The newest addition to the award - winning retail technology portfolio from Epicor Software Corporation, global leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, Epicor Retail Cross – Commerce is a fully integrated suite of applications designed to support consumers with a consistent brand experience across all available channels, and provides retailers with the means to unifying in formation and application silos to simplify retail enterprise management.
“Customers don’t shop channels, they shop brands,” said Noel Goggin, senior vice president and general manager, Epicor Retail solutions business. “Omni - channel retailing isn’t just about offering multiple shopping options (channels) for customers to access your brand; it’s about leveraging multiple means channels) to support the customer experience.
True cross- channel convergence is about making all retail channels operate in coordination and collaboration with each other; it’s about managing transactions and customer engagement across all channels to support delivery of a uniform, inspiring brand experience to consumers.”
But this omni-channel “nirvana” is often difficult to achieve for many reasons. For one, when retailers began moving from one to multiple channels-each with different customer and operational requirements- they generally had no choice but to deploy different technology systems to address them.
With these different channels operating as separate, autonomous entities, it becomes difficult to provide customer-centric merchandising and a consistent shopping experience across these channels, and instead they are left with inefficiency and lack of operational visibility.
“The proliferation of emerging touch points further complicates the already difficult challenge that eBusiness professionals face in executing a multichannel strategy, and many struggle internally with antiquated visions of customer engagement with their channels,” writes Forrester Research, Inc. VP and Principal Analyst Martin Gill in a recent report: “Welcome to The Era of Agile Commerce.”
According to the report, 56% of the respondents to Forrester’s Q4 2012 eBusiness and Channel Strategy Professional Online Survey said they strongly or very strongly agreed that their companies support a vision for a consistent cross- channel experience. Meanwhile, only 23% believe they can execute a consistent cross-channel sales and service experience, representing a significant gap between multichannel vision and execution.
“Epicor Retail Cross - Commerce is a solution to the omni - channel challenge,” said Goggin. “It provides every application needed to offer the kind of omni - channel shopping experience consumers expect today -- and reduces management headaches for retailers by maintaining a consistent source of customer, inventory and order data on the back -end. Epicor Retail Cross - Commerce addresses retailers’ desires to connect with customers via their preferred channel and continue that consistent brand experience as their journey crosses each channel.”