Top 5 Omnichannel Retail Challenges & Why POS Integration Software Is Vital

Getting your online and in-store operations to work in perfect unison is no mean feat. Learn how an integrated system can help you overcome the key challenges.
0
min read
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Retail Express
April 8, 2022
Aaron Blackman
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CEO & Founder
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Retail Express
April 8, 2022

Table of contents

Learn why overcoming your omni retail challenges is no longer merely ideal but a necessity, and see how smart POS integration software can transform your business.

"Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don't." 
- AudiencePrime

Retail stats always say the same: omnichannel strategies improve retail businesses — especially customer retention rates. But in the struggle to go omni, many Aussie and Kiwi retailers face tough omnichannel retail challenges simply because they're not aware of the solutions available to them. Solutions, for example, like point of sale (POS) integration through smart omnichannel software. 

This article shows you the 5 top omnichannel retail challenges and how a digital transformation can make a major improvement to your business and bottom line.

Digital transformation is now absolutely vital. Using software to create an integrated omni approach reduces inefficiencies, increases visibility (for staff and customers), and maximises profitability. What's more, you’ll give your shoppers a delightfully brilliant customer experience.

RECAP: What is omnichannel?-

Omnichannel retail is a business model that integrates all sales channels to offer customers a seamless shopping experience. All data from various facets of the business is centralised. All stock is visible across all channels, along with other vital information such as supply chain, inventory and fulfilment, customer profiles, HR and more. 

Omnichannel differs from multichannel retail, as the latter offers multiple channels for customers, but they aren't integrated. So to define omni (aka omni stores or omni retail), just remember that everything is integrated.

Right now, customers expect retailers to have a sophisticated omnichannel retailing strategy, so it's up to retailers to deliver. 

When most of us started though, we layered on new systems as we went. And it was probably a sensible thing to do at the time. But here lies the problem. Layering leaves us with separate data for each sales channel and warehouse, disconnected software systems, uninformed staff, customers, and dozens of issues and questions.

Worst of all – running a retail business in outdated silos is expensive. 

Not only are you impacting the growth in online and in-store sales, but you're also paying too much for this lack of growth. 

It's like being slapped in the face twice.

So, let's look at the most common challenges retailers run into as they build their omnichannel systems and what can be done with the right point of sale (POS) integration.

Retail Express gives you one secure, cloud-based, integrated set of data visible in real-time. Streamline systems, reduce admin and save money. Display live stock in-store to customers, offer Click & Collect and decentralise your fulfilment for faster deliveries.

Get a free one-hour demonstration to find out more.

1. Omnichannel inventory challenges{Omnichannel Inventory Challenges}

"71% of shoppers agree that it is important or very important to be able to view inventory information for in-store products."
- Search Engine Land

Inventory data that isn't real-time-

THE OUTCOME? Frustrated customers, fewer sales.

If your online inventory levels displayed aren't operating in real-time, then you'll likely shortchange yourself and your customers. For example, products might display as available when out of stock, which is frustrating for customers. 

Alternatively, products may display as out of stock when you have plenty of available inventory, which means lost sales.

Retail express lets you integrate all orders and stock online and in-store

Store inventory not available on your eCommerce store-

THE OUTCOME? Disappointed customers, fewer sales.

Allowing your online channels access to your bricks & mortar inventory (and vice versa) maximises your sales potential. If you don't leverage this approach, you risk missing out on sales due to displaying out-of-stock when there's demand.

Stocking different ranges across online & store channels-

THE OUTCOME? Confused customers, fewer sales

Often, customers want to use your online shop to find the specific products that best meet their needs. They may then want to visit your brick and mortar store to try out the product or get more product advice. If a customer finds a product online but not available in-store (or vice-versa), you create unnecessary barriers in their purchasing decisions.

No visibility of online & store data-

THE OUTCOME? Poor business decisions, excessive admin, less profit

Making strategic decisions around inventory availability, purchasing and inter-store stock movement is heavily restricted without the insights to understand vital areas easily. For example, which channel moves stock faster, what sells best online compared to your physical retail store locations and demographics, and how these channels work together.

THE SOLUTION? Switch to cloud-based omnichannel software to centralise your inventory management across physical and eCom stores. You'll give your customers complete, real-time stock visibility with no discrepancies between online and off-line stock or prices. But that's not all. 

An integrated point of sale system (POS integration) also means that staff can see stock levels at their cloud-based POS machine and inform customers of stock levels. And no single channel will be isolated. Plus, you can display live stock levels in-store and offer Click & Collect on your website.

2. Omnichannel fulfilment challenges{Omnichannel Fulfilment Challenges}

“87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience"
- Zendesk

Whether it's Fashion, Furniture, Homewares, Sporting Goods, Toys, Nutrition, Rural supplies, Workwear, Discount Variety or Pet Products, shoppers across all categories are demanding a faster and more convenient supply chain and fulfilment options.

Some of the most common omnichannel fulfilment challenges that can be avoided are:

Pet store with POS software offering Click and Collect

Lack of order management & fulfilment integration-

THE PROBLEM?  Errors, wasted time, excessive manual and admin work & poor customer experiences.

Suppose you have separate, disconnected retail systems for your online and in-store channels. In that case, you are duplicating all of your picking, packing, batching and shipping processes. With no omnichannel fulfilment strategy, you'll have slower fulfilment times, more internal inefficiencies and friction, many data entry errors and deliver a poor customer experience.

No Click & Collect-

THE PROBLEM? Shoppers love Click & Collect. Without it, you lose sales and don't profit from last-minute purchases when customers come in-store to collect orders.

If your eCommerce systems do not integrate with your physical stores' systems, it's impossible to provide live available stock levels. You need live stock levels to show customers the closest stores carrying stock so they can put Click & Collect to use. And Click & Collect (aka BOPIS or Buy Online Pick up in Store) is extremely popular with both Aussies and Kiwis now. 

According to Inside Retail, 49% of Australian consumers prefer Click & Collect as a primary means of fulfilment for essential categories, with 41% preferring it for more impulse categories.

Go without an omnichannel offering that allows this convenience, and you lose sales to your competitors.

THE SOLUTION: Retail Express' omnichannel solution can help overcome fulfilment challenges with sophisticated software that centralises in-store and online operations. You can offer live stock levels in-store, Click & Collect (BOPIS) and decentralise your fulfilment. Decentralising means you get the order fulfilled from the nearest store or warehouse to save on freight and get goods to customers faster.

Decentralise fulfilment and ship from nearest outlet

3. Omnichannel pricing challenges{Omnichannel Pricing Challenges}

"60% of consumers compare in-store and online prices."
– Retail Touchpoints

Customers have become more price-savvy in the last decade. All that shopping info available on the web means that today's shoppers aren't just comparing your prices with other retailers; they're comparing your prices, online and off. 

Without omnichannel software, retailers can run into nasty pricing headaches like these:

Inconsistent pricing across retail channels-

THE PROBLEM? Customers don't trust retailers who offer inconsistent pricing. They feel they are being lied to. It's a bad customer experience and bad for your brand.

Whoops! Displaying inconsistent prices is a bad look, even if it wasn't intended. Now that customers use a variety of channels to shop, you must offer consistent pricing across all channels to win customer sales, loyalty and confidence in your brand.

Too many databases to maintain-

Without an integrated product/pricing database between store and online channels, your staff are left with significant, unnecessary administrative burdens.

THE SOLUTION: Retail Express lets you manage your online and in-store products and pricing through one integrated solution so that you can become a lean, agile omnichannel machine.

Retail Express gives you one secure, cloud-based, integrated set of data visible in real-time. Get a free one-hour demonstration to find out more.

4. Omnichannel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Challenges{Omnichannel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Challenges}

"Returning customers spend 67% more than new ones." 
– RJ Metrics

According to Conversational, RJ Metrics say a company's top 10% of customers — their repeat customers — spend 3 (THREE) times more per transaction than the other 90% of customers. 

And, once a customer has been doing business with a company for 30 months, they spend around 67% more per order than their initial purchase total. (6)

And what do we want? Repeat customers. 

How do we get them? Keep them outrageously happy with seamless omnichannel shopping experiences. 

Be fully transparent with customers by communicating clearly, avoid frustration and make life easy for them at every step. Show them that your brand is like no other. Excellent customer experiences are a downright effective way to earn loyalty. 

Granted, most retailers are onto this customer loyalty trend. They're using highly effective CRM, loyalty and marketing initiatives to maximise customer lifetime value. But suppose these programs aren't providing omnichannel customer solutions like capturing client data across channels and personalising the marketing campaigns. In that case, they'll run into more problems.

Disconnected retail customer accounts-

THE PROBLEM? A lack of personalisation leads to annoying, generalised emails and fewer conversions for the retailer.

Maintaining a single-customer profile across all stores and online channels — while including personalisation and purchase data — is still challenging for most retailers. But without this, retailers can't give customers a more effective, personalised experience. 

Without omnichannel CRM and marketing programs, there's no centralised account across all channels. Customers can't access their order history or track loyalty points and gift vouchers. And retailers can't prosper by driving repeat purchases.

According to McKinsey, personalisation matters more than ever. This is due to Covid and the surge in digital behaviours rising. McKinsey reports 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions, and 76% get frustrated when this doesn't happen.

Personalised marketing software for retail

Disconnected Marketing Programs & Gift Vouchers-

THE PROBLEM? Frustration and friction between your customer and store.

If your loyalty and marketing programs don't operate across all channels, you're missing out on sales opportunities. You'll also create friction between your brand and your customer base and provide a poor shopping experience.

THE SOLUTION: Retail Express' omnichannel CRM, marketing and loyalty software solution lets you build detailed profiles of your customers. You can leverage centralised customer data to produce effective, highly-personalised targeted marketing strategies. And this will help increase your brand relevance and drive a growing business brimming with repeat customers.

5. Omnichannel analytics challenges{Omnichannel analytics challenges}

Reporting and analytics are vital for any retail operation. But it's surprising how many Aussie and Kiwi retailers still don't have a complete omnichannel overview of how:

  • Each channel performs in terms of crucial profitability and customer experience metrics
  • Customers use different retail channels throughout their journey
  • Different products and business/marketing initiatives perform

THE SOLUTION: Retail Express automated reports

Retail Express allows you to make informed, data-led decisions through actionable reports. The system offers live, real-time omnichannel data on the performance of all your stores/channels, products and staff. So now, you can focus more on strategic decisions — and uncover risks and opportunities. Plus, there will be no more wasting time analysing spreadsheets now that all reporting is automated.

Next steps: How Retail Express POS software helps overcome omnichannel challenges

Switch to Retail Express and benefit in myriad ways from one secure, cloud-based, integrated data set visible in real-time. Streamline systems, reduce admin and save money. Display live stock in-store to customers, offer Click & Collect and decentralise your fulfilment to get goods to customers faster. And delight your customers with outstanding customer experiences to ensure they keep coming back.

  • Have one secure, cloud-based, integrated set of data visible in real-time
  • Sell the same stock across all channels — at consistent prices
  • POS integration lets you show live stock levels available in store online
  • Offer Click & Collect (aka BOPIS)
  • Streamline your inventory and fulfilment processes
  • Deliver goods faster to customers by shipping from the nearest store or warehouse
  • Offer personalised marketing and loyalty programs to delight shoppers and create winning customer experiences
  • Digitally optimise all processes and save considerable admin and manual time, and money

Get a free, one-hour demo today and see how it can help your business.

We make switching to new software easy for you-

At Retail Express, we've all had professional experience as retailers and know the challenges you face. That's why it's our priority to ensure switching to our software is easy.

  • Personal Support Manager: You'll get your own Australian-based Personal Success Manager who'll guide you through the entire process step-by-step. All costs included. They'll help format and import your data, get you up and running, guide you with your hardware and help with everything else associated with setting up a new system.
  • 5-Star ongoing support: Once you're set up, the support doesn't stop. We're renowned for our Australian-based customer support. Each of our experts has professional retail experience and knows the issues you face. Forget being palmed off to a help manual — you'll be individually cared for until we fix your problem, every time.
  • Knowledge Base, Training Academy & webinars: You'll have access to a comprehensive Knowledge Base with all instructions, a video library, Training Academy and more.

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We make switching to cloud POS easy

Our Retail Express onboarding and support team have all had professional experience as retailers and know the challenges you face. That's why it's our priority to ensure switching to our cloud-based POS software is easy.

  • Personal Support Manager: You'll have your own Australian-based Personal Success Manager who'll guide you through the process step-by-step. All costs included. They'll help format and import your data, get you up and running, guide you with your hardware and help with everything associated with set-up.
  • 5-Star ongoing support: Once you're set up, the support doesn't stop. We're renowned for our Australian-based customer support. Each of our experts has professional retail experience and knows the issues you face. Forget being palmed off to a help manual — you'll be individually cared for until we fix your problem, every time.
  • Knowledge Base, Training Academy & webinars: You'll have access to a comprehensive Knowledge Base with all instructions, a video library, Training Academy and more.
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