Physical stores have never been able to mine consumer data and shopping behavior like their online counterparts. E-comm sites gather all sorts of search and browsing data, including dwell times, clicks, impulse purchases, wish lists, cart abandonment and much more. For those who can’t get a handle on shopping behavior, it’s even harder to get inventory right—one of retail’s biggest and fastest-growing challenges—especially in omni environments where merchandise is shared among stores and warehouses.
Siloed data is the culprit. A lack of centralized data and visibility across omnichannel supply chains and retail channels also makes it hard to boost efficiency. Get it wrong and the result is wasted dollars and a poor customer experience. Fulfillment platform GreyOrange wants to help retailers get it right.
The company recently launched gStore, a mobile app that brings visibility and shared omni data to the stores. By harmonizing physical and digital experiences, gStore empowers retailers to provide tech-enabled personalized store experiences, manage workflow and use in-store inventory to fill online orders.
“Retailers know a customer’s digital footprint, but the physical footprint is almost unknown,” said Akash Gupta, co-founder of GreyOrange in a fireside chat with Sourcing Journal features editor Kate Nishimura. “In-store cameras and smart fitting rooms can provide additional data that can be merged with that customer’s online profile. What we’re trying to do is make one profile for the customer by capturing both and combining them together for an ‘omni profile. This helps us provide a better in-store experience as we already understand the behaviors of this customer.”
The four-module gStore app addresses customer and operational data in real time to provide drive operations and provide better customer experiences. The first focuses on inventory management, using data to drive processes within inventory—receiving stock, receiving replenishment, pick, pack, ship, buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), etc. The second targets workforce orchestration—prioritizing tasks and ownership. The third focuses on the in-store customer experience—offering store associates real-time inventory data at their fingertips so they can provide recommendations and a better customer experience. The fourth is about visualization and analytics—which skus are moving fast? What are the areas of the store where customers are spending more time? How do certain styles compare region per region?
In a year after its launch, gStore has pilot programs running with H&M and COS. “The stores had a number of pain points, noted Gupta. “They wanted to provide a differentiated customer experience, use store inventory to power fulfillment so their operations would be more omni in nature. And one pain point that started becoming increasingly important was making sure store employees are trained quickly, easily, and felt engaged using the software.”
Customers might not have the same exact behavior online and in store, and omnichannel retailers don’t need to have the exact same items in every channel. But the better they can parse the data from each area, the better they can see the entire picture.
“Omnichannel retailers need to understand their operational data within the store, then use it to drive operations,” Gupta said. “That is the data set we’re trying to get to.”
Click the image above to view the fireside chat.