Omnichannel Retail Guide Chapter 4
Omnichannel challenges for retailers
Keeping up with fast changes is never easy in running a business. This is the reason why so many retailers are struggling with omnichannel. Being aware of omnichannel retailing challenges when shifting to omnichannel prevents you from unnecessary cost and effort (and cut down the suffering). Hence, the ultimate goal of this chapter is to educate you on the disadvantages of omnichannel and give you some tips to overcome them with as less pain as possible.
Requiring a complete integration of all channels, an omnichannel strategy increases the complexity of managing operations and the supply chain. To satisfy customers’ expectations, retailers must have an advanced warehouse management system to track inventory in all repositories in real time. Besides, speedy delivery is also expected.
However, when a business transits to omnichannel, the previous technological infrastructure can’t ensure accurate inventory and order management across all channels, leading to a failure in omnichannel execution.
To deal with this omnichannel challenge, retailers need to prioritize improving their inventory management to have inventory visibility. Besides, order management also needs attention so that all orders are fulfilled.
Although the above issue can be solved with technology, it’s noteworthy that technological upgrades are costly. Hence, many retailers are hesitant to transit to omnichannel.
However, retailers can still execute omnichannel without a huge amount of capital.
They can execute an omnichannel pilot in a trial location to see whether this strategy fits their business before upscaling it.
Besides, in case of limited capital, optimizing inventory management is always the priority, before considering other components like order fulfillment, purchase management, or marketing.
Synchronization of data in the integration process
As mentioned above, the key of Omnichannel is the integration of these following things:
- Sales channel
- Social media
Transiting to omnichannel leads to a huge data transformation.
In that situation, the challenge of omnichannel retailing is how to synchronize all the data across channels in a faultless way without losing any information. It is a must to help the system to perform smoothly with completely integrated information from multiple channels.
To deal with these disadvantages of omnichannel, a well-planned strategy is the ultimate solution.
We suggest below a strategy, enterprise data management (EDM) strategy. It targets to build the data-centric organization. EDM cohesively joins the key building blocks of data management into one holistic view.