In the digital age, data is the most invaluable intangible asset to the organization as it holds the delta to existing patterns and unfolding trends that could make or break everything. Sound data management thus is fundamental to organization success, particularly, when it comes to mind boggling Omnichannel complexities.
From the vantage of a progressive organization that relies on continuous advancement to survive, i.e., in juxtaposition to communal outlooks at large, rules without user friendly SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and enforcement is idealistic aspiration, at best. Figuratively, unrestricted data entry is like tales told in a lawless land where everyone calls anything whatever they want to tell a story the way they want to. It always amounts to excessive words that mean little, collectively. Together with ledger jumbles, a by-product of database mismanagement, the two become a chain reaction feeding off each other in a vicious cycle that takes more effort to consistently reinvent the wheel than what it’s worth. It prevents an organization from streamlining simple operations, let alone optimizing complex ones like Omnichannel services. Services, i.e., that lead to customer experiences that rather tarnish hard earned brand loyalty and turnover when offered unprepared. First things first, is communication. Supply chain management and all core competencies across the board need to grasp the importance of running business on a sound, synchronized data platform through standardized data entry portals.
Data Inaccuracy Leads To Poor Omnichannel Experiences
According to a recent survey from Brian Wassel of Retail TouchPoints, more than two-thirds of Omnichannel supply chain problems are caused by inaccurate inventory data, particularly for buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) services.
Omnichannel retail is contingent on sound data management, i.e., data accuracy and integrity sitting at the heart of the operation to run things efficiently. For example, products delivered to the customer through any Omnichannel like a BOPIS, BORIS, BOSS or BODFS arrangement become extremely complicated reverse logistics when the customer opts to return the product and the existing system is not capable of reintroducing them back into the system, never mind no SOP had ever been established to handle them properly. Not only might the same itinerary and mode of transportation be unavailable due to inventory or re-inprocessing limitations, the seller wouldn’t know how to inspect nor what to do with returned products, how to account for or where to send it next, to begin with.
Another scenario is when a customer purchases a product online that the store is out of stock, selects the Omnichannel option to have the product shipped and delivered, only to receive a notification later on that the product is backordered. This type of experience creates the negative attitude towards the seller that results in turnover to a competitor. The cost of appearing unprepared and unprofessional, by any measure, is dire.
On the other hand, the same scenario can have the reverse effect for you as the prepared seller that benefits from turnovers from other retailers that turn customers away for the same reasons. While Omnichannel is designed to maximize convenience and therefore satisfaction for customer, it can have reverse effects for retailers that offer the service but not prepared to properly handle situations where things don’t go according to plan.
To turn bad data into invaluable data management that increases customer satisfaction, Food Dive explains the techniques to turn redundant Omnichannel processes into your wheelhouse, as follows:
Look at each Omnichannel separately, online and offline, but keep in mind that both channels are always connected.
Develop trading methods that give customers the most convenience. Put yourself in their shoes; what would you want if you were the customer? Surveys, for that matter, are a great way to empower customers to voice their opinion.
Apply SOPs and systems that allow the greatest extent of thorough inventory possible, not only quantitatively but other details such as SKU code and product condition, as well, as they must match what the customer specifies, exactly.
Upgrade information systems, data collection and analysis, to learn about existing patterns and trends, efficiently and effectively, it be for sales, marketing, manufacturing or procurement.
Get to know and understand your customers, more.
Have something for customers to remember you by or add value to the customer experience. For example, whenever we hear “Get more dumplings?”, we think of 7-11.
Give priority to Mobile, first, but don’t neglect development of other channels, as well. Nowadays, everyone and anyone does everything through a mobile device. Having a user-friendly web or app to simplify the process on the mobile can prove to be a huge advantage that facilitates your work as well. All in all, work smarter, not unnecessarily harder.
Compiled by: SCG-L