Retailers who strive to stay relevant are searching for the answers to what seems like straight forward questions:
Question one: “How do I drive my online users to my brick and mortar retail stores”?
Let’s unpack one of the key strategies that addresses this question. Retailers such as Best Buy, have reported success in leveraging the strategy of buy on-line/pick up in store.
This strategy requires retailers to link their in-store inventory to their website in a real or near real-time fashion. For success retailers need to consider:
- Many times execution will require brining together internal IT teams and their e-Commerce teams to enable this capability
- It requires integrating key systems including retail POS, legacy systems supporting product distribution and replenishment and their e-Commerce systems which are designed for real-time sales and rapid direct to consumer distribution.
- It is critical that teams are aligned on the customer strategy, business priorities, technical approach, and that each team or group spends time understanding each others systems and needs.
- Program and project management is critical and must include end to end thinking across the retail enterprise
Executive sponsorship is paramount for success. Last but not least, there needs to be a focus on the customer experience to ensure that when an order is placed on-line the process of notification of product availability and readiness at retail meets the consumer expectations.
Of course it is well known that retail is under pressure to stay relevant with consumers and this strategy is just one of many that retailers need to adopt to stay relevant. Over the next few weeks we will take on a few more key strategies retailers should adopt.