Saturday, November 7, 2015

Making Omnichannel Work: Unifying product, pricing and inventory information

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Omnichannel retail is no longer a prediction; it's a foregone conclusion. Shoppers are demanding cross-channel conveniences and retailers are gearing up and reorganizing to meet the challenge.

But, to put matters simply, the challenge is all in the data — data such as purchase history, inventory status and product information that has been managed independently by different departments and systems.

Despite efforts to get systems "talking to one another," more often than not, customer-facing data fails to match up from channel to channel. Today, according to a CFI Group study, nearly three quarters of cross-channel consumers experience price and promotion inconsistencies between stores and websites under the same banner.

To overcome the shortcomings of legacy master data solutions, retailers are turning to new platforms that offer out-of-the-box, cloud-based capabilities. These solutions build powerful, centralized caches of data that can enrich how customers interact with a brand by assuring that information is continually updated and transferred between channels.

The benefits of a unified, omnichannel e-commerce platform are exemplified in Walgreens' newly updated mobile app that now offers an extended array of personalized and store-specific promotions to customers who shop via mobile and in-store channels. The app offers extensive product information and delivers inventory transparency to in-store shoppers that was previously only available to desktop users.

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