Unfortunately, despite the promise and potential of in-store technologies, a gap exists between the real and the ideal. In his recent report ‘The Future of the Digital Store,’ Forrester’s Adam Silverman cites multiple barriers to adoption in most physical stores. These include:
· Insufficient in-store internet and Wi-Fi access that prevents customers and associates from leveraging digital technologies
· In-store retail systems that traditionally focus on transaction and inventory data, not customer behavior—creating a deficit of vital information needed to successfully drive engagement and influence shopping behaviors
· Siloed departments often structured at cross purposes with omnichannel initiatives; for example, buy online/pick up in store and buy online/ship from store campaigns require in-store associates to fulfil orders while online teams get credit for the sales, and endless aisle conversions require DCs or other retail locations to do work for sales credited to in-store associates
In order to overcome such challenges, Silverman recommends a phased transformation through a holistic digital strategy—one that accounts for each business’ particular priorities, capabilities and culture. Piecemeal adoptions of trending technologies without necessary cross channel integrations, drop ship solutions, data collection and analysis may result in consumer dis-engagement rather than the advantages of a well-founded digital store.
Streamlined and integration-friendly supply chain processes facilitate seamless supplier-retailer relationships—a prerequisite for successful digital store campaigns and omnichannel initiatives in general. eZCom’s EDI solution Lingo offers award winning drop ship solutions to support endless aisle and save-the-sale programs (as well as e-commerce based direct-to-consumer sales); Lingo’s Double Validation™ ensures supplier compliance to all retailer trading guidelines, further guaranteeing the exceptionally fast and accurate order management needed for successful omnichannel commerce; and quick-turn, expert customer service further sustains smooth and error-free supplier/retailer relationships. Newer retailer-centric technologies such as item-level RFID tagging and Made to Order (MTO) manufacturing processes are also integrated into Lingo EDI software ensuring that retailers can increase customer satisfaction with improved product tracking or quick-turn and 100% custom item production.