With the UK’s shoppers increasingly using a variety of ways to shop, be it in-store, online or via mobiles, the problem of keeping track of these various customer and sales records and a need to manage them effectively has become more necessary than ever.

Imagine making a sale in store, only to learn that you’re out of stock, the sale has to be cancelled…you then find it in another location. Well now imagine that same situation with your customer data; having your customer information spread across various platforms leading to all sorts of missed opportunities, confusion, and loss of data, not to mention a bumbling customer experience.

“65% of consumers like to browse two or more channels before purchasing”*

So is it worth having a single customer view? Well, we can all agree on the benefits of having a single stock view across your various sales platforms, such as trend spotting, and reduced stock levels. The same can be said for managing your customer data in a single easy to access system, one step better would be to integrate your customer information with your stock and sales data and manage your entire retail operation from one point.

So how exactly does having a single customer view help retailers? By providing a personalised service to your customer no matter how they prefer to shop, your customers could come in store one day, and go online the next, the whole shopping process will be much easier if they can avoid having to re-register their details, instead just login with their loyalty card or shopper ID. Research has shown that increasingly shoppers are looking for a seamless shopping experience across channels, along with a more tailored and personalised service.

“48 % of consumers expect a tailored shopping experience online”**

Also, by having all of your customers data readily available and up to date means that no matter how your customers access your business you can view their buying habits and see exactly what their buying and when, this data can then be used in turn to offer other relevant products. In turn, your customers receive a standardised service no matter how they access your store. Another great opportunity in having a central view of stock is you can target marketing campaigns to a direct sector of your customer base and increase the effectiveness of your targeted campaigns.

Sounds complicated and time consuming doesn’t it? The good news for independent retailers is that it is a lot simpler than it sounds and can reap unrivaled reward to keep you ahead of the competition and offer services previously available only to large multinationals. With a cloud based EPoS and multichannel system, customer records can be easily identified in a single view, reviewed and managed, no matter where your customers are shopping from be it mobile, in store, or online.

*Source: Drapers multichannel report 2013

**Source: Drapers September 2013

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