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Solving the Challenges of Omnichannel Retailing

March 29, 2018
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In the retail sector, adapting an omnichannel strategy can be an intimidating prospect for some retailers. However, when implemented and managed correctly, the payoff can be monumental.

What is Omnichannel Retail?

Omnichannel retail involves selling to customers through a variety of physical and digital outlets, like brick and mortar store locations, an online store, third-party e-commerce sites, or a smartphone app. The term also implies that customers will have a consistent and hassle-free shopping experience, whether they are shopping online or in-store.

Despite the ease and convenience of shopping online, Americans still prefer the brick-and-mortar store experience. 66% of female shoppers say that being able to see, touch, and feel products is their main reason for choosing to shop in-stores, while 59% of males prefer the instant gratification of taking items home immediately[1].

The goal of omnichannel is to unify the shopping experience across channels and touchpoints – and the ability to reach customers where they are is vital for retailers and merchants to remain competitive. However, according to one study[2], 45% of suppliers and merchants have reported more than $1 million in lost revenue because of cross-channel retail issues, and over 10% have lost over $3 million due to these challenges.

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Some of the issues they are facing include the following:

Challenge 1: Orders coming from third-party channels can get lost

Omnichannel retailers often utilize third-party channels to sell their products in either online or physical settings. Because retailers are not carefully tracking their inventory in real-time, many orders get lost. More than 30 percent of retailers do not provide accurate and real-time inventory visibility for every party involved[3], which limits the functionality of the business overall and results in lost customer orders.

Challenge 2: Determining how to handle orders across all channels quickly

Once a retailer has sold an item to a customer, they must move quickly to update their inventory for third-party sites like Amazon, especially if they have sold out of the product in-store. This challenge is where real-time inventory management can come into play and help retailers figure out exactly what products they need to restock. Customers won’t hesitate to shop at a competitor if a retailer is out of a product, so accurate inventory management can help prevent this loss.

Challenge 3: Merchandising across multiple channels

Different platforms and sites each have their own requirements and restrictions for how items are listed and displayed. Coordinating different product descriptions and images for different online selling locations is often a time-intensive, manual process – and even deters many retailers from selling on other channels at all. Managing and automating this process all in one place is crucial to omnichannel success.

Solving the present and future challenges of omnichannel retailing 

As shoppers begin to make purchases on additional platforms, retail inventory management will only increase in complexity. By partnering with a leading third-party inventory management and logistics solution provider, you can focus on growing your business.

With 25 years of experience, retailers can rely on Runit to help manage their intricate omnichannel ecosystems. Runit is well-equipped to address and handle the unique necessities of every retail business, and it offers solutions that are flexible and adaptable to real-time, central inventory management across channels.


Retailers seeking out a logistics solution for their unique omnichannel needs should get in touch with Runit today.