Founded in 2014, Ace Turtle is the market leader in India for omnichannel technology for enterprise brands. It’s at the forefront of new-age commerce, bringing efficiency and scalability through the digital transformation of traditional brands and retailers.
The pandemic has had a profound impact on the way customers shop, forcing brands and retailers to take an omnichannel approach and elevate the shopping journey. Due to frequent lockdowns with the physical stores either closed or running at reduced capacity, brands and retailers had to make some quick business decisions to meet their customers’ needs. Seamless integration between online and offline channels enabling a better shopping experience was the need of the hour.
With the worst of the pandemic behind us now, the demand for omnichannel has risen. The rise of e-commerce, changing customer behaviour and intense retail competition have made omnichannel retail increasingly relevant. According to CB Insights, a reputed analyst firm, there has been a major uptick in mention of ‘omnichannel’ in the context of ‘retail’ during executives’ earnings calls.
Top omnichannel trends amongst brands and retailers
- Boosting customer loyalty through multiple touchpoints
When retailers and brands use omnichannel customer care solutions, they meet the individual where they are and provide support on all channels including social media. Providing multiple opportunities for customers to interact with brands allows more convenient solutions in ways customers like to connect, leading to a positive customer experience and enhancing loyalty. Omnichannel technology is a mutually beneficial initiative for customers as well as retailers as customers can enjoy increased customer service and variety in delivery options and retailers can maintain sales and margins through effective delivery strategies. Customers buy brands and not channels. In essence, channels are just a medium depending upon the need of the customers to buy a product.
- Scaling on demand to meet changing buying habits
The omnichannel technology helps in handling unforeseen spikes in demand with better inventory management and order routing through Order Management Systems (OMS). It helps retailers stay flexible by turning on and off fulfilment locations to drive products to effectively meet customer expectations. This was of utmost importance for all retailers during the pandemic when customer buying habits had changed and retailers were seeing more shoppers purchasing online and ordering products in bulk anticipating delivery delays. Multi-client fulfilment centres can also help retailers scale up e-commerce operations at a faster pace than they could on their own. So, retailers with omnichannel support will be able to handle sudden changes to e-commerce orders and continue running operations effectively even during turbulent times.
- Multiple demand channels integrated with retail store
In the traditional retailing model, walk-in customers of brands had visibility of the retail store inventory only. The store sales were entirely dependent only on customer footfall. Omnichannel retailing enables orders from anywhere and shipping from anywhere. Customers can order from any of the demand channels such as the brand’s online store, online marketplaces, conversational commerce, social commerce and endless aisle. The orders can be fulfilled from the stores or warehouses.
- Endless aisle
Endless aisle is an in-store application that allows customers to browse and buy inventory not available in the retail store. The benefits of endless aisle include reduced loss of sales due to product and size unavailability, enhanced upselling and cross-selling, and better brand engagement by virtue of superior, multichannel in-store service.
- Ship from store
The retail store is not just a physical touchpoint for the customers – it can also become an omnichannel fulfilment centre for online marketplace orders. Omnichannel technology platforms help brands and retailers to reduce delivery time and optimise in-store inventory through ship-from-store. It is an efficient way to use inventory by preventing stores from holding unprofitable inventory and increasing their stock turns.
- Maintaining sales by running retail stores like fulfilment centres
There has been a huge increase in orders placed online and picked up at stores. When retailers invest in omnichannel strategies like buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), they ensure a safe transaction during the pandemic and instantly provide products to shoppers. This leads to a positive customer experience and enhanced customer loyalty that will last well beyond. Store pickup initiatives run more seamlessly when retailers design their storefronts to operate as much as possible like mini fulfilment centres. This helps in managing inventory better and saves on fulfilment and supply chain costs during this time of uncertainty.
While there has been rising awareness about the adoption of omnichannel in retail globally, the on-ground adoption in India is still lower than expected. India is a huge market where customers are spread across the length and breadth of the country. The larger cities have enough customers to support the opening of stores. But there are many smaller towns with small pockets of customers that are not large enough to sustain the opening of stores. However, they can always be reached online. In fact, a lot of these towns are closer to the larger cities and through omnichannel fulfilment can be serviced from the stores in these cities.
The omnichannel platform helps in digitising, adapting and integrating online-offline channel operations to overcome the physical world challenges and deliver a cohesive and comprehensive experience across different touchpoints driving customer buying behaviour. The implementation of innovative omnichannel technology has been a key driver in the journey of digital transformation in retail in the last few years. The omnichannel platform provides a channel-agnostic journey to customers. Contrary to what brands and retailers often think, customers don’t care so much about the channel for shopping. They mostly care about wide selection, low prices and a smooth shopping experience.
The transformation of retail through omnichannel technology is about thinking beyond marginal improvements. Retailers will need to boost their digital sales as shoppers increasingly use online channels to fulfil their daily needs. They have to reconsider every aspect of their business, from sourcing, inventory management to employee engagement, training and customer experience. Today, the relevant decision-makers have access to a plethora of data and analytics. Retailers need to act today to ensure their business is future-ready, with the desired brand experience and customer loyalty intact.
Finding the right technology partner is critical to beginning and completing the omnichannel retail transformation – a partner with a sound technical understanding and industry know-how who can assist you in transforming your business inside out in a way ensuring both profitability and sustainability. Ace Turtle, with its fully integrated omnichannel platform, has helped brands by integrating all their sales channels to provide a single view of inventory and order, enabling brands to get orders from any channel (online and offline) and fulfil it from any stock point. The platform helps brands to improve their product availability and optimise their inventory in an efficient manner through multiple demand channels (fulfilling from the same inventory pool), leading to a significant rise in sell-through and margins.