store with a return or an exchange.

In short, the right customer engagement solution can be the difference between losing a customer and gaining one for life.

That difference-making solution may also include:

  • Digitalizing and personalizing the customer experience
  • Enabling stylists to work ‘side-by-side’ with customers, online and in-store, through digital catalogs
  • Offering personalized lookbooks with built-in e-mail support
  • Helping sales associates locate a product at a nearby location if it’s unavailable at the store
  • Empowering store associates to communicate via SMS to improve curbside pickup and change fulfillment preference if needed

Challenges Create Opportunities

In many ways, it has never been harder to be a retailer. At the same time, heightened complexity and customer demands also give brands a great opportunity to differentiate themselves. Those that can deliver on convenient, personalized omnichannel experiences are the ones that will shine. Success starts with a foundation of industry-leading technology designed specifically for modern retail.

Manhattan Active® Omni delivers the agility, adaptability and innovation required for profitable omnichannel operations. Manhattan’s store solution is a virtual black book for creating exceptional customer experiences and increasing loyalty with online wishlist synchronization, custom lookbooks, and client communication within the store solution itself. It removes the barriers created by legacy store systems and allows you to exceed customer expectations and provides associates with all the tools needed for your store to reach its full potential

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