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Scenarios for Hybrid Retail Integration



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The world of business has expanded in multiple domains with time and this requires us to adopt new methods of managing business operations. Such management tools and their adoption do not stand as an option but a vital necessity for many businesses now. If not adopted on time as the expectations of customers rise you can lose customers to your competitors who are utilizing them. However, before they're implemented for your business and utilized for their positive impact it's important to understand how they can help in enhancing your business under different scenarios. Understanding these would help businesses realize the capabilities & potential of these solutions and implement them per their business dynamics for a better enhancement of their business operations.


This article will shed light on the capabilities of Integration solutions for hybrid businesses by demonstrating some common use-case scenarios. This will enable the readers to understand the workings of these solutions interestingly by allowing them to relate to the dynamics presented. These use-case scenarios also aim to expand the readers' perceptions about the possibility of Integration solutions for hybrid retailers establishing a more creative mindset towards customized solutions. 


What is a hybrid business?

A hybrid business is any business operating both in the offline and online markets simultaneously. Most of these businesses established themselves as physical store first and then entered online. However, the opposite could be true in some cases as well. Despite operating in different domains they aim to maximize their utilization of common entities by synchronizing the otherwise disparate solutions used to manage them.


Integration use cases for hybrid retailers 

The scenarios described below and how the integration solution could be helpful in those scenarios will help the reader understand how such businesses can benefit by implementing them and achieving a unified business management system.


Scenario 1: Real-time inventory sync

A customer bought an item online and the inventory got deducted at the physical store by reserving the stock for the placed order. This automatic synchronization will prevent any broken commitments and enhance customer experience.


In another scenario involving real-time inventory sync any item sold at a physical store will update the inventory online in real-time preventing overselling that could also translate to a bad customer experience. 


Scenario 2: Store pickup 

Many times the user prefers physically inspecting the item before buying. Even in this scenario, eCommerce can help. A customer can choose to place an order online and then pick it up at their desired time. 


As mentioned this is beneficial from both the customer and business perspective. Customers can conveniently view the item online with all the details and reviews from anywhere & anytime, place the order online, and easily pick up the item from the store curbside without leaving their vehicle. This way they'll avoid navigating through massive stores to search for their desired products and long checkout lines.


From the business perspective, this will reduce the checkout time for store customers. This will also decrease the burden on the store staff by facilitating payments and customer queries beforehand.


Scenario 3: Loyalty & Gift Cards

A lot of business comes from repeat customers. Thus, businesses should focus on retaining their existing customers.  A lot of businesses do this by offering loyalty programs that encourage customers to stick to their business for future purchases. However, in a hybrid retail business environment, loyalty points should be redeemable across both channels to offer a consistent experience. 


For example, if a customer earns loyalty points online these loyalty points through integration solutions can be transferred to POS and available for redemption when the customer visits the physical store. Similarly, any gift card purchased online will be available to redeem both online and offline at a physical store.


Scenario 4: Return & Refund

Return & refund are part of any retail setting and in a hybrid setting, an omnichannel experience is highly expected for this aspect as well. For example, when a person buys a product online the integration solution will make the invoice available at the POS terminal as well allowing the customer to return the online purchased products at physical stores. Once returned, the order will be marked as returned online and payment will be refunded online.


Scenario 5: Consistent customer support

With both offline and online platforms integrated customers will be able to get consistent support irrespective of the platform they’re on. For example, if a customer initiates a complaint online it can be tracked and retrieved at the physical store to provide a continuous issue resolution experience to the customer.


Conclusion

Ecommerce is gaining popularity with time as more and more people are gaining access to the internet and mobile devices. But this does not mean that the traditional physical stores are losing their place anytime soon: they’re still the dominant market channel. Thus, to capture market share many businesses are entering into hybrid models to capture customers who prefer each channel. However, going hybrid puts high demands on achieving a unified management system and understanding how this system is realized. The scenarios described here are useful in demonstrating the capabilities of integration solutions and how they can help businesses achieve this.


The x2xeCommerce being an expert in providing integration solutions for many years can also help you achieve this level of integration and help you realize a unified business management system. An example of the integration solution by x2xeCommerce includes the x2xeCommerce RMH-Shopify Integration solution. If you’ve any queries or want a free demo feel free to reach out to the x2x team.







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