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The Challenge of Omnichannel for Luxury Retail Brands

Almost all of the luxury brands that we work with are somewhere on the long and winding road between multichannel and omnichannel. For outsiders, this seems to be a small step but in reality, this is an extremely complex transition.

In the luxury industry, multichannel often means that the brands have created an online channel (sometimes completely outsourced) that is often developed and managed completely separately from the offline channel (brick-and-mortar stores) with only limited integration. Both channels use their own order and warehouse management platforms, logistical systems, and sometimes even ERP and CRM systems.

Brick-and-mortar stores offered a luxurious shopping experience where customers could touch and feel the merchandise and provide immediate gratification. The online channel tried to attract customers with wide product selection, low prices, and additional content like product reviews and ratings.

Omnichannel is all about creating a superb and seamless customer experience across all touchpoints. This requires a real-time, distributed order management system that captures all orders and optimizes processing and delivery. These systems offer a consolidated, enterprise-wide, view on inventory whether it is in-store, in distribution centers, or somewhere in the supply chain. These systems provide visibility into the entire life cycle of an order and offer the capability to modify orders which may remove or add products from the order, change the delivery method or time, and accept additional payments or process refunds.

With omnichannel, the distinction between brick and mortar and online will vanish, turning the world into a showroom with walls. Channels are interchangeably and seamlessly used during the search and purchase process and it is virtually impossible for brands to control how customers are doing this. Customers will use mobile phones in the store to compare prices and find better offers. In-store technology will offer new ways to experience products and even allow customers to order online in the store. It won’t be long before stores will use face recognition to identify customers and products already have RFID’s that can also be used to see who is trying on which products.

The flipside of this is that these revolutionary core systems also introduce a new single point of failure. If a store is not connected to the network, it will be almost impossible to provide this fantastic user experience and in the worst case, shops are not even able to sell.

Digital experience monitoring solutions can be used to test the availability and performance or these mission critical applications on all touchpoints (in-store, web, and mobile). In omnichannel, monitoring is no longer about servers, networks, and databases. It’s all about delivering that unique customer experience and revenue assurance.

Please take a look at this short video to find out more about how Catchpoint can help you to delight your customers, wherever they are, all the time.

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Posted on: April 6th, 2017

Category: Performance & Operations

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