GS1 Connect 2022 is right around the corner! Brands and thought leaders from around the globe will gather to share supply chain best practices and exchange ideas on how to stay ahead of consumer expectations, optimize business efficiency, and enable end-to-end supply chain visibility.
The pandemic has changed the retail landscape for the foreseeable future, with companies upping their digital game in a hurry to meet the sudden surge in online consumer activity. Omnichannel selling—offering products across a variety of interconnected channels, such as brick-and-mortar shops, online stores, marketplaces, and social media—is now the new normal. But omnichannel selling is more than just offering customers both online and offline options; it involves seamlessly integrating all channels to deliver a cohesive user experience at each touchpoint of the customer journey.
Responding to consumer demand for a quick, safe, and smooth experience across all channels, companies are getting creative through a combination of automation, innovation, and technology to streamline operations and enhance the customer experience.
From small businesses to large corporations, companies are turning to automation in all spheres to increase efficiency, trim costs, and boost sales. Some are using EDI (electronic data interchange) to streamline their supply chain, reduce the need for manual data entry and its associated costs and errors, and scale up their business. Others are automating their accounting processes and integrating them into financial institutions. Others still are using product catalogue management to ensure the quality and consistency of their product data across all sales channels, manage multiple data sources, and automatically update inventories.
There’s no doubt that the dramatic rise in online shopping has changed consumer expectations. Thanks to marketplace giants like Amazon, customers have come to expect free or low-cost rapid delivery of their online purchases, often within a day or two, from all retailers, big or small. To deliver this kind of service, companies are turning to EDI to modernize their supply chains, ensuring rapid, standardized communication between retailers, suppliers, and third-party logistics.
To stay competitive in this fast-paced economy, some companies are adding Internet of Things (IoT) devices to their warehouses to collect and share data in real-time for better product tracking, improved inventory visibility, and more accurate data analysis.
Multiple fulfillment options
Consumers have been quick to embrace the new shopping reality, enjoying the convenience of shopping online from their smartphone or by appointment and then choosing from a multitude of quick and convenient fulfillment options, such as rapid home delivery; buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS); and curbside pickup.
Unique in-store experiences
Prior to the pandemic, in-store sales made up the lion’s share of retail revenue. But in today’s digital-first world, e-commerce has become the dominant player, leaving many to wonder what role (if any) the brick-and-mortar store might play. To stay relevant, savvy brands and retailers are using their physical stores to deliver unique experiences that cannot be duplicated online. From live demos showcasing how a high-end product is made to free samples that appeal to customers’ senses of touch, smell, or taste, retailers are finding creative ways to tap into people’s desire for authentic, tactile experiences and the need for human connection in a physically distanced world.
Learn how your company can thrive in the new omnichannel era
In a post-pandemic world, omnichannel selling opens up opportunities for companies that can adapt to the new reality by leveraging the right tools, no matter what sector they operate in.