order products in store which are out of stock
5 min

Order in Store: An essential tool in the retail customer journey

Advancements in technology have resulted in new in-store customer journeys and increased expectations for a seamless omnichannel experience, requiring retailers to employ new strategies to reduce the gap between physical and digital commerce.

Understanding the 2024 retail customer journey

As we step into 2024, the retail landscape continues to undergo a profound transformation, driven by changing customer behaviours. In the realm of in-store experiences, customers are now seeking more than just products on shelves; they demand a seamless and omnichannel journey that integrates physical and digital channels.

The general evolution of customer expectations has been influenced by many factors. From the rise of e-commerce to the ubiquity of smartphones, customers now demand a level of convenience and connectivity that extends beyond the traditional in-store experience. The concept of “seamlessness” has become a buzzword, meaning the desire for a frictionless transition between online and offline interactions.

In the context of in-store experiences, customers no longer view the brick-and-mortar store as a standalone entity. Instead, they see them as components of a broader omnichannel ecosystem. This shift in perspective necessitates the implementation of technology to enable stores to fulfil new roles.

In 2024, technology is not just a supporting element; it’s key to shaping the in-store customer journey. From in-store appointments and ordering to interactive kiosks, the in-store environment is becoming increasingly digital. This isn’t a trend; it’s a strategic response to the demand for enhanced engagement and personalisation.

Importance of an omnichannel retail experience

A connected in-store experience holds the key to elevating customer satisfaction and fostering loyalty. When a customer can seamlessly transition between online and offline touchpoints within a physical store, encountering a consistent and personalised brand experience, it creates a profound impact. Satisfaction levels rise, and the likelihood of repeat business and brand advocacy increases.

The need for retailers to integrate online and offline channels within the in-store customer journey cannot be overstated. Siloed operations, where online and offline exist as completely separate entities, are no longer sustainable. Customers expect a unified experience, where product availability, pricing and promotions align seamlessly, regardless of the channel.

The role of Order in Store

Order in Store (also called endless aisle) is a strategic capability that allows customers to place orders for products while physically present in a retail store, even if those items are not immediately available on the shelves. This pivotal concept leverages the integration of digital and physical channels to provide a seamless purchasing experience, redefining how customers interact with brick-and-mortar retailers.

At its core, Endless Aisle is about breaking down the barriers between online and offline retail channels through real-time inventory visibility, order orchestration and Delivey Promise functionalities. By allowing customers to order items that may not be in-stock at the moment, Order in Store contributes to a unified omnichannel strategy that harmonises various touchpoints to provide customers with a cohesive and satisfying shopping journey.

How Order in Store enhances customer experience

One of the primary ways Order in Store positively influences the customer journey is by enhancing personalisation and convenience. Customers can enjoy a tailored shopping experience by ordering specific products, sizes, or variations that suit their preferences but may not be readily available in-store.

Endless Aisle also significantly reduces friction in the purchase journey. Customers no longer face disappointment when an item is out of stock; instead, they can easily place an order and have it delivered to their preferred location, whether that is at home, a collection point, or a store.

Benefits for retailers

Implementing Order in Store brings a myriad of benefits for retailers.

One of the key advantages is improved inventory management. By dynamically tracking product demand and preferences, retailers can optimise stock levels and ensure that popular items are available.

Order in Store also opens up new sales opportunities. Instead of allowing customers to leave empty-handed, store associates can convert every intent to purchase by utilising inventory elsewhere in the retail network. This not only boosts immediate revenue but also fosters long-term customer loyalty.

From an operational standpoint, Order in Store streamlines processes. Retailers can efficiently manage orders, coordinate fulfilment and minimise the complexities associated with inventory discrepancies. The result is a more agile and responsive retail operation.

Implementing Order in Store successfully

Integrating Endless Aisle seamlessly into existing systems requires careful consideration of technological infrastructure. Retailers must assess the compatibility of their current POS systems, Order Management System and e-commerce platform.

The successful implementation of Order in Store also heavily relies on the competence of in-store staff. A well-trained team can effectively navigate the nuances of this strategy, providing a positive experience for customers. Considerations for staff training include: technology knowledge to operate digital systems seamlessly, customer engagement to train staff to communicate the benefits of Order in Store to customers and assist with the ordering process, and fulfilment procedures to explain how to manage orders, coordinate fulfilment and handle customer enquiries.

Why Order Management Systems ease the implementation of Order in Store

The seamless execution of Order in Store is enhanced by the integration of a robust Order Management System. This system acts as the backbone, streamlining processes and providing a centralised platform for efficient order handling.

Here are key reasons why Order Management Systems such as OneStock ease the implementation:

  • Unified stock / inventory visibility: An OMS provides real-time visibility into inventory across all channels, ensuring accurate order fulfilment.
  • Order orchestration: An OMS automates order processing, reducing the risk of errors and expediting the fulfilment process.
  • Omnichannel integration: An OMS integrates seamlessly with various sales channels, including online and in-store, creating a unified commerce environment.
  • Data-driven insights: An OMS generates valuable insights through data analytics, allowing retailers to make informed decisions and optimise their Order in Store strategies.

OneStock excels in providing best-in-class omnichannel solutions like Order in Store. Thanks to our MACH-certified solution, we also allow for seamless integration capabilities. Choosing OneStock ensures a smooth transition for retailers implementing Order in Store.

Want to learn more about Order in Store? Request a demo.

Further reading