Delivering a seamless omnichannel experience for customers is essential for today's eCommerce and retail businesses. According to Accenture, 91% of shoppers are more likely to buy from stores that offer personalized and relevant suggestions, similar to eCommerce platforms. To achieve this, store associates need access to customer information and purchase history.
Retailers require a Point of Sale (POS) system that adequately supports their omnichannel strategies to provide the best customer experience. While there are several options out there, it’s tough to beat Shopify POS as a solution for Shopify retailers looking to provide a holistic omnichannel experience for their customers. Shopify POS allows retailers to offer personalized and convenient shopping experiences in-store that parallel the offerings of the eCommerce space while also enabling the ability to scale up their business.
Let’s take a closer look at Shopify POS and the benefits it provides to DTC and omnichannel enterprise retailers:
The Benefits of Shopify POS for Omnichannel & Enterprise Retailers
Shopify is not just an eCommerce solution. It's an all-in-one commerce solution allowing retailers to sell both online with a website and in person using a point-of-sale app.
Shopify POS communicates with Shopify eCommerce to ensure complete product, pricing, promotions, inventory, sales, payment, and customer data synchronization across platforms. This enables a quicker, streamlined checkout while providing customers with a more personalized shopping experience.
Beyond basic functions, like staff management, payment processing, and invoicing, Shopify POS offers:
1. Increased Mobility: Customers love convenience and they will likely abandon their cart if they are forced to wait in a long checkout line. Unlike a traditional POS, a cloud-based POS maintains data online, which allows it to be accessed on mobile devices like a phone or tablet. This flexibility enables store associates to assist customers from any device, anywhere in the store, essentially bringing the service to the customer rather than forcing them to seek this out via a checkout line.
Shopify’s POS GO device features dedicated hardware with a built-in barcode scanner and card reader for simple, on-the-go checkout. This integration resulted in a 60% increase in merchant use of Shopify POS in the first half of 2022. Shopify POS software along with the hardware provided by Shopify can help retailers burst lines and increase checkout speed.
2. Enriched In-Store Shopping Experience: Providing a memorable in-store experience is just as important as creating a seamless online shopping experience. A cloud-based POS, like Shopify POS, can play a critical role in providing this standout experience through powerful retail insights like:
Rich Product Content: Store associates typically lack immediate access to the rich product information that online shoppers enjoy. With Shopify POS, store associates can access rich product content that equips them with comprehensive product details. By leveraging this valuable data, associates can enhance the in-store experience by providing personalized recommendations and support to customers from anywhere in the store.
Unified Customer Information: A comprehensive perspective on customer profiles, encompassing both online and offline purchase information, enables store associates to better understand the behavior of walk-in customers. Through Shopify POS, associates can effortlessly access a customer's purchase history, browsing history, loyalty status, shopping cart status, wish lists, and additional eCommerce-related data. This information empowers store associates to provide tailored support and pertinent recommendations.
Send cart: 50% of customers who open their cart abandonment email, end up purchasing. Shopify POS allows store associates to generate in-store carts for customers who abandon their purchases, and subsequently, send an email containing eCom product links to facilitate customer conversion. If a customer completes an online purchase from the cart provided by the store associate, the store will receive credit for the sale.
3. Minimize Integrations and Vendor Management: Retailers utilizing a POS system other than Shopify must develop and maintain integrations between their POS, eCom, and ERP systems to synchronize inventory, product, customer, order, and shipment data to ensure a seamless and consistent shopping experience across channels. However, if retailers choose to use Shopify POS, they can avoid the complexities associated with integrating POS and eCommerce systems. Shopify provides a unified back-office platform for both POS and eCommerce, guaranteeing that inventory, payments, and customer information are synchronized across online and in-store sales channels. This approach also simplifies vendor management.
The Limitations of Shopify POS
Shopify POS provides basic omnichannel capabilities for Shopify retailers, but the platform's one-size-fits-all approach is not well suited to enterprise retailers with unique business needs and a large network of fulfillment locations across regions.
During our conversations with multiple Shopify retailers, some of the top concerns expressed by Shopify POS users are:
1. Scalability: Enterprise retailers with more than 20 stores often complain about delayed inventory sync that leads to inventory inaccuracy and results in overselling or underselling.
2. Inventory Management: Shopify has acquired the Stocky app to provide inventory management capabilities to Shopify retailers. However, retailers often complain about delayed software updates and a lack of support from the Shopify customer success team for the issues in the Stocky app.
The Stocky App also pushes all in-store inventory to eCommerce. This then raises the concern that if all of the inventory is consumed online, there may be none left for walk-in customers. Another challenge of pushing all inventory to eCommerce is that if some inventory is destroyed or lost, online orders for that inventory will go unfulfilled and eventually be canceled. To avoid such occurrences, merchants require the following inventory management elements in their inventory management solution:
Safety Stock: Retailers often deal with inventory discrepancies caused by in-store inventory on-hand not matching the inventory listed in the system. Safety stock is one way to control how much inventory is promised to online channels as a way to mitigate this issue. Maintaining a safety stock also aids retailers in avoiding accidentally taking orders that are unable to be fulfilled.
Inventory Threshold: Inventory inaccuracy is a common problem in retail. To reduce the risk of overselling due to inventory inaccuracy, retailers reduce the amount of available in-store inventory before promising any inventory to their online sales channels. This amount of inventory reduction is called an Inventory Threshold.
Inventory Variance: When fulfilling orders, it is common for store associates to find that ordered inventory is not available at the fulfillment location. In such cases, store associates need the option to report inventory variance in real time to avoid taking orders on their depleted inventory.
Reserved Quantity: Reserved quantity is the inventory that is available in-store but reserved for online sales. Retailers need to reserve inventory for online orders and ensure that inventory is not available to sell online or in-store to avoid overselling.
The Stocky App doesn’t take into account above mentioned considerations before pushing the store’s inventory to eCommerce. This leads to overpromising, and ultimately order delays and cancellations.
3. Static Order Routing: Shopify routes orders based on a predetermined location order list provided by the retailer. Online orders are first directed to the initial location on the list, and if inventory is unavailable, the orders are then routed to other stores. However, Shopify does not consider the store's proximity to the customer's delivery address, which may cause fulfillment delays.
Enterprise retailers require a dynamic order routing solution that considers order type, proximity to the customer's delivery address, and inventory availability. For instance, for same-day or next-day delivery, orders should be routed to the facility closest to the customer's address that also meets the service level agreement (SLA). If multiple facilities meet the SLA, orders should be directed to the location with the most inventory.
Moreover, retailers may want a store to participate in the Buy Online Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) program without including it in the Ship from Store program. This is because BOPIS orders are considered in-store sales, providing an opportunity for customer interaction. However, retailers may not want to commit their inventory to online orders. In these cases, Shopify's all-or-nothing approach may not suit retailers, who prefer more control over which facilities participate in Ship from Store and BOPIS strategies.
These limitations create roadblocks to order management and fulfillment, which leads to enterprise retailers seeking out alternative options that better suit their needs.
However, there is a solution that addresses these problems and works alongside Shopify POS to better incorporate them into the workflow of enterprise retailers: an Omnichannel Order Management System.
How an Order Management System complements Shopify POS to offer the perfect Omnichannel Experience
It is evident that Shopify POS is the most suitable POS solution for omnichannel retailers using Shopify eCom. However, enterprise retailers require additional capabilities that not only expedite the checkout process but also ensure consistent customer service across channels and maximize returns on their omnichannel investments. To achieve this, Shopify retailers should possess the ability to track inventory in real-time, identify the optimal location for online order fulfillment, and efficiently process online orders from stores.
Although Shopify POS provides fundamental inventory management and store fulfillment features, it struggles to address the intricacies associated with a vast network of fulfillment centers. Enterprise retailers need an Omnichannel Order Management System equipped with an intelligent order routing engine, real-time inventory visibility, and effective store fulfillment software that overcomes the limitations of Shopify POS, enhancing its capabilities.
HotWax Commerce is a cloud-based Omnichannel Order Management System with ready integration with Shopify eComm and Shopify POS for enterprise retailers. Shopify retailers can maximize investments in their inventory by leveraging the benefits of Shopify eCommerce and Shopify POS by using HotWax Commerce OMS to optimize their omnichannel strategy.
HotWax Commerce OMS also boasts complimentary Store Inventory Management software to help retailers optimize their inventory levels and ensure sufficient stock for their walk-in customers by using features such as safety stock and max order limits.
Interested in learning more about how HotWax Commerce’s OMS can help you take your eCommerce and omnichannel business to the next level? Contact us to get started today!