If you've been in sales for any length of time, you probably remember the way things used to be: you would contact people in person or even over the phone, or if in retail, they visited your physical location. Maybe you did a couple of mailers. But that was about it, and it was the only thing customers expected, because that was all that was available to them!
But now, in today's ever competitive retail environment? One channel—that visit to the store, for example—isn't enough. Now you have to take it to the next level: multichannel at least, and hopefully omnichannel too. Both are different, although they overlap in some ways. Multichannel tends to be easier, of course, because it involves different efforts that don't necessarily share results or work in tandem. They do their thing and that's about it. So how does that differ from omnichannel? This graphic explains it.
Embracing multichannel is the first step to unified commerce, and a POS and retail management platform with multi-store functionality is the first step to multichannel. Growing brands and retailers require a data-centric system that can give them a holistic view of their customers, no matter where or how they shop. Flexible retail software with this sort of built-in CRM functionality, as well as robust inventory management and reporting features, makes it easy for retailers to graduate from multi-channel to omnichannel and beyond, with unified commerce being the ultimate goal.
Danny Wong is an entrepreneur, marketer and writer. He is the co-founder of Blank Label, an award-winning luxury menswear company, and leads marketing for Receiptful, a platform to supercharge all customer interactions for eCommerce stores, and Tenfold, a seamless click-to-dial solution for high-performance sales teams.
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Topics: Business of Retail