Physical store shopping a.k.a offline shopping is still in the game with more than 90% preferring it. But the question how dependent has offline shopping become on the digital technologies.
Well, saying that digital and physical store shopping are interdependent wouldn’t be an exaggeration as digital technologies have started helping brick and mortar showrooms in multiple ways. Consumers use store locators to find their the nearest showroom of a brand they prefer, consumers trust online reviews before going in for an offline purchase.
“Retail showrooms use geo-fencing and push notifications to engage customers who walk in to their stores.”
In fact the aid that digital technologies are providing to brick and motor stores have encouraged retailers to step into the digital selling channels like ecommerce store, listing their products in third-party marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and mobile applications. While stepping into multiple digital sales channels, the sales points get bigger as the selling platforms are more and the key challenge for a business will be being available for every potential customer with what they need at different sales points.
How can businesses achieve this?
Shifting the conventional inventory management and replacing it with a modern inventory which simplifies multitasking is the key. Now, let’s dig deep into how a modern inventory proves handy for retail businesses in facing multi-channel challenges.
Conventional way of inventory management consumes time and result in errors as the updates have to be done for each sales channel separately. A centralized inventory management system that synchronizes inventory across all sales channels on cloud is the best way to introduce smarter inventory routines into a business.
Smarter stock management for stock handling challenges across multiple channels
Juggling within stocks forms the base for an inventory that never says ‘No’ to consumer requirements. You must know the stock levels up to date to know what’s in and out.
For instance, if you happen to lose stocks in case of damages or offer stocks for free as samples or a part of a brand promoting campaign, your stock levels have to be adjusted accordingly. These adjustments need separate monitoring apart from loading and dispatch.
A modern inventory management will allow you to adjust stock levelsin such situations and lets you know the exact amount of stock available. Stock Statuses keeps your in-house delivery team to stay updated on what is ready to be shipped and what’s available.
While selling across multiple sales platforms, reserving or maintaining stocks for each channel separately can help you in increasing or decreasing the number of stocks as per the consumer requirements which exist respective to the channels.
It can be best explained with an example. If you are selling via A – An ecommerce store, B – Amazon, and C – Mobile application, the consumer requirements will differ with each channel. Channel B might see more of your products being sold as it happens to be a marketplace while ‘A’ and ‘C’ might comparatively find less sales.
Manipulating stock numbers and maintaining channel-specific stocks based on requirements will help your business feed your customers all the time thereby helping your products be available for consumers at every single sales point across multiple sales channels.
If you ever wonder where to start for perfecting your retail stock management, try implementing retail stock management best practices. A modern inventory management can well and truly be flexible enough to accommodate such practices.
Prepare for a bigger warehouse management and monitoring
Warehouses are the stock access points from which a shipment is initiated. With your sales channels getting wider, warehouses get bigger and more in number as well. Being prepared for warehouse managing complexities will be easy with a modern inventory management in hand.
You get bombarded with orders with different shipping locations and so, maintaining stocks in multiple warehouses will help you cover a larger area and certainly shrink the transportation distance.
To avoid scenarios where customers are kept waiting to receive products due to unavailability of product in a warehouse, you can transfer stocks between warehouses to meet the demand instantly. By doing so, no warehouse becomes stockless and you’ll be available for your customers with what you want.
Right from loading to delivery dispatch, activities in a warehouse happen at multiple levels. Monitoring all such tasks for thousands of products is tough. A multi channel inventory management provides a tracking system which records all the user activities sequentially. These records lead you towards key findings on how your team is performing and prevent stock loss.
Categorize your clients
Consumers you face in your ecommerce store might differ from those who procure through your exclusive ordering portal or a marketplace or a mobile app. Classifying your customers into different categories based on their purchase behavior will be highly useful to set special prices, discounts etc.
Using a modern inventory management, wholesale purchasers, retail procurers, middle level agents and merchants who have buying pattern of their own can be segregated into specific groups and different pricing can be maintained for each.
Such grouping not only clears clutter in terms of fixing prices but also in maintaining client information and analyzing their shopping history.
Introducing the next generation field sales pitching and in-store experience
Redefining retail store selling approach
A modern inventory can redefine the way selling happens in your retail store and field marketing. Taking shape of mobile application, an advanced inventory system can help field sales with access to products, inventory status, warehouse locations, client information and order history etc.
Extending this capability further and housing product catalogs and product demos into this app mechanism, you can certainly enhance the way your sales associates approach and pitch to your target audience.
In case of in-store experience, your retail store associate will be the one benefiting from such a handy technology that lets them to be spot on, instant and impressive.
Transition of customer’s buying specifics from ‘Only offline’ to ‘Online-Offline’
Customers’ shopping habits have changed the way physical store and digital selling has been. They are no longer two distinct parts rather a connected entity which serves exactly what a new-age shopper requires. Dependency on digital technology in some way or the other has urged wholesale and retail businesses to adopt digital technologies and sell platforms to widen business reach and achieve 100% customer satisfaction.
It is high time that you get your business connected with a multi channel inventory management system and expand sales opportunities.
Do you want to digitalize your inventory? or set up into digital selling platforms