Making the decision to focus sales channel integration can bring up a lot of anxiety for some retailers who are unsure about the process. They may fear that it will be a “one size fits all” tool that can’t handle the intricacies of their business. With out of the box integrations that may be the case, but with a highly flexible integration tool like Retail Dimensions’ RD-Ice, the benefits of combining data from every sales channel can take a business into the digital age and align with Omnichannel commerce
trends reshaping the world of retail.
A POS to ecommerce integration connects all sales channels without compromising the effectiveness of the retailer’s business operations. Our team of integration specialists work closely with the retailer to understand the needs of the business and create the right solutions to address them. As a result of the collaboration, the retailer gets an integration tool that is tailored to fit every complexity of the business. It won’t just make connections, it will create the pathways that will streamline business processes throughout the company and make it more cost effective, reliable, and easier to manage than it has ever been before.
Why sales channel integration?
By harnessing the information exchanged between your POS software and ecommerce platforms, you will be better able to control your business. An integration will enable information to be shared as soon as it is entered, alerting management of issues before they become real problems for the employees or the customers. But how do you know it’s time to make the jump to a fully integrated retail store? To find out, we suggest starting with an evaluation of these areas of the business.
1. A loss of focus on growing the business
When a retailer is spending an excess amount of time inputting orders manually, the focus on growing the business suffers. Entering data in multiple systems takes twice as long and correcting mistakes made from manually entering data drains even more time. Maintaining inventory, processing shipments, and staying on top of the day-to-day operations is cumbersome and the customers could suffer as a result.
2. Too much time spent inputting orders
When you move to a unified commerce structure, the time it takes to input orders, customer data, and inventory information is oftentimes cut in half. With a fully integrated system retailers need to input data into the POS system just one time and it will be immediately available to everyone at both your physical locations and on your website for your online customers.
“A fully integrated POS to ecommerce system will create pathways that streamline business processes throughout the company to make it more cost effective, reliable, and easier to manage than ever been before.”
3. Mistakes in the data
The more times the exact same data is put into the system, the more opportunities there are for mistakes to be made or important information can be overlooked. The data entered into the POS system needs to be accurate when it communicates with the warehouse to put together an order. Details, such as the item number, size, color, and other pertinent information, are important to get the order right and serve the customer at the highest level. If mistakes or missed information are made, it could permanently compromise the relationship with the customer.
4. Inventory issues
Keeping your inventory at the appropriate levels ensures that your business is running at the highest possible efficiency. Sales channel integration can give full oversight of your inventory can tell you what items are selling, and which ones have lost their popularity and need to go on sale. With a fully integrated business, retailers will know exactly what is in their inventory, any time of day, any day of the year, and can make sound decisions as they go forward.
5. Item numbers and product descriptions
Inputting data is a time-consuming and tedious job, but information accuracy is the key to running a successful business. Having the right, real-time information at your fingertips, or those of your employees and online customers, will ensure that your customers receive the product exactly as expected by the consumer.
6. Shipping challenges
Shipping is a complicated piece of the order fulfillment process. With a flexible integration tool in place, those important mailing details will be locked in and easy to track. Communication emails can be preprogrammed to be sent automatically to keep everyone up to date on any changes. All this can be done with a reliable automated integration tool.
7. System crashes
The idea of a partial or total system failure can keep any retailer up at night. Hundreds of active orders, the business’s entire inventory, shipping history, and all communications with the customers can suddenly and permanently disappear and the retailer is left to rebuild his business, along with the relationships with his affected customers. With an integrated system, the stored data is regularly backed up and automatically protected within the system so the retailer can rest easy.
8. Unable to support accounts for different customer types
A unified commerce structure, connected by an integration tool, allows the retailer to offer more to their customers. By sharing customer data between the POS system, the webstore, and the social media sales channels, retailers can keep track of their customers’ buying habits, whether they buy online or at their neighborhood store – achieving sales channel integration. Retailers will know which products are selling and which are not, the customer’s method of payment, shopping times, what they leave in their cart, and much more. This, in turn, guides the retailer to create promotions, order more product, and create loyalty programs their customers will respond to when shopping.
9. Customer satisfaction is faltering
The buying public has become increasingly comfortable moving between different sales channels to purchase products from the same retailer. This is great news! Stores are now open online 24/7, but if your sales data is not communicating well between all areas of your business, it could cripple the fulfillment process with missing information and leave your customer dissatisfied when they don’t receive their package as they ordered it. Sales channel integration through one comprehensive tool is the best way to clear the pathways for data to be shared across the entire company.
10. Losing the competitive edge
An effective sales channel integration gives a retailer a competitive advantage over their competition. The information gathered from customer data is shared across the retailer’s entire business quickly and accurately. This positions the retailer to offer cross-channel promotions, targeted promotions, and customer incentives that can increase sales and creates an image of a customer-focused business.
With a highly flexible, reliable integration tool, like Retail Dimensions’ RD-Ice, retailers are given the ability to make better, faster, and more accurate business decisions based on complete data. They will see their profits increase through flexible pricing options, more efficiency in their employee management strategies, and additional ways to reward their sales staff by tracking their performance. Brand loyalty will soar as customers come to rely on the superior service found at the retailer’s store, and the retailer will see that the bridges created through an RD-Ice integration arm them with the knowledge that grows business and simplifies the work.