When I say ecommerce Is not going away, I don’t think I need to explain myself in great detail.

For those working in retail, we understand the impact that ecommerce has made in changing the purchasing habits of consumers. It can be argued that in recent times there has been no greater change in the way that consumers can engage with retailers, thanks to ecommerce.

Some may see ecommerce as a negative aspect of retailing but to those people I say, “you might want to change your thinking”.

Our recent ANZ retail market study showed that 85% of respondents shop online and that 64% of Australians and 59% of New Zealanders find online shopping a smooth experience.

It’s here to stay and why wouldn’t it? Customers love it and the opportunity for retailers to expand their sales reach is immense.

Opportunity is the key word. For those retailers that embrace their ecommerce channel and integrate that channel into their businesses, the rewards can be great.

The concept of integrating ecommerce sites to the store has been a major challenge for retailers. Building an online store has become easier than ever but integrating online and in-store practices has been rather challenging.

The iVend Retail solution from CitiXsys took this challenge head on and in doing so unlocked the opportunity for greater sales through this single view of a retail practice.

The key is integrating data between your online store and physical store wherever they may be. If you operate a multi-site retail business, then all those sites need to be integrated to the ecommerce side of your business.

Without going into all the detail as to how we do this, the iVend solution makes this a reality through the simple concept of a single database. This single database is what all sales nodes, whether they be physical or digital, connect to.

So now you have all facets of your business connected, you now have the ability to have a more in depth view of your customers’ purchase habits, allow customers to have a greater connection with your business through integrated loyalty campaigns, stock lookup capability and concepts such as buy online, pickup in store or buy online and return in store and many more. If you are like me, your mind will start racing with new ideas as to how you can benefit from now treating your customers as one pool rather than online and in-store groups.

By embracing ecommerce and integrating it fully with your in-store systems you unlock the opportunity to allow your customers to interact with you the way in which they choose, rather than the way in which you choose.

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