Omni- Channel, think before you leap!

Omni-channel is the hot topic this year. The concept is simple enough, allow a customer to buy online or at any store and have it shipped or pick up at any store. Amazon is partnering with local pick up locations for next day pick up or in some cases the same day and announced today that they expanding one hour delivery for certain products to one hour. In this day of the mobile consumer they want to be able to choose the most convenient option for getting their purchase. This also opens up another potential problem in meeting customer expectations. Before you leap into the multi-channel arena make sure you have the infrastructure and POS software in place to meet customer’s expectations. Here are five questions to consider:

  1. If they order on line will your E-commerce software allow the customer to have it shipped or select a store location to pick up their purchase?
  2. Will your E-commerce system allow you to select a store to fulfill the shipment if your warehouse is out of stock on the item?
  3. Will your system show which store location is best stocked to fulfill the order?
  4. Will your system allow you to transfer the item to the store location the customer has selected to pick up the item?
  5. Does your system provide an audit trail of the transaction to ensure that it was successfully completed?

Before you venture into any new way to fulfill and meet customer’s expectations give careful consideration to how your system will allow you to process the transaction. It’s critical that you deliver as advertised before venturing into Omni –Channel sales.