The new-age retail with developments that offer a unique buying experience to customers is testimony to India’s fast-growing retail sector on a global stage. With the expansion of the internet and developing technologies, developments in the retail space are even reaching Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Omnichannel retail, an open head commerce digital asset available to users is helping retail businesses grow exponentially. This aim is to provide a unified retail experience with seamless social and local searches, options to explore physical channels, browsing to order fulfilment, and delivery without any break in the experience.
An omnichannel operation ensures shoppers enjoy a retail experience on a what they want, when, and where they want it, basis. It is achievable due to the backing of a true SaaS Platform. It offers a cloud-based solution that lets customers access their applications remotely. A true SaaS Platform helps efficiently sell, distribute, and manage cloud-based software and services.
Towards the future
Established itself as an incredible innovation, SaaS’s popularity is based on simplicity, user accessibility, security, and widespread connectivity. It offers a lot of agility and cost-effectiveness for companies. As it stands, SaaS-powered omnichannel retail solutions’ significance is in the way digital devices are shaping in-store sales. The Statista 2022 Retail shows that the use of digital devices before or during shopping will influence 58% of in-store sales. Digital devices come in handy for a variety of options from making payments, managing loyalty points, communicating with customer service agents, browsing products, and getting a visual understanding of them.
Today, shoppers have begun to compare prices and get the best of discounts across multiple platforms. As most searches are generic and brand-agnostic, discovery and engagement are essential on mobile devices. CB Insights data shows that 85% of consumers prefer interacting with brands using digital and physical channels based on their convenience and urgency. Using omnichannel services shoppers discover products on one channel, but research on another channel. And eventually, buy from another channel and would then complain about it on a completely different platform.
During the pandemic, as trends suggest, brands that had a greater degree of digital integration at multiple touch-points grew. Industry data shows that 90% of leading retailers either have an omnichannel strategy or plan to invest in omnichannel tech when it comes to offering digital experiences, while only 8% think they have mastered omnichannel. Organic discovery is a roadblock that a SaaS-powered retail channel helps overcome while bringing down the cost of customer acquisition.
Enabling a change
As SaaS continues to change how retail business functions the tech-enabled omnichannel retail has seen success with a Last Mile First approach. E-commerce retailers, to taste success, must create a few critical pillars that will hold the digital and commerce infrastructure in place. The deployment of digital assets will allow the customers to choose the fulfilment either online or from the store. The key to self-service enablement lies in dynamic engagement and handoffs between EPOS, inventory management, and check-out and payment fulfilment.
SaaS offers omnichannel retail, a flexible structure through a headless commerce architecture. It helps in unlocking the true potential of omnichannel, real-time organic marketing, and brand building. Dependencies on third-party integrators and change request delays will destroy the implementation and fulfilment of a retailer’s digital dream. Dynamic Customer data platforms for real-time engagement and done in the proper context helps in delivering a human-like experience even with BOTs. Offering loyalty and rewards tech is important in building long-term customer lifetime value offering experiences through marketing.
As over 62% of digital dropouts are due to the poor user experience, from discovery to checkout due to poor customer service, it is essential to engage contextually and build trust to earn first-party data of your potential customer. Brands exploring omnichannel retail must know customers are coming from a zero-brand affinity space. There should be an automated and real-time or dynamic communication platform-as-a-service. This must be mobile, offer virtual try-on, virtual client handling, and a cashier-less checkout that is safe and secure.
In conclusion, as SaaS brings all this together, brands need to create an end-to-end predictive inventory management system that makes sure that the purchase to delivery software is all in one dashboard that works dynamically and provides a holistic retail experience to users.
(The author is Founder & CEO - Sekel Tech)