How stores can contribute to your digital strategy during lockdown

Keeping staff employed and stock turning over during ongoing lockdowns is a major concern for retailers of all sizes. “Dark stores” are not a new concept. With the right tools and technology in place, converting your retail stores to dark stores can help keep staff employed, turn over stock and provide an exceptional brand experience for your customers.

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Dark stores Infographic

Check out the article: Ship-from-store: How Williams brought dark stores to light

Let’s go
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01. UNIFY YOUR INVENTORY.

Ensure you have one single source of truth for all your inventory, allowing it to be sold across your entire commerce network. Live inventory feeds should be sent to your ecommerce and sales channels, preventing stock outs and enabling customers to shop your brand on their preferred channel.

  • Greater product availability online
  • Allow customers to checkout via their preferred channel

02. UNLOCK YOUR INSTORE INVENTORY TO KEEP STOCK TURNING OVER.

Inventory sitting on shelves is no good to anyone. A pair of last season’s sandals sitting on a shelf in a Melbourne store may be perfect for a customer located in Far North Queensland. If this inventory isn’t available to be sold on your website or across your sales channels, it’s not going anywhere! By unifying your inventory, stock is able to be sold wherever it’s located.

  • Keep store stock turning over and reduce the impact of distressed stock
  • Increase conversions by connecting the right stock with the right customer

03. ENABLE CLICK & COLLECT AND SHIP FROM STORE FUNCTIONALITY.

By unifying your inventory, you allow customers to purchase instore stock online. Store staff are empowered to pick and pack orders, and either ship from store or offer local click & collect. Not only does store stock keep turning over, but fulfillment time is often shorter. You also remove the threat of large-scale staff isolation in a warehouse environment – an issue becoming more prevalent every day!

  • Create a sense of urgency by displaying how many items are left in stock at a particular store
  • Reduce fulfillment and delivery time, while also giving customers choice at the checkout

04. EMPOWER STAFF TO INTERACT WITH CUSTOMERS ONLINE.

While retail store staff may not be able to assist customers instore, they can still be effective sales agents online. Allowing them to assist customers through live chat, on social media or via email will keep customer engagement up. Cult Australian cosmetics retailer MECCA have recently launched “Mecca Expert”, giving virtual access to their instore team. The team connects with customers, usually via video chat, advising on colour, shades and products, assisting all those shopping from the comfort of home.

  • Wow customers and Increase conversions with a personalised service
  • Keep staff engaged and incentivised, rewarding and acknowledging top achievers
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“Retailers 100% need to do ship-from-store. You have to utilise your inventory. From stock turnovers to improved conversion to increased sales, it’s a no-brainer, but you’ve got to choose the right partners. You need the right backend, the data flows and the right smarts that Comestri can provide to manage that, particularly if you have a multi-store environment.”

Jay Munro, Munro Footwear Group CEO

Check out the article:
Ship-from-store: How Williams brought dark stores to light

LET’S GO

A Unified Commerce solution is fundamental to unifying your inventory, keeping stock turning over and staff engaged.

Comestri can help – let’s chat.