Consumers want to shop how they want, when they want, and anywhere they want. Giving your customers an unified commerce experience is no longer simply an option; it’s an expectation. To give the consumer that streamlined, multichannel experience takes a lot of behind the scenes work, changing the infrastructure and operations role for retailers. To be successful, retailers need the right processes and policies in place to ensure smooth operations.
Before diving headfirst into the unified commerce pool, retailers must look into their infrastructure to see what changes will be required. Do you have the personnel and experience to launch multichannel offerings? Do you have the systems and infrastructure necessary to communicate information from all placed orders between departments? Consumers aren’t the only ones with options. Retailers and suppliers also have more options than ever to make their unified commerce efforts successful. Depending on your scale, investments, and goals, there are many ways for companies to deliver on what customers expect. The first step is deciding if you will set up your own systems in-house, outsource processes, or a hybrid system that works for your needs.
If you’re a bigger company, you might consider keeping all processes in-house. This requires additional IT staff to build out new business process workflows and supporting systems. You’ll likely need to invest in software and hardware to hold data and process tasks. Your warehouse, inventory, shipping, carriers, and other services related to product movement will need to be retooled. Old processes will need to be replaced with newer, more up to date processes. And while it is possible to keep things in-house, there is a significant amount of risk in taking on a wholesale unified commerce transition. This is why so many retailers opt to outsource to a leading system integrator with experience and specialization in this realm.
You can reap many of the benefits of unified retail by outsourcing your e-commerce, marketing, fulfillment, and other operations and processes. This is an ideal option for smaller companies because it can keep costs affordable compared to an in-house strategy. A hybrid of the two is also worth consideration. With a hybrid system, some services and processes are brought in-house, while others are outsourced. Retailers of various sizes are leveraging hybrid systems to create seamless unified commerce experiences, choosing to internalize specific functions that are core to their business and outsource areas with more proven external solutions.
The trick to successfully hiring an outsourcing team is to find a company that will become a partner to your business and not just an independent contractor. A strong project manager will become familiar with the way that your organization works from the ground up, and should be able to seamlessly integrate with your existing team.
At Worldlink, our project managers will act as an extension of your team. We’ve successfully helped countless businesses streamline their projects and save revenue by providing them with the talent and experience they need to get the job done.
Does your company currently have an in-house project manager or do you outsource? What have been the pros and cons? Tell us in the comments below, or reach out to us on Facebook!