7 Critical Reasons Why Retailers Must Manage Multichannel Information as it Happens

Businesses have worked feverishly to optimize their physical supply chains. However, a growing number of retailers are taking a similar interest in optimizing the flow and management of the related product information. Merchants must look beyond a Band-Aid approach to their strategic multichannel information challenges and find a holistic, full-cycle approach that enables management teams to continually receive and use accurate strategic information about their products, customers and suppliers to develop a sustainable competitive advantage. Done correctly, this approach can result in seven critical benefits:

Reason No. 1: Drive revenue. When all operational product information is integrated across channels, marketing and customer support teams can have the accurate information they need to make the sale and retain the customer. Timely and more relevant information at the point of sale can also help improve cross-sell and upsell conversions while enabling fast, accurate and relevant responses to product information queries.

Reason No. 2: Reduce operating costs. Studies have found that merchants generally have accurate inventory information on only 35 percent of their items. This results in lost sales, unacceptable levels of obsolete inventory and high carrying costs. Product returns are another challenge, as the value of product returns now exceeds $100 billion annually according to one report. A full-cycle information management strategy and process can help reduce product returns while improving inventory accuracy, optimizing inventory levels and reducing carrying costs. It can also reduce product onboarding costs by helping companies avoid errors and inconsistencies in product and vendor data.

Reason No. 3: Improve cash levels. Improving and maintaining healthy cash flow levels continues to be a top concern for senior management. By holistically integrating all operating information together into one management platform, chief experience officers are reducing IT infrastructure, inventory and related costs. In fact, a major global retailer used this full-cycle approach to bring down its average onboarding costs from more than $200 per item to less than $3 per item.

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