Omnichannel- we’ve all heard of it, and most eCommerce brands with a physical presence have an omnichannel strategy, or are developing one.
More and more data – including results from the Dotcom Distribution 2017 Commerce Study – indicate that a brand’s success is directly tied to creating a consistently favorable experience during every step of the sales process, whether it is in-store, online or when a package arrives at a customer’s door. One of the key elements in a successful omnichannel strategy is real-time inventory management.
Here are 3 ways real-time inventory management can add value to your omnichannel strategy:
Real-Time Shipping Updates for You and your customers
While tracking products from the manufacturer to their final destination helps to properly manage inventory, it also improves and strengthens the supply chain by making data readily available to all stakeholders, including your customers. Despite its importance and benefits, few brands have it under control, according to the GEODIS 2017 Supply Chain Worldwide Study. The 600 industry professionals surveyed had supply chain visibility as the third highest priority, but only 6% of respondents utilized full inventory visibility.
As real-time order status and shipping updates become the norm, emerging brands, especially those experiencing strong growth, should invest the time and resources into ensuring real-time inventory visibility.
Order Online, Pick up In-Store
Real-time inventory management can also reap benefits at the brick-and-mortar level, further helping to create a positive omni-channel experience. According to eMarketer, more than 80% of U.S. shoppers want the option to see if a product they view online is available in a nearby store.
Accurate real-time inventory management can help retailers best cater to these “click-and-collect” customers. Without proper inventory management, a brand may not accurately display if an item is available in a nearby location, which can result in lost sales and/or a disenchanted customer, both of which can tarnish a brand’s reputation.
Planning and Forecasting
Full inventory visibility also aids retailers in the decision-making process. Accurate inventory and order management systems help retail partners order more effectively, as they can know which products are fast movers and those that are underperforming. This creates a better relationship between brand and retailer, and ultimately between brand and customer.
To gain a better understanding of the important role omni-channel will play in the year ahead, download the Dotcom Distribution 2017 eCommerce Study. You can also contact us or schedule a tour to learn how we can help you implement real-time inventory management systems that will help your brand grow!