This is a guest blog post contributed by our partner minubo.
Some of the great retail experts still think that omni-channel is a concept of the far future – an idea or vision that still has nothing to do with the present. But in our work with brands and retailers, we feel and see that omni-channel is becoming more and more relevant and taking its place in the minds of strategic and operational thinkers in commerce organizations. I would even take a step further and say: Omni-channel can become a reality, right now!
I want to illustrate this without diving into specific technical procedures and processes. Of course, they are part of the omni-channel integration, but I want to focus on aspects of the day-to-day business in a commerce organization and outline for you what an omni-channel workday could look like.
MONDAY MORNING – THE DAY STARTS AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF A FASHION RETAILER
8:45 AM – The Omni-Channel Director enters the headquarters. What do they need to know first? Right, channel performances! Which channel generates what amount of revenue or else which channel revenue has fallen sharply. In our example, Fashion Retailer’s Omni-Channel Director finds out that the revenue generated through the mobile app has fallen sharply. Now, they need to find the reason behind this development: Does this low number of orders go back to a small number of visitors? Or is it due to miserable email campaigns? Whatever the case, the order numbers have to be improved in the short term. Action has to be taken! The Omni-Channel Director reaches out to the Head of Marketing.
9:00 AM – Across the hall, the Head of Marketing receives the message about the falling mobile app revenues. In fact, checking the last email campaign reveals significantly underperforming conversion rates. So, what are the next steps? Low conversion rates are a problem but they cannot always be avoided. The Head of Marketing is looking for a more sustainable way of increasing the number of orders in the short-term, but at the same time, of intercepting lower conversion rates in the future – so the goal for the new campaign is to increase app downloads! Once the idea is settled, the Head of Marketing decides to consult with the Head of Merchandising about the content of the campaign.
9:10 AM – The Head of Merchandising is the key person to identify which product category is underperforming, which one is out of stock or which products are still fully available. They are now the main contact person to find out what product would be suitable for the campaign planned by the Head of Marketing. For the new campaign, a simple ad-hoc analysis leads to the following plan: A significant number of customers bought a specific model of sneakers during the previous season – mostly in the online shop and in store but they are not buying the successor model. So, the plan is set: The campaign will include a 30% discount on the successor model ‘CoolShoes’ when purchased through the newly downloaded app. Now it’s time to create the matching customer segment and to brief the marketing team so they can implement the short-term campaign with the help of email and Facebook Target Audience.
CHANGE OF LOCATION – LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT ONE OF FASHION RETAILER’S BRICK AND MORTAR STORES IN THE CITY CENTER
1:20 PM – A customer enters the store. The customer has problems with the jacket they ordered online and wants to return it in this store. Processing the return, the sales person that works in the store this afternoon can identify the customer and take a look at the customer’s shopping history. While the customer strolls through the shop, the seller can think about what product can be recommended to the customer. Maybe the salesperson can even convince the customer to buy another product that is related to their buying history.
Let’s get Back to the office where the major management decisions are made
4:00 PM – Time for the weekly management meeting. The CEO has a topic that they would like to discuss: Since the opening of the new stores in Paris, online sales in France have been growing steadily over the last few weeks. Now it’s time to discuss whether it is a good idea to invest in the French online business. With the relevant performance details, the CEO presents to the team the fact that France has risen to be in the Top 3 strongest sales markets of Fashion Retailer in only a month – so the decision is made quickly: more budget for the French online business!
I am sure you can find yourself in one part or the other of the preceding. And it is time to realize that creating omni-channel processes in your organization has nothing to do with magic. It needs some help though. It depends on the ability of an organization to gather and analyze all the relevant data needed to make the right decisions. And the good news is that this data is already spread all over the organization. All you need is a system that breaks the existing data silos in the company and merges all data into a data warehouse – data from the order management system, from the eCommerce platform, from the web tracking tool, but also cash and branch data, as well as various data points around marketing costs and plan numbers. With this at hand, all employees of the commerce organization look at the same data and understand what is happening in their company and why. But more importantly, they are able to make the best decisions for the organization, every day.
Find out how minubo and DataVirtuality can support you as you become an omni-channel business with full 360° business insights. Read more on this website or visit www.minubo.com
Lennard Stoever - CEO & Co-Founder of minubo
Lennard is the CEO and Co-founder of minubo. He is a passionate evangelist for BI, analytics and data-driven commerce.