The importance of integrated management for omnichannel business operations

September 29, 2014
Posted in Intacct
September 29, 2014 TM Group

The importance of integrated management for omnichannel business operations

Omnichannel sales are a key component for growing businesses.

The omnichannel concept is becoming more prevalent in the sales world, in both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business realms. The rise of additional communication channels, from emails and social media to mobile websites and even dedicated apps, has impacted a wide variety of organizations that primarily deal with sales. The omnichannel concept, and its precursor multichannel, were originally ways for companies to positively differentiate themselves from competitors. The idea of seamless transition between different methods of interaction is becoming more of a requirement and less of an optional desire for businesses. While not all consumers are intimately familiar with the technical definitions of omnichannel operations from a business perspective, they still desire an easy-to-navigate set of interactions with a business that can quickly move from channel to channel without much disruption.

Payment news website PYMNTS pointed out a rise in dissatisfaction when it comes to the efforts of businesses to institute omnichannel experiences for their customers. On some level, this drop in satisfaction has to do with the relatively new world of omnichannel interactions. There’s no concrete, authoritative list of best practices in general for companies to use, much less a proven guide for individual industries, markets and businesses. However, it still indicates that there’s room for improvement in terms of creating a seamless experience across the different methods of communication offered by a business. While PYMNTS highlighted the experiences of B2C companies, the same sentiment applies to many B2B companies as well. This is especially true when considering that B2B customers have far more choices when it comes to finding a vendor or supplier than they did before the rise of the Internet.

Multichannel Merchant highlighted some of the most pertinent aspects in a truly effective omnichannel strategy, including better product information, personalized order information for customers and better processing of those orders, no matter their source. Other important considerations include an easy and secure checkout or order completion process, as well as providing customer-facing employees with the information and tools needed to facilitate these smooth transactions. In essence, it’s crucial for businesses to have right the internal framework and support in place to support their omnichannel marketing and sales effort.

A powerful platform that facilitates business management
Among the various customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning software options on the market, NetSuite offers some unique advantages when it comes to facilitating omnichannel sales. NetSuite combines ERP, CRM and dedicated e-commerce options into a single platform, helping companies create a customized and highly effective solution for their business needs. The 360-degree view of customers that is provided, from initial contact with a prospective client to post-sales follow up efforts, helps make the omnichannel approach effective for both the client and the business.

NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce tool is especially effective for businesses that want to expand and improve their omnichannel efforts. The web-based commerce system can be used for both B2B and B2C applications and supports sales made by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers as well. The ability to integrate and track both online and in-person sales though e-commerce and point-of-sale systems means businesses can maintain better, more complete records about consumers and learn more about their customer base. The additional abilities of SuiteCommerce to optimize marketing, merchandising, financial tracking and customer support effort makes it a true end-to-end solution for businesses that are taking an omnichannel approach. The ability to manage multiple locations, be they retail stores or inventory warehouses, is another key for success when using this method for consumer interaction, tracking and sales.

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