Unified Commerce

Delivering the best possible and routinely consistent customer experience, wherever your buyers interact with your business - that’s the mission and the measure of being effective at omnichannel retail management. 

From a physical instore perspective, that means using all the tried and tested retail know-how you and your team have developed and perfected over decades. For example, making sure the mix of products is relevant to your catchment area, finding the optimum layout of your stores and combining it with just the right level of instore help, customer attentiveness and expert guidance.

OMNIS by Iconography

Did you know that our Unified Commerce platform mixes eCommerce, RMS, CRM and EPoS to provide an award winning omnichannel solution?

Would you like to know more?

Omnichannel is a modern retail experience and discipline; Unified Commerce is the best way to make Omnichannel happen

Effective Omnichannel management

Online is different, a key task is to extend the values of your brand into the digital space and take advantage of the extra opportunities digital can offer. This involves maintaining a clear brand identity, translating all the virtues of the instore retail experience to an online one. 

Online and digital is rarely a single focused activity and will comprise the essentials of a centrepiece eCommerce website combined with an active social media presence, supported by SEO and advertising strategies. To get it right requires an integrated and well thought out plan which will create a long list of things to do, from unifying product inventory to creating customer personalisation and defining the social media strategy to suit you. 

And the point about becoming an omnichannel retailer is that consistency of the instore experience and the feeling of personalisation is extended to online. The one simple psychological rationale behind why this works is that we all respond positively to efforts to make us feel special, important and looked after.  

The pain of legacy systems

And talking of being well looked after, if there's one thing that is absolutely central to effective omnichannel management then it’s connecting your offline and online sales channels and holding key product and customer data in one centralised database. 

You can't do this unless your systems are working together to provide real time data. And real time means now, not in ten minutes when the systems have caught up, or in an hour or at the end of the day when the systems sync. 

Even if we take one of the many issues like real time access to product inventory it’s easy to see how fragmented and siloed data can have a massive negative impact on accurate stock holding and reliable information on availability.

Our Unified Commerce project for ECCO shoes increased their online sales tenfold, almost overnight!

While they still ran a central warehouse, store stock was made available to eCommerce thus lending additional inventory to the website which saw sales lift as more stock was available to the online store. It meant the full stock list could then be sold more efficiently through all channels. 

Not only were sales increased but ECCO were also able to run a leaner business, managing stock more efficiently, reducing overheads and increasing inventory turn. And the key benefit of improving inventory turn is that you can lower the cost of doing business overall by having less cash tied up in your inventory. 

Solving the puzzle

The puzzle for many retailers is where to start in overhauling retail management systems - what’s next? How do you comfortably move on and say goodbye to the investment already made in multiple solutions and their integrations? At what point do unreliable but “not-quite-broken” integrations get redefined as fragmented and unworkable? How do you evaluate the promise of new technologies and the even bigger promises of new vendors?

Painful integrations?

The importance of eCommerce sales continues to grow, and the limitations of system integrations are ever-increasing. That's why so many retailers are turning to Unified Commerce.

At Iconography, we know from experience that the different software solutions that make up a retail management system will have been bought and installed at different times over many years. We know this means the system regularly fails to deliver a synchronised retail management view of, for example, accurate measures of inventory, or the combined up-to-the minute shop and internet sales. This is a daily challenge for all concerned and the quick fix involves complex programming patches, or simple but time consuming manual workarounds.

We know this because we have helped evaluate and troubleshoot numerous systems for customers. In doing so we learned a great deal about the daily pain, and this is why we created OMNIS, an end-to-end unified commerce platform – a single coherent software system, offering enterprise-level eCommerce, EPoS, CRM and a suite of essential retail management functionality. 

Picking the right supplier

We talked about how our OMNIS system was transformational for ECCO and we see this time and again with our customers. Take well known High street retailer ‘And So To bed” where Iconography were selected by a dynamic forward thinking management team looking to re-platform from their old Magento eCommerce site.

And So To Bed wanted to radically improve the instore customer experience and empower shop floor staff with the tools to interact with potential customers instore, anywhere in the store, and have product information and EPoS facilities to hand.

And So To Bed's retail operations were revolutionised by OMNIS Retail

The woes of Magento transitions have been well documented and they are prime examples of how the wrong platform and the wrong provider will cause you headaches, across the board, especially if the software is not suited to an omnichannel approach. It doesn’t matter how fully featured or effective the system appears to be, it’s useless if you can’t combine your data in real time and give your customers the experience they expect. And be wary of the gung-ho “we can fix anything” promises from implementation agencies.

Delivering omnichannel eCommerce

The worst aspect of disconnected and inadequate systems is that they over promise and underdeliver. Providing the best possible and routinely consistent customer experience, wherever your buyers interact with your business requires a well crafted strategy supported by a properly unified system delivering one source of data and in real time - that's what it takes to be transformational.

One key goal of unified commerce is to give customers choice and convenience; plus consistent, real-time information about products, pricing, and availability. Unified commerce facilitates things, everyday things – simple things, convenient things; for example enabling your customers to save on shipping as they can order online and collect in your physical store – leveraging the power of online and physical retail for the customer.

Use this checklist to see if you can readily offer:

Order online deliver to customer’s home

Order online, ship to a third party pick up point

Order online, pick up at store (click and collect/BOPIS)

Order online, pick up at curbside (BOPAC)

Reserve online, pick up in store

Buy online, return in store

Provide a quote instore (perfect for made to order items) and enable the customer action it later online

If you’re interested in exploring how our OMNIS unified commerce solution can help you more effectively deliver omnichannel eCommerce contact the team here.

We are Iconography

OMNIS Retail

OMNIS was born out of the needs of a leading direct to consumer brand to support their online and instore retailing formats in the UK market. They were facing the same problems and challenges that present obstacles for any retailer.

As a progressive and forwarding thinking brand, our client wanted to remove the limitations, constraints and operational inefficiencies associated with integrating an eCommerce website with offline EPoS and legacy back office retail software.

We quickly saw the vast potential OMNIS possessed. It’s a need we’ve recognised with many other retailers and DTC brands that have similar aspirations and want to remove the restrictions of old retail technology and software.

In OMNIS you can create multiple warehouses with any number of locations, place purchase orders and complete stock transfers. We have a full range of reporting and administrative control suite. Together, these give you complete control and oversight over your stock across all channels.

OMNIS Retail is a pioneering new retail solution that has been driven by D2C brands & niche retailers looking to the future. A single database eliminates any data integration issues between outdated systems, instead providing a cloud-based omnicommerce retail solution fit for the 21st century.

Online and instore retail

OMNIS Retail is a pioneering new retail solution that has been driven by D2C brands & niche retailers looking to the future. A single database eliminates any data integration issues between outdated systems, instead providing a cloud-based omnicommerce retail solution fit for the 21st century.

Would you like to know more?

Posted by Georgia Caird
10th August 2021