There are two very simple reasons why Australian online retail has lagged behind the rest of the world: an unwillingness to adopt it, and an inability to adopt it. The unwillingness of most businesses to adopt full scale online sales can be attributed to the perception that there’s simply not a local market to support the investment required for a robust online sales presence. It costs the same to make a great website whether it sells 100 units or 100,000 units, hence businesses should reasonably expect to make their online retail investment back. The inability factor can be attributed to the previously prohibitive cost of multi channel retail combined with a lack of wide spread high speed internet access.
Why That’s About to Change
Internet availability is improving at a fast pace, both through physical lines and smart phones making it available to more people than ever. It’s vital for businesses to have true multi channel retail solutions in place to capitalise on the, at present, underutilised market that’s available. Thankfully there are cost effective solutions open to today’s businesses.
The Importance of Integrated Retail Systems
It’s vital in order for retailers to remain competitive today that they implement seamlessly integrated retail systems. If retail businesses adopt disparate systems working in tandem, the results are not conducive to enabling business to maximise profits. Any competitive business needs retail systems that are as automated as possible while retaining full integration. There is no advantage in selling five (5) items online, only to have the physical store report those five (5) items available still in stock.
Shopper Satisfaction at the Point of Sale
It’s a fact: shopper satisfaction has a positive financial impact. By putting in place processes that improve the customer experience through an integrated retail system, you’ll be creating lifelong loyal customers who will not only return to your business for their shopping needs, but be promoters for it in their everyday life. Multiple points of sale increase the need for a favourable and consistent customer experience regardless of the sale platform. The word of a great customer service experience doesn’t stop spreading just because you can’t “see” the customer.
Effective Loyalty Systems
Loyalty systems serve multiple functions both in a physical retail setting as well as through online retailing. It’s important to have one unified program that creates an engaging experience for customers, but not at the cost of substantial time and maintenance for business. Look for integrated retail systems that are easy to use, but still have the robust features that you’re looking for in a loyalty solution.
Multi Channel Retail
The current trend amongst Australian businesses today who have a web presence is to use their website as a way to promote the range and availability of their products, rather than to use their websites to actually enable a customer to purchase from. In today’s market there’s zero reason to miss out on a sale that comes directly from a website. By creating a unified multi channel retail experience, businesses can ensure that they’re maximising their revenue as well as their sale opportunities.
New Innovations in Retail – Shaping the Future
These ideas are just the beginning for Australian multi channel retail. Going forward, it’s going to be more important than ever to identify retail trends. Paradoxically that’s going to be even more difficult as multi channel retail is employed, since there will be multiple moving parts to keep track of. One of the best investments that any retail business can make for its future is an integrated retail system with a robust suite of retail analytics.