Forbes reported today that one of the biggest challenges for modern retailers is the speed at which customers tend to move, shopping both online and in-store, and still expecting a consistent level of customer service across all channels. To deliver this high quality of service and consistency, companies must have a point of sale system in place that can integrate its customer, inventory and sales information from online to brick-and-mortar locations.
Forbes notes that “pulling together customer, transaction and operational data from all consumer channels and touch points becomes a Big Data challenge for any sized retailer. Making the information available in real-time and activating predictive analytics is even harder.” In fact, it can be difficult, but is far from impossible with the proper software. Such centralization of information is also essential for the health of the company, since business strategies can only be devised and implemented once all the numbers are synthesized.
Integrated Solutions for Retailers explains that this consolidation of information can be used in a variety of ways to increase revenue. For one, mobile devices can send customized messages and offers to buyers who show an interest in a certain inventory or walk into a certain part of a shop. Many customers have reported using their mobile devices while browsing in a brick-and-mortar store to optimize their shopping experience and become as knowledgeable about the product as possible. It is important that these mobile searches are not lost, but recorded and sent to a central storage device that manages data for the entire company.
Omni-channel marketing is the future of retail, and as Integrated Solutions for Retailers notes, “To be successful, it’s all about empowering and serving the customer. Omni-channel retailers must provide a seamless network, uniting all channels from the same database, letting consumers experience the brand, not a channel within a brand.”