When a customer comes into your store and is ready to spend money, the last thing you want to do is turn them away because the stock isn’t there, or because you have no way of ordering it for them. So, as a retailer committed to giving your customers the best possible experience, the way you handle in-store ordering is important.
The ideal solution is to be able to take the order and take payment at the point where the customer wants to buy, and then have a reliable and efficient system in place that gets the goods to your customer as soon as possible. Doing this well increases customer loyalty, improves reviews and recommendations and gives your brand reputation a lift.
Getting your priorities right
In order to reach that point, you need to have the right systems and processes in place:
1. Stock control
Know what you have in stock and where it is, across all your warehouses and store-based stock rooms. Make sure that your system is accurate, so that what is shown on your computer system actually reflects what’s happening in your warehouse.
2. Easy ordering
Create an easy way for customers to discover whether their product is in stock, and allow them to order quickly and easily. You might have a stand-alone screen in-store that allows customers to check this themselves, or you might give your staff tablets so that they can check stock immediately when a customer asks them a question. More simply, you can have this access at a point of sale till or customer service point. Make the process quick and simple, and take payment at the point of order.
3. Fulfilment and supply
Have a clear method of delivering the item to your customer. The best way to do this is to offer home delivery. That way, you don’t have to ask your customer to come back into the store – you just ask them to specify a delivery address and take everything from there. It’s up to you whether you make a delivery charge or not. For smaller items, you may be able to subsidise delivery cost; for larger items, customers will expect to pay a delivery charge and in most cases will be happy to do so, in order to ensure they can get the product they want.
Treating in-store ordering as a separate channel
Instead of seeing in-store ordering as an ‘extra’, treat it as a separate marketing channel. You can use it to allow customers to see that they can order different colours or sizes than you hold on the racks, or to allow them to order in bulk, or to give them the chance to order larger items that they might not be able to take out of the store at the time they want to buy.
By having an integrated stock-management and sales system, you can collect data on the customers who order in-store, offering them incentives and special deals which allow you to grow the channel as a dedicated source of income.
To see how Modulus Retail can integrate with your existing systems to give you the capability to increase sales through in-store ordering, contact us today.