Consumers’ expectations have evolved over the last decade. Having an online store is no longer seen as optional and is now a necessity to meet customer demands. Customers are wanting the ability to shop seamlessly anywhere, at anytime, and across any device. Next day delivery has too become an expectation of online shopping, as well as having the option to order an item online and pick up in store the very same day.
There are a number of challenges retailers face when implementing the omnichannel, particularly around the developing expectations of customers, and how retailers can overcome these challenges through simple processes such as partnering with the right distributor to enhance the omnichannel with the ability to replenish stock faster. In doing so, retailers can provide a seamless omnichannel experience to deliver the customer experience that consumers are now expecting.
Consumer expectations are constantly evolving. Being fuelled by the environment, technologies and much more. Day by day their wants and needs are changing. This is now being reflected in the omnichannel and retailers need to keep up with this.
Technology has set the benchmark for growing demands and has changed the way we shop. How we expect products to be available to us is therefore changing. As customers are asking for more, retailers need to adapt to this change and invest in the correct technologies that keep up with this demand. Retailers can often overlook their omnichannel strategy and through placing a greater focus on this, they can ensure to stay ahead of their competition. The recent decline of a number of popular retailers, such as House of Fraser and Toy R Us is just one example of brands struggling to keep up with its customers.
Most commonly, the popularity of mobile has changed the process in which we shop. We now expect products to be readily available through online sites on a laptops, mobiles and tablets, as well as many retailers now providing apps. Big players such as Amazon have made ‘on demand’ shopping a seamless and available method to shopping and traditional retailers need to keep up. Consumers are also more demanding in terms of product range, as well as its availability.
Partnering with the right distributor
In order to overcome the issues that retailers are now facing in the omnichannel, it is vital to partner with the correct distributor, who will have the relevant experience to accommodate to the specific needs of a retailer.
In doing so, the distributor will have a clear understanding of the omnichannel for your business and will know how to deliver the experience that customers are now expecting. Distributors provide retailers with the knowledge to implement the best possible omnichannel strategy and they can help understand the pace in which retailers need to replenish their stock in order to avoid out of stocks which, as a result, disrupt the customer’s experience with the retailer.
With the correct knowledge, distributors can monitor the stock levels of retailers and ensure they have efficient levels in order to keep up with the multi-channel strategies that they are now under pressure to implement. Retailers need distributors to ‘fill the gap’ and offer the extra mile of customer service through their supply chain which competitors may not offer- rapid replenishments.
Whilst distributors continue to focus on bridging the gap between manufacturer and retailers, the changing behaviours of consumers in the omnichannel is creating new opportunities for distributors. This development means that retailers and distributors are now required to think in terms of ‘mass distribution’ which can be customised for single products to individual consumers.
Recent reports have shown that retail footfall dipped for the seventh month in a row in June 2018. It is now more vital than ever for retailers to ensure that their omnichannel solutions are up-to-date and adapt to the ever changing needs of consumers. Through establishing the correct distributor to suit their needs, retailers can ensure they stay ahead of their customers needs and thrive in such a competitive market.
David Feakins, is the CEO of Modus Brands a company that specialises in emerging technology