Yes, technology can be your friend – but without the right model in place, it can also be a retailer’s worst enemy. That’s why a truly unified IT system will pay dividends at every turn, writes Iconography’s director, Wayne Robbins …
Our background is ecommerce. We are fortunate to work with many of the most successful independent furniture and bed retailers in the UK – Fishpools, Archers, Cookes, And So To Bed, to name a few.
For many of our clients, an integration between their increasingly important ecommerce website and their legacy back office retail system and EPoS can be an ongoing struggle – one which (when problems occur) saps resources, drains morale, wastes time, frustrates customers, and costs money.
In conjunction with some of our clients we have developed and launched a new unified commerce software platform called OMNIS. OMNIS provides ecommerce, EPoS, CRM, and a comprehensive suite of retail management functionality – covering product catalogue creation and management, purchase ordering, returns, warehouse management, delivery scheduling/lorry loading and a raft of forensic retail reporting.
The essential thing is that OMNIS is a single coherent software platform which does not require integrations between online and offline retail systems to join the dots. Your whole retail business, all the data you need to make decisions and do the day-to-day stuff sits all together now – in one piece of software.
Removing integrations creates so many benefits and efficiencies for retailers. Unified commerce delivers agile and progressive retailing for the 2020s, and consigns to the dustbin of history the day-to-day integration-related issues and limitations that we know many furniture retailers experience.
Here are just a handful of integration issues from our client support portal – these issues do not occur in OMNIS:
1. Can you check from your end if we have the same issue as earlier in this ticket? It’s just we uploaded a lot of items yesterday that haven’t reached the web. I’ve noticed x software automatically patched last night and am wondering if the patch has affected the file sent to the web?
2. The lead times on merged products is not pulling through and is only taking the lead time for one of the products in the merge. I have used the x chair as an example. I would need the different colours for the chairs to pull through as they all have different lead times.
3. Just realised we have a separate function in place to send in-store payment directly to x software, however it is x software that is rejecting the order, with the following message being returned: “Sales order number - 432942 delivered”.
4. I enabled new ranges yesterday afternoon, I notice the feed has updated twice since I enabled these ranges and yet they still haven’t come through to the website. I will upload screenshots of the ranges from x software, so you know what names to look out for.
5. We have a couple of items that for some reason are showing the out of stock lead times on the product page (and also on overlays), but they have free stock in both x software and CMS.
6. I have come in this morning and all the main categories and sub-categories have been disabled, please can someone re-enable them asap? And explain why this has happened?
7. Orders have stopped coming down to x software from our website. You will need to contact x company and ask as to why they are not downloading. I’ve attached the XML for each order to this ticket if that’s useful.
The benefits of unified commerce are numerous, and the team at Iconography would welcome the chance to discuss them with you.
Wayne Robbins is a director at Iconography, whose integration-free solution, OMNIS, is a unified commerce platform which blends ecommerce, RMS, CRM and EPoS to free retailers of the constraints of their existing platforms.