Retailers know that amid the COVID “new normal” the shopping experience, after years of trending, has finally evolved to include ecommerce as an equal partner in the busy retail landscape.
Online shopping has become another arm of a retailer’s business. It works side by side with your point of sale system to serve customers and transfer relevant data to all the departments, employees, and customers involved in a sale. It acts as a companion to your brick and mortar point of sale system in so many ways. However, managing two separate but equal sales channels requires an integration tool that will seamlessly connect both arms of your business into one information archive and create information pathways that have the ability to transfer accurate data from both platforms simultaneously.
It’s time to build that customized integration tool.
Your business’s nervous system
Accurate, up to date information is vitally important in a fast-paced retail setting. Imagine your business as a human body. Your sales channels—the ecommerce platform and point of sale registers—act as the “brain” of your business. It’s where new information is gathered and becomes part of the system, or “body” of your business activity. Once internalized, that information travels through the business’s “nervous system” to every department affected by the sale, accounting, order fulfillment, shipping, and inventory. This provides your employees with real time information so they can speak confidently with customers and to carry out their job as the “hands” of your business.
But the retail world is complicated. There are many details that go into each order, and if one of those details is overlooked, which can easily occur, it could cause major disruptions to the processing of an order.
Inventory updates, transaction details, and shipping requirements make nearly every sale different and out of the box integrations are not capable of meeting a retailer’s unique needs. What is needed is a surgeon’s skill to sew up those connections properly, and Retail Dimensions provides that with our highly adaptable RD-Ice integration platform.
By combining your point of sale and ecommerce sales channels, an RD-Ice integration will effectively clear the pathways for information to move in every direction instantly throughout the fulfillment process.”
A Customized Integration Tool that Captures Every Detail
RD-Ice has the built in flexibility to accommodate the specific needs of each retail business we serve, allowing for all the details of each phase to be addressed throughout the fulfillment process.
When a sale occurs, either at the streetside store or online, the information collected is instantly sent to the many different departments affected. Details collected at this point inform the changes that will need to effectively fall into place in the other areas of the business to successfully fill the order for the customers.
RD-Ice captures this data down to the last detail and sends the data onto the next phase, communicating updates along the way with real time information that will tell your salesperson inventory levels, packing and shipping requirements, and other relevant information.
When the information is delivered to your employees, they will receive specific instructions on what has been ordered, how many units, and if the item will be picked up or delivered.
If there is a change in the order after the initial transaction has been completed, they will be notified of the change immediately and, as they work to complete the order, your employees will be updating information throughout the process for every other department, including your warehouse. And, with RD-Ice’s automatic notification options, the customer will also be notified when there has been a change to the status of their order.
Communicating with shipping companies
Now it’s time to package and ship the order.
With an RD-Ice integration, you’ll be able to offer your customers more options, with less work for your employees and fewer mistakes from missed or misleading information. The information that was gathered at checkout will be available to your shipping department, including any specific instructions on packing and how the item will make it to the customer’s doorstep. An RD-Ice integration can accommodate a whiskey distillery’s needs for special packaging for unusually shaped glass bottles, or special “buy online, pick up in-store” requests from a customer who will be in the area where your brick and mortar store is located. RD-Ice makes it easier for your employees to provide the best customer service possible and strengthen your customers’ brand loyalty.
Updating inventory counts
Immediate and accurate inventory is the heartbeat of your retail business. You rely on your inventory counts to reveal the health of your business, where you should be paying more attention, and where you need to trim excess. They direct you when you are considering sales, and when you want to learn more about your typical customer. RD-Ice can give you more detailed information by customizing the inventory data for a real-time insider’s view, anytime of the day. Changes made throughout the system are provided immediately, whether it be from a purchase, or a loss through damage.
Updating the inventory is simple and effective when your integration tool clears the way for sudden changes to be included in your inventory as soon as they occur.
Streamlining All Your Business Activity
As online retailing continues to grow in popularity, retailers are finding that consumers expect their virtual shopping experience to provide the same high-level customer experience they receive inside their neighborhood store. Retailers who are new to online shopping often discover that achieving that high bar can be challenging when two sales channels are working parallel to each other while sharing the same inventory. Mistakes are too often made in the data and, in each instance, it could translate into an irreparable break in consumer confidence.
By integrating their POS and ecommerce sales channels, retailers build one comprehensive system that will eliminate many of the issues that can damage brand loyalty. And once the integration is active, many retailers find the advantages of streamlining their businesses not only creates a stronger bond with their customers, it also strengthens the loyalty experienced by all parties involved, as suppliers and employees know they can rely on the information to get the order filled correctly.
One Store, Two Ways Your Customers Can Shop
Connecting your entire retail business creates an internal communication system that acts as the nerve center for all your business activity.
Oftentimes, this involves multiple connections across several departments working concurrently to execute the desired actions. By integrating the point of sale activity with the sales occurring online, a RD-Ice integration will effectively clear the pathways for all the information to move in every direction throughout the fulfillment process at once.
Providing a seamless shopping experience for your customers solidifies the reputation of your employees and stores. As that reputation grows, it will open the door to even more business in the future. By offering the same level of service and options online that you do at your brick and mortar stores, your customers will be assured they are a valuable part of the success of your business and they will choose to shop at your store first.
An RD-Ice integration from Retail Dimensions is the key to creating that interconnected business and seamless exchange of data that will provide you with a streamlined business and take the customer experience to the next level.