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As the online world continues to grow, expand and develop, big players in eCommerce will inevitably adapt their strategies and adopt new ways of working to ensure their shopping offer is still relevant to the changing expectations of their customers and maintain a multi-channelled approach. News reaches us this week that eCommerce giant eBay have teamed up with high street retailer Argos, to launch a click-and-collect” scheme. Piloted using 150 Argos stores nationwide and 50 eBay merchants, Shoppers will be able to order selected goods from eBay and pick them up from an Argos store.

Of the news, eCommerce consultant, Bryan Roberts told the BBC, “Pure-play home-delivery e-commerce can actually be profoundly inconvenient. So, it makes sense to forge a partnership with national retailers, and we’ll see more of this because it marries the benefits of online shopping – competitive prices and massive ranges – with the convenience of the real-world store you can pop into on your way home.”

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Why invest in Multi-channel Retail?

Looking at this news as an online retailer, this highlights the importance of multi-channel retail; that is merging of retail operations in such a manner that enables the transacting of a customer via many connected channels – retail stores, online stores, mobile stores, mobile app stores and telephone sales to name a few. There’s no denying the growing demand of multi-channel services with a growing customer base; a survey by eConsultancy discovered that 35% off 2,000 participants felt a retailer being multi-channel was “Very Important”, whilst John Lewis found that their multi channel shoppers are likely to spend 3.5 times more than in store only shoppers.

 

Steps to getting Multi-Channel Enabled

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Whilst implementing a fully blown Multi-Channel stratergy is far from straight forward, and there is no key winning formula and all retail sites are different but steps in the right direction are…

1. Deploy the systems needed to deliver ideal customer experiences across your selected multi channels to empower your business, brand and employees.

2. Build the necessary linkages between point systems – a well integrated multi channel retail offer requires well thought out linkages between channels in order to truly enhance customer experience.

3. Evaluate your systems’ ability to meet future needs, and identify gaps and alternatives. How easily will new systems integrate with existing infrastructure? How can you avoid creating new isolated sections of data?

4. Aim for an advanced content, product and stock management system which can act as a central control panel which is capable of managing all your data cross channel.

To find out more information on how Locyayta can help you get multi-channel enabled, contact Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® HERE.