Omni-channel logistics and customer experience management
Omni-channel commerce allows small and medium-sized stores and e-commerce to combine their historic strengths to face the new challenges imposed by digital transformation and the increasingly aggressive strategies of large market players.
For some years we have experienced the exponential growth of web-to-store services (click-and-collect, drive, on-line booking, etc.) and ship-from-store (order in store with home delivery). In fact, omni-channel commerce provides a strategic convergence with respect to the value of these services: points of sale and the e-commerce site are no longer limited by the stock available in the dedicated warehouse or in the shops. The availability of items is shortened and transport costs are reduced. By inviting the consumer to go to the point of sale of their choice, the store increases store attendance (by number and frequency) and turnover: in fact, on average, an “omni-channel” customer’s cart is twice or three times that of a “single-channel” customer.
The contamination of on-line and off-line channels is the new rule of retail and the evolution of the customer journey in an omni-channel perspective. Today, it is no longer a simple option for retailers but a strategic key to success.
A true omni-channel supply chain strategy leverages the same assets to fulfil orders across all the channels it manages, including warehouse space, inventory, workers and technology, whether they are e-commerce orders to customers, warehouse re-stock orders or distribution channel orders.
It is with this awareness that Francesco Petino, owner of Mana srl, has started to digitally transform his business, putting the customer experience at the centre, regardless of whether it takes place on-line or off-line.
Sidea Group’s project for Mana
Sidea Group was directly responsible for the analysis of the customer base and flows, the definition and implementation of the omni-channel strategy, and – in collaboration with ICAM, a company specialising in the design and production of innovative automatic systems for the storage, distribution and sale of materials and goods – the part relating to the automation of intra-logistics processes in support of the Omni-channel Commerce project.
Mana’s omni-channel evolution process included the launch of two different e-commerce platforms, www.next-shop.it and www.manashop.club, respectively, in addition to the digitisation and centralisation of physical store restocking located in the Apulian territory. The goal was to create the most rewarding and efficient Customer Journey possible for customers, whether the shopping experience takes place in store or on the web.
Digitisation and integration for the best Customer Experience
The pride and joy of the project is the complete digitisation and automation of the order receiving, managing and dispatching process and the relative synchronisation, in real time, of the quantities handled so as to have the physical warehouse stocks always aligned with those of the on-line shops.
The ERP is integrated with both Salesforce, the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform and ICON, the SILO² automated warehouse management software application.
An integrated architecture allows the product catalogue and stock of all logistics centres, including direct and indirect points of sale within the e-commerce catalogue, to be displayed on-line.
Logistics is efficiently managed and connected to every sales activity, to meet customer needs, prevent critical out of stock/ overstock issues and increase sales possibilities by enabling integrated services including:
Ship to Home
Ship to Store for Pickup
Ship from store
Collection Location (lockers)
Click and Collect
In addition, the new architecture allows for more efficient customer loyalty program management allowing customers to participate and use the omni-channel loyalty card.
The importance of the last mile
Taking care of the last mile becomes a focal point for customer engagement and loyalty. It is no longer just a question of speed and costs, e-shoppers want to choose between delivery or pickup, indicate date and time, monitor the route, in short, the last mile becomes decisive.
The project aims to perfect this mile, increasing the speed of delivery and developing different collection/return/service solutions. It aims to ensure coordination with the customer and therefore guarantee freedom in governing delivery and return, which nowadays become a lever of differentiation.
Integrated e-commerce and retail synergism provides customers with a unique and continuous brand experience and allows physical stores to maintain a central role in the customer journey. The “look & feel” concept is irreplaceable and has an undisputed value in the decision-making process, and this is not the only advantage. Even the employees themselves play a strategic role in the loyalty process, since they are able to offer a superior and personalised service, enriching the brand experience with the human component.
The benefits and advantages obtained
automated management of order management processes, warehouse and tax procedures thanks to integration with the ERP;
omni-channel shopping experience for customers;
reduction of logistics times and costs;
increase in Lifetime Value and recurring revenues thanks to new loyalty and customer base marketing strategies
The next steps of the project involve the adjustment of all processes and the evolution of their effectiveness over time. It will also be important to be sensitive to the customer’s experience, which must always be the soul of these activities. Technology has no boundaries and yesterday’s scenarios may not be tomorrow’s scenarios. This is why project success will be measured thanks to the entrepreneur’s foresight and the expertise and reliability of technology partners such as Sidea Group.
In the photos, project presentation to the press – in collaboration with ICAM Intelligent Space Solution – in which our Carmen Cellamare, project manager and Fedele Amoruso, solution architect, took part.