It’s clear that omnichannel is key to winning customers in fashion retail and, now more than ever, retail bosses need to be fully aware of customer behaviours both in-store and online – how they move from page to page and view each item; the most popular product categories; the average length of time spent shopping, and so forth.
The concept of omnichannel can be seen as both a huge opportunity and an immense challenge for retailers. For some, it can be experienced as an ‘unrealised dream’ in today’s intensely competitive market. The technology readily available and brick-and-mortar stores can acquire ‘real-time data’ on stock, but how can retailers introduce a beneficial strategy to reap the rewards?
Implementing a successful omnichannel strategy
Essentially, to successfully implement a truly omnichannel strategy you need high quality real-time data analysis and smart merchandise management on the single item level, to ensure the consumer follows-through on a desired purchase.
You need to be able to map your customer’s journey, to fully understand how and why they might reach out to browse or buy on different channels at different times.
If you can anticipate and map out the typical customer journey, then you are far more likely to convert to a sale, whether in store or online.
Click & Collect is all well and good, but you need to deliver. Too many consumers have been let down by major retailers over the last few years, due to poor stock control and inventory management. Which is exactly why retailers now need to connect, integrate and bridge their customer experiences online and offline to deliver the seamless omnichannel customer experience today´s consumers expect.
You need to offer real-world personalised customer experiences that create engagement through both in-store and digital means and that can also transform an in-store experience with special touches – such as smart fitting rooms, for example.
The key is in deploying technology that will help you to view and manage your stock inventory in real-time, without having to completely rehaul all of your entire technology systems.
Based on Detego’s proven software suite for business intelligence, which is on the edge of technological advances also in terms of hands-free infrastructure, the solution was deployed in a very short time frame. The fast implementation and deployment was underpinned by a lean and agile approach to immediately realize the aimed business benefits for Denimwall Inc.
We helped to achieve their goals using a variety of technologies to compliment their business vision. A full automated, hands-free RFID ceiling reader system combined with real-time analytics software gave them item level visibility on their garments, plus a mobile application that integrated with our existing retail system all worked together to help them achieve one phase of their overall onmichannel vision.
This is a great example of how an onmichannel vision should be implemented and what it means to deliver stock control for a connected and efficient retail operation. Retailers need to consider a number of elements to achieve this.
First, item-level visibility in real-time and full awareness of the in-store customer is absolutely crucial. How they move and interact with items, where they linger, and what goes into a fitting room with what, in addition to awareness of the online customer – and integration between the two.
Second, implementing predictive analytics can bring a personal shopper experience to each customer whether on the premises or off.
Thirdly, a mapped customer journey helps retailers understand how and why a customer might reach out on different channels at different times.
Last but not least, providing real-world personalised customer experiences can create engagement through digital means and transform an in-store experience with special touches – like smart fitting rooms.
With these elements in place a retailer can automatically collect data about their merchandise, provide accurate inventory information and real-time transparency. Al mobile, 24-7 and hands-free, no matter the size of the operation.
What does this mean? It means that the customer experience is amazing. They find something – in store, online or on a mobile app – and then they can buy and collect it as soon as they want.
And fashion retailers know that customer experience is everything. You can offer the best choice of products via multiple channels. But if you cannot deliver, the customer moves on. Very quickly!
Words by Uwe Hennig, CEO at Detego