We’re living in the era of retail disruption. Magento ecommerce solutions are being developed for a single reason: to satisfy the ever-increasing demand of customers for hassle-free shopping experience. At the end of the day, customers might not remember which shopping channels they have engaged with, but they remember that there was no problem purchasing and receiving items from a brand. And that’s what really matters. Omnichannel business model was born for this reason. For retailers who are considering omnichannel transition, below are the basics of a Magento omnichannel retail system.
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Magento Web based and Mobile Point of Sale
Whether your store is online, offline, or both, PoS stands at the heart of your retail system. PoS has evolved from a mere cash register to mobile and cloud-based point of sale solutions that are fully integrated with inventory, customer, and ecommerce management. A Magento omnichannel retail strategy starts with PoS, for it has the capacity to bring all sale channels to form a complete ecosystem, providing customers with seamless shopping experience no matter which platform they choose to engage with.
Point of Sale is defined as “the time and place where a retail transaction is completed.” To fully support this course of action, Magento POS software must allow users to perform the following functions:
- Add products to cart
- Customer account management
- Support a variety of discount methods: coupon (for selected items or whole order), custom pricing, reward points, gift cards, etc.
- Process both online and offline payments
- Save items for later purchase
- Integrate with devices like cash drawer, card swiper, barcode reader, receipt printer, and customer display pole
- Track inventory in real-time
- Have access to business performance reports
- Continue to work in offline mode, should the Internet go down and sync all data to the system as soon as connection is back
POS doesn’t stop at cashiers or salesmen standing behind the counter. They can be equipped with handheld mobile devices like smartphones or iPads in order so that direct consultation and purchases can be processed right on the sales floor. If you only have one checkout counter, mobile POS helps by enabling several customers to be checked out at a time, thus avoid long queue and improve in-store experience.
Typically, POS is completely tied to inventory management software.
Magento Inventory Management and Stock control
The fundamental function of stock control is to update stock levels whenever new stock is acquired or sold. Whether you have multiple warehouses or multiple sales channels, stock changes on one must be reflected on stock availability of other channels. Inventory visibility, or the ability to show what, how many, and where your stocks are, must also be displayed to all users.
For a more “physical” situation, imagine having a potential customer walking into your store looking for a certain shirt in size 36. The sales associate, instead of having to rummage the storeroom and coming back with the apologetic “that size is currently out of stock”, can just click a few buttons and tell the customer simply so, with recommendation about which other stores still have it or if she wants it delivered home.
Inventory management is done through the usage of barcodes. A single barcode contains important information about a single product: SKU code, where it is located, display images, name, price, product count, purchased time, and supplier info. A complete Magento barcode management module must allow users to generate, scan, and print barcodes for stock control purposes.
On a more advanced level, omnichannel inventory management is particularly vital when you have more than one warehouse at different locations. Magento multi-warehouse management software can generate unlimited number of warehouses. Depends on the all-inclusive inventory and sales reports, suitable products are determined for each location. With the help of barcodes, low-stock alert and supply-need forecast are visible to warehouse staff. On top of that, over-stocking situation is fully under control with the option for stock transfer among warehouses.
Magento Order Fulfillment
Order fulfillment is a series of steps involved with the process of delivering orders to customers. It starts with a point of sale request, to order processing (locating items, picking and packing), and to order dispatching and shipment. Fulfillment can either be carried out by the retailer or by a third-party service. Omnichannel fulfillment goes hand in hand with POS and inventory management, handling purchases made from various platforms and channels.
A smart order fulfillment solution saves time and effort by actively suggesting warehouses with available stock instead of retailer having to send stock requests and wait for responses from warehouse staff. Quick order processing means happy customers.
The power of order fulfillment comes at the last process step with Store Pickup module. Buy online – pickup in store is the trend that has gained popularity and is also one of the most prominent shipping methods chosen over the years. This is the cost-saving option that benefits both retailers and customers. Eager customers also feel a sense of self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency as they actively retrieve orders at their convenience.
For those who rely on third-party fulfillment service, a native Magento Dropship solution is the perfect choice. It should take ideally less than a minute to send a dropship request to suppliers using built-in email notification templates.
Magento Purchase Management
If your business requires stock purchase from suppliers, a comprehensive solution for cost-saving management of suppliers, quotations, and orders is important. To best serve its cost-saving aspect, Magento purchase management solution is paired with stock control to make sure over-stocking will not happen.
A good Magento purchase management solution must allow its users to have a clear overview of supplier list and easily access the following information with simple clicks and searches: supplier names, products, and contact details. The process is also made as simple as possible: 1-click quotation sending, purchase order conveniently converted from quotation, with possibility to track orders directly in backend.
Magento Loyalty Program and customer management
Customers are what drive your business forward. It’s all about omnichannel customer experience and omnichannel customer service whether they want to buy products from you or return items.
A customer’s journey doesn’t stop at one channel. Imagine one sitting at home, trying to contact customer service because she finds a tear on her purchase. She starts with a brief email explaining her situation. As she does not wish to wait for several hours to get a response, she initiates a conversation on the brand’s fanpage and receives a phone call with a sincere apology, a discount code for future purchase, together with two choices for the next step: she can either return the item for a refund, or deliver this faulty item to Alice at the store in town for a replacement.
A retail strategy cannot be completed without a customer loyalty program. As you can see from the example, discount codes are one of the most common features of a loyalty program. In Magento retail omnichannel solution, a loyalty program is built based on three modules: Gift Card, Reward Points, and Store Credit.
What really matters in an omnichannel customer loyalty management is the ability to increase engagement. Your program must be mobile optimized, making it easy for customers to access no matter which devices they are using. Customers should be able to redeem their rewards whenever and wherever they want. Don’t disappoint them by saying “Sorry, your points can only be used online.”
Finding a solution provider for omnichannel Magento retail continuously proves to be a challenge as it takes more than just technology-based expertise to make it work. With more than 7 years in the Magento business, Magestore understands thoroughly the challenges that retailers are facing to transform their business in the omnichannel approach. Magestore Magento omnichannel solution is based around top-of-the-market Point of Sale software, with full integration with comprehensive stock control and order management, and an ultimate customer loyalty program that surely guarantees business success.