Cross-Channel Home Décor Retailing: 5 Take Away Lessons from The Game Changers
In the early days of eCommerce, ordering furniture online was not popular and it was the retail category that seemed most resistant to online trends; but the adoption of omnichannel strategies over the last decade has helped many home décor and furniture retailers scale up their omni-channel retail strategies and their revenues along the way with retail store management software.
While brick and mortar stores still play a strategic role in this market vertical, online shopping has skyrocketed, and with $294 billion expected in online home furnishing sales by 2022, retail store owners can no longer afford to miss out on the opportunity to ramp up their cross-channel game plans.
Moreover, retailers have improved their customer journey experience with personalization, visualization, and agile checkout capabilities as well as the ability to capitalize on any ecommerce activities which the customer may have started on various media platforms.
Meanwhile, the savviest retailers have also revamped their end-to-end eCommerce experience to include better data and visualization techniques by combining smart merchandise retail store management software tools with web friendly and augmented reality applications, as well as fast and flexible payment and fulfillment options
What is cross-channel retailing?
Cross-channel retailing is the practice of reaching customers through multiple sales channels that usually include both online and brick-and-mortar retail channels.
Amazon’s business model proved that it’s possible to build an online presence for retail operations and to sell practically any kind of merchandise through online platforms. But the leading online giant did not revolutionize the retail sector by building a brick-and-mortar presence in landmark buildings or shopping districts. On the contrary, change makers like Jeff Bezos started with an e-commerce platform that relies on innovative chain-supply technologies to become a dominant player; a complete opposite of physical store retailers who built empires on post-industrial business models.
The virtual age presents opportunities for retailers to bring in greater levels of operational efficiency and customer centricity in their business models. Digital is as much about consumers, customers, people and mindsets as it is about technology. Hence it is imperative that the digital agenda in any retailer organization is driven by consumer trends. Competition is increasingly not between individual retailers but the wider constellation of alliances that retailers build within their chain-supply system. The ability to manage various operations cross different is mission critical.
With the rising power of online shopping, it is no longer enough for the brick and mortar stores to compete on price and quality alone. Retailers nowadays have to offer a compelling reason for people to come to their point of sales. The mere idea of a near-by convenience store may no longer be as attractive as it used to be five or ten years ago according to a recent report on disruptive retail trends by Deloitte. The physical space and overall experience must enhance the entire customer journey. Some of the driving factors that influence the customers’ decisions are additional services & facilities, leisure provision, shopping environment etc.
While these driving factors seem obvious in many verticals, many thoughts that home and furnishing are separate breed until companies like Wayfair took the market by surprise.
Wayfair is an American e-commerce company that sells furniture and home-goods. Formerly known as CSN Stores, the company was founded in 2002. Their digital platform offers more than 14 million items from more than 14,000 global suppliers. The online company which operates warehouse facilities across USA, Canada and Europe is the Amazon of home décor, furnishing and accents. While agile architecture and chain-supply are key drivers of success, much of its competitiveness is built on sound organizational skills, best practices and seamless processes.
When it comes to scaling your home decor products, there is so much to learn from this game changers:
Here are few lessons and best practices that you may implement in your home décor operations:
- Manage employee sales performance – Because home decor retailers typically deal with mid to high-end ticket items, you must ensure your professional staff are compensated fairly for their decorating skills and capacity to work with interior designers, decorators, architects or hospitality specialists. And because you may close a sale through one channel that was initiated through another lead generation source, you may need to refine your incentive programs to make sure you have spiffs for referrals. That’s why tracking and managing sales performance is so important in cross-channel retail store management software.
- Integrate your accounting with your POS – This means integrating your accounting department with all points of sale. With cross-channel retailing, you could close sale online, on mobile, or in your brick-and-mortar stores. Your accounting department needs to be fully integrated with all points of sale.
- Fulfill orders quickly from any terminal – If customers don’t receive their products in a timely manner, you will lose them. You’ve got to ensure that orders are fulfilled quickly whether customers buy in store, order from your website, or place an order through a mobile app. From web order fulfillment to supply chain management, it’s imperative to be competitive.
- Enhance the Virtuous Circles – Wayfair for instance has four value propositions within its current business model: a. To offer this vast selection of products while holding minimal inventory. b. To enable individuals to locate the ideal product at the current cost. c. To help people find the perfect product at the right price d. To empower providers to offer their full stock choice effectively
- Manage your customer relationships – Your customers are the lifeblood of your retail operation. How well do you know them? You need to know as much about each customer as possible in order to provide the best service, and that includes their preferred sales channel.
How companies like Wayfair manage their Customer Relationships?
Wayfair online operates as an e-retailer and doesn’t focus on having offline retail stores or outlets. The company strives to offer tailored shopping experience across its portfolio of five different brands. To attract new customers, they run flash sales on festivals and holidays. To retain existing customers, they offer exclusive deals only for existing shoppers.
To help its suppliers ship directly to the customers through the model of Drop Shipping, essentially cutting delivery costs and improving delivery speed significantly.
The customer service department of the company is pretty agile as they offer 24/7 personal assistance to all of their customers so that the customers can buy their products confidently! The company’s return policy is also very flexible, which helps the company to build customer confidence. This flexible policy is also there with Joss & Main.
The company offers four delivery options to the customers: economy shipping, Express Shipping, Expedited Shipping, and Ground Shipping.
Implementing these five tenets of cross-channel retailing, optimization and lean management right will certainly help you think forward on how to step-up your omnichannel game and business model.
With the increased competition from online behemoths, marketplaces like Facebook, it’s difficult to stay ahead of the curve and in synch with the changing dynamics unless you have a reliable omnichannel partner like Multidev Technologies. ChainDrive retail store management software for Home Decor happens to be one of the most comprehensive ERP systems to anticipate the disruptive tides of modern retailing ahead of time. ChainDrive store management software is made for agile retailers who wish to step-up their omni-channel transformation and turn their end-to-end operations into a fully integrated, unified and seamless system. Enhancing the entire customer journey experience, loyalty and retention are also essential ingredients of this award-winning system.
Moreover, ChainDrive Home Decor Stores software is available in various modules and bundles to fit your Home Decor Store needs and budgets. As a customized system, every point of sale software is scalable enough to help you cope with the most daunting challenges and complexities under one roof. If you are looking to step-up your cross-channel operations and digital transformation at the same time, you no longer need to hop from one retail show to another to find the right fit, you can book a remote demo at the comfort of your own showroom. So, stop looking for prepackaged products to boost your retail operations and start looking for a reliable cross-channel partner like Multidev Technologies who could help you fend-off any disruptive trends and harness your overall efficiency. To schedule a free consulting session or demo with a retail management expert, please log on https://chaindrive.com/free-live-demo/ to book a live simulation