Branches and the eRetail of the respective shop must interact with each other in order to survive in the market.
A recent study by ECC Cologne proves that this statement is correct. According to the study:
- every second customer informs himself in detail online before making a stationary purchase in the branch.
- more than three quarters of the customers decided to buy the product online while still in the shop ? they simply wanted to reconsider their purchase decision or simply save themselves the trouble of carrying it.
Online shop and stationary branch are regarded as the same by the customer, which is why it is not surprising when customers cannot understand that they cannot return a product they bought online in the branch or that a discount for a product is only valid online.
Therefore, an eRetail platform should always provide a uniform and consistent image of the retailer. Status from the merchandise management, current sales from the branches, online transactions of individual customers processed in real time are the prerequisite. With this data, companies can conduct analyses, form customer segments and launch targeted campaigns to promote sales. Merchandise management thus provides the basis for up-to-date information about available products and the purchasing decisions made by customers.
Together with the checkout systems integrated in the eRetail platform, the necessary connection is created from the online shop to the branch checkouts and on to social media. However, this also places new demands on the sales staff, who now have to be trained in completely different topics than before. In addition to IT know-how and legal issues, process knowledge will be important in the future.
But the new technologies can also free the sales staff from their responsibility to always serve the customer. In the future, the customer's smartphone could be enough to order a pair of trousers or a pair of shoes in a different size in the shop's wifi ? simply by scanning the barcode of the product and thus accessing the product page.
Here go to the first part of the series on cross-channel services
Here it goes to the second part of the series.