Fashion Omni-Channel Retail: Get Started NOW!

Regardless of the purchase channel, nothing beats the instant gratification of receiving it the same day.Nothing is as fun and exciting to me, your favourite kind of millennial customer, as fashion retail. The scent of a new leather purses, the feel of the fabric when you try on clothes, the excitement and relief when the transaction actually goes through… Do you see a trend here? A majority of the experiences that make apparel and luxury shopping so significant happen in store. Regardless of the purchase method and channel, nothing beats that instant gratification of getting the item on the very same day. How can you make the most of a customer’s need to view, feel, and even smell fashion in-store? We have the answer in our new fashion brief: fashion omni-channel retail.

Why Omni-channel?

Fashion omni-channel retail is about more than connecting bricks or clicks, or the digital to the physical. Retailers need to reach beyond that definition, and directly associate omni-channel as the true shopper experience. We think of it as omni-channel, as retail experts and insiders. Instead, we need to think of omni-channel as simply the way commerce is done, and what your customer deserves. To put things into perspective, OrderDynamics’ research, the Global Omni-1000, found that 39% of the retailers among the 1000+ studied, are in fashion. This is the biggest section of retail today.

Omni-1000 fashion findings dresses

With that in mind, why should shoppers choose you as their destination? They can easily choose another store that will make things easier when purchasing that cute top, or luxury bag. Therefore, think of omni-channel as something your shoppers have earned by choosing you in this hyper-competitive fashion market. Sadly, only 34.7 % of fashion retailers actively participate in omni-channel. This is not enough for today’s tech savvy, convenience seeking shopper. However, it presents ample opportunity for retailers to get into the game with time enough to beat their omni-channel deficient competitors. The best and easiest way to provide fashion omni-channel retail to your sacred customers, is to invest in the right distributed order management system, as the key starting point.

Buy Online Pickup In-Store FTW

Don’t fail that excited shopper when they want to buy something to wear to an event, or that Gucci purse they have been saving up for. When they buy it, they want it NOW. They’ve either been webrooming for ages, reading reviews about your brand or the product they want, or waiting for it to be released at all. My point is, as much as millennials are known for needing instant gratification, that’s only how it seems to the retailer.  They research, they wait; they want to make sure their purchase will truly be worth it. So when finally decide that they really will purchase something, they’ve been waiting and longing for that something – for quite some time. Don’t make them wait any longer. They’ve finally decided to buy that Gucci bag from your store, so have it ready for them the same day they purchase it. Then make it a special in-store experience.

 

Where does fashion retail stand in omnichannel? Find out in 2-page OMS Brief

 

Dreaded Returns

To be successful in fashion omnichannel retail, you must think like your customer.Yikes, even the thought of returns make retailers squirm. Have you ever considered that we millennials and customers may hate returns more than you do? It is frankly a hassle to have to ship something back when it’s not what you thought it would be, or when it doesn’t fit. It’s tragic, really. I’m pointing this out to you because to be successful in fashion omni-channel retail today, you must think like your customer.

Please… PLEASE leverage an order management system that makes Buy Online Return In-Store (BORIS) a reality. It makes the whole experience easier for everyone (customers and retailers alike). Use returns policies to your advantage by emphasizing and even exaggerating your leniency. Above all else – make it a positive experience. Remember, most of your customers check out your return policies before even purchasing. As I mentioned before, customers, especially millennial customers, tend to research everything about a retailer before purchasing. Make your returns as convenient as possible, and ironically it may actually result in fewer returns, or even more in-store purchases.

Inventory Struggles: How an OMS Will Help

Fashion omni-channel retail is not complete without providing real-time detailed inventory counts online, down to the store. How many Gucci bags do you have online? Does your store sell Gucci products in the store in Yorkville? Great, how many do you have at THAT specific store? In their research, millennials want specifics, people. Thankfully, an advanced order management system gives retailer these details in real-time, to share with your customers. It makes it so that customers can be warned when inventory is running out, and instills a sense of urgency. Purchase that product now, because there are only 2 left. Providing more detailed information actually helps to improve the trust level your customer has with your retail brand.

Another neat feature an OMS provides is business rules flexibility. This makes it so you, the retailer, can decide from where you want your customer’s order shipped. Should that order ship from a distribution center, or from a store that has too many winter coats left, as you’re moving into spring apparel season? This flexibility is essential for fast fashion and seasonal fashion shifts. Retailers here need to deplete and restock inventories quickly. You need systems that an administrator can adjust, without the need for a consultant or coder to come in to make the changes for you. Being agile means being able to adjust quickly and dynamically, with ease.

There’s Much More Where That Came From….

Want more information on how an order management system can make your fashion omni-channel strategy work? Then read our Fashion OMS Brief. Otherwise schedule a no pressure demo to better understand how it all works, and how it can add dollars to your retail business!

 

Author:  
Rida Talpur

Rida Talpur is OrderDynamics’ Jr. Marketing Coordinator, and resident retail-loving millennial. She has completed a B.A. from the University of Toronto as a specialist in Journalism. Rida has interned with prominent names in Canadian journalism including The Toronto Star, and Canadian Living Magazine.

 

 

 

Related:

Four Lessons for U.S. Retailers from OrderDynamics' Omni-1000 Want to Know More About Distributed Order Management? 5 Ways to Control Chronic Returners