The pandemic is rapidly changing our behavior towards online channels, and the shifts are likely to stick post-pandemic. While many companies are challenged to survive in the short-term, the crisis also presents an opportunity. Bold companies that invest ambitiously and timely in their online business are likely to emerge as market leaders. While a short-term reaction is needed to survive, a long-term view will make winners.
The COVID-19 crisis will result in permanent change to our shopping behavior and ways of conducting business. While some businesses have experienced a temporary short-term peak in demand, other categories will be moving online for good. Why?
- Convenience beats price as the #1 reason for online shopping: We are getting used to online convenience, and new habits quickly become persistent. Last year, convenience topped the list of reasons for online shopping. Essential product categories, such as beverages and fresh food, may be particularly susceptible to the convenience wave.
- The risk of a pandemic blowback leads to continued social distancing: The increased focus on personal hygiene and social distancing will encourage continued online shopping, reinforcing behavioral change in the longer term.
- Intensified online competition: E-commerce players, upon seeing a surge in volume, will do everything in their power to retain their newly acquired customers through loyalty programs, subscription models, promotions, and expansion of the product range.
- Elderly and vernacular consumer will go online: Those who invest in next level platforms which include voice searches, AR/VR, language capabilities will be able to retain these new entrants.
Transition Your Business To The New Normal
This pandemic is forging new buying patterns, however, what has not changed in the crisis is that leading companies differentiate themselves from their competitors based on the experience that they deliver to their customers. The current trends clearly indicate that the consumers are more likely favour convenience over price.
Now is the time to act. The bold and ambitious companies that embrace the new reality and take timely action can capture market share and emerge after the crisis as market leaders. Action requires courage to reinvent your business model and invest in times of high uncertainty. We recommend the organizations to be proactive and consider the following actions:
- Adopt Omni Channel: Omnichannel retailing is a strategy of having a presence across all touchpoints, which basically means going beyond bricks-and-mortar locations to mobile-browsing, online marketplaces, social media, and every online channel where the customers can browse. In this approach, the customer takes center stage while all the above-stated multi-channels overlap to give the customer a best possible and uniform shopping experience upholding the brand value.
- Strengthen Your customer Experience: Understand the path to purchase of your (new) online customers and provide them with simple and human-centered UX design to create delightful shopping experiences across devices leveraging the latest technological innovation. If you have physical stores, ensure that they are digitally connected with your e-commerce channel.
- Strengthen your technology Platform: There is need to speed up the investments in your existing technology platforms to integrate them with your Omni Channel Strategy. You not only need to integrate your Point of Sales (Mobile, Web & Stores) but also to integrate the fulfilment, Shipping and the Inventory Management.
- Upgrade your supply chain and fulfillment: Across the world the traditional Distribution Center led approach is under stress. There is a need to decongest the supply chain. Leverage integrated omni channel strategy to enable your Brick and Mortars to act as Micro Fulfilment Centers. Buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) options have seen rapid growth over the past few years, but this model is likely to shift to buy online, deliver from store.
Introducing The Nuvoretail Omni Channel Platform
Managing operations simultaneously from multiple channels is often a complex task. Managing content, sales, and inventory dynamically require collaborations and transparency. For example, there should be consistency in the products showing in all its digital channels and these products must always be updated for their availability.
Keeping the complex business requirements in mind, we have crafted an Omnichannel E-Commerce Platform. The proposed platform is envisaged as a centralized platform that integrates all existing business applications and serves as a common interface for its customers, dealers, and the business users within the Brand.
This document provides a comprehensive functional overview of the Omnichannel E-commerce platform for the organizations. We not only integrate your existing ERPs & POS but also provide you with a fascinating online retail outlet that is not only language customizable but is also future-ready with AR & VR functionalities and 360° views. Needless to say that the channel comes integrated with native Android and IoS Apps
The Omnichannel platform is not a simple shopping cart site but an online marketplace for the brand’s dealers & the Brands, where they can sell the merchandise and provide customer services. It is designed to provide a far superior customer experience than the existing Marketplaces and also integrates itself with the Marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc.
This is an enabling platform that integrates the complete retail ecosystem such as your online store, mobile applications, and Brick & Mortars and enables them to delight your customers in a unique and convenient manner.
The Key features of our Omnichannel platform are as under
Centralised Inventory Management
Our omni-channel application updates the inventory in real time across multiple locations and automatically syncs the stock status with online marketplace marketplaces, your Direct to Customer (D2C) Channel (Web/Mobile) and Physical Stores.
The solution also brings the offline inventory into centralised inventory pool and lets you set priorities and benchmarks seamlessly. All the retail points receive accurate stock information. These automated inventory updates help you plan the stock and abstain from overselling.
Integrated Omni-channel Order Management
Since the customer has many options from where he would place an order for your products, it is crucial to have an assimilated and robust cross-channel order management system in place. Our retail solution integrates orders from e-commerce sites, company sites, and physical stores and processes them in bulk to keep the logistics costs low.
The orders from various POS can be allocated to the nearest store for processing and shipment. The process allows you the flexibility and ease of routing the orders based on geographical criteria such as state location, city location, pin code, etc.
Hassle-free Return Management
Making an order return and managing the order returns, is a critical thing for both customers and organisations. It defines the customer’s experience of shopping with you and mirrors your commitment and efficiency in the way you handle the returns.
When you are an omnichannel retailer, managing the returns can pose a bottleneck in your supply chain. Our omnichannel strategy for returns management helps unify online and physical stores and deal with order returns effectively.
Online/offline Store Integration
Our Omnichannel platform provides seamless integration of offline and online stores including websites and marketplaces to enable perfect O2O commerce.
Processing of online, website, or offline store orders can be easily managed across multiple store locations providing a uniform customer experience which is the key to success in Omnichannel retailing.
The best part of our omnichannel e-commerce solution is the smooth and easy shipping of orders. We can integrate shipping partners and in-house logistics to enable the organisations to expand their reach.
Based on the region, price, and weight of the order fulfillment, you can assign an apt logistic partner for the shipment of the order. If self-shipping the order is a suitable option, you can choose to self-ship the order and track it too.
The customers too can choose how they want their orders to be delivered. They can either pick from the physical store nearby or may prefer to receive at their doorstep.
There would not be any roadblock working with us. All your current ERPs (Tally, Base, Oracle, Navision, SAP, etc.) get effortlessly integrated into our omnichannel software product. Retail supply chain information such as inventory status and order details are automatically updated in the ERPs. Simultaneously, the orders from multi-channels of retailing reflect in the ERPs to bridge the information communication from e-commerce points to the organisation’s internal MIS.
Periodical Data Generation/ Analytics
Business information, whether internal or external is a valuable tool to the organisations. The regular daily, weekly and monthly operations reports help you build your strategies from grassroots and dominate the market.
COVID-19 will permanently reshape e-commerce as we know it, separating winners from the rest. The organisations need to remain ahead of the curve to adjust to this reset. Consumer sentiment will slowly but steadily become buoyant and optimistic. The organisations must show courage during this period of lull and utilize this period to bring about a digital transformation. The key to success during these times of crises will be to generate synergies and thereby provide unique and delightful experiences to your customers.
While the organisations need to enable as many touchpoints to their customers as possible such as Marketplaces, Webstores & Physical Stores, but they also need to seamlessly integrate these touchpoints with an Omni-Channel Strategy. The synergies generated by the integrated Omni -Channel will separate the winners from the rest.