There’s a difference between setting up a digital storefront and actually making it… work. There’s a difference between simply being “findable” online and being part of a full-fledged ecosystem that brings together retailers, marketplaces and brands – and attracts consumers in droves.

Managing the end-to-end complexities of scaling a business, from meeting customers where they want to be met – in short, juggling face-to-face interactions with end users to managing inventory for getting them what they ordered in a timely manner – is not a simple task.

“Going live” with a site opens the door to a multitude of complexities. As retailer and brand onboard marketplaces take root in marketplaces, managing everything from product images to actual inventory becomes a Herculean undertaking.

To make it even harder, add the continued rise of omnichannel commerce, which is becoming more prevalent as the pandemic recedes. Consumers are quickly moving beyond the limits of just clicking on “buy” buttons and waiting for packages to show up at their doorstep.

blur the lines

Roy Avidor, CEO of Cymbio, told Karen Webster that the lines are blurring between physical commerce and online commerce, which means that physical environments need to reflect the digital channels that have dominated our lives for the past couple of years. years.

Of course, digital has its place and always will. Cymbio, which helps automate all sorts of back-end functions and drop-shipping operations and connects brands and their retail counterparts, noted that enterprise customers estimate they will get between 30% and 50% sales from digital channels.

“Some of them are already over the 30% threshold,” he said. But digital sales can happen, well, anywhere. Brands that increase their digital presence while embracing automation have the means to meet consumers where they want to be met. The seamless, omnichannel continuum is where today a customer buys online, picks up in-store or views an item in-store, buys it on their mobile devices, and orders it to be sent home.

PYMNTS’ own data shows that a growing number of consumers are using digital channels, engaging with brands across multiple touchpoints – including social media and in the aisles – where those brands want to have a direct presence with consumers.

“All of these things are now part of consumer expectations,” he said.

Regardless of the point of engagement between consumer and business, none of this works if inventory is out of stock or internal systems are out of sync between merchants and their retail partners. , or if product data, billing, or a number of back-end items are not managed effectively with tracking, billing, and returns management. Cymbio has scalable retail connections with over 800 marketplaces, retailers and e-commerce solutions globally.

A single point of integration, designed to enable commerce in an automated way, allows brands to connect with retailers. Brands benefit from the ability to centralize and automate compliance with their retailers’ product information, warehousing, and documentation without having to forge direct integrations with each merchant (which can take months). Retailers, of course, are growing in size and, in a way, becoming marketplaces.

Thus: stevemadden.com can sell on Shopify, on Nordstrom’s, Kohl’s and Macy’s, in a uniform way. A small outdoor camping retailer finds a happy place on REI’s sites and shelves.

“All of our brands can be connected to retailers, and all retailers can be connected to brands,” he said, as Cymbio straddles the line between operating as an infrastructure provider and the network. bilateral.

The positive ripple effects increase, he said, when inventory is optimized to meet demand, whether that demand is happening in-store or online (again, with that digital interaction). Companies manufacture less, have a lower carbon footprint, and can sell their products from just a few locations to hundreds or even thousands of retailers across multiple regions.

And, as Avidor noted, automating the retail brand experience, with online marketplaces synchronized with dropshipping, can help ease the friction of physical purchases. PYMNTS’ own data shows that when shopping at a store, inventory availability is a key sticking point.

Read also : The value of consumer certainty in driving digital transformation

Cymbio, maintains Avidor, can help with physical management of in-store inventory. Retailers and marketplaces selling Cymbio’s client brands are able to check inventory and stock it seamlessly.

“That means if you walk into a store and you see a dress that you want and it’s your size,” Avidor said, “but you want it in black and they only have red. .the sales staff can basically check if the brand has it in stock.With two clicks, the dress can be ordered and sent to the store or directly to your home.

This week, Cymbio announced that PayPal Ventures, the venture arm of the global payments company, had invested an undisclosed amount in Cymbio, four months after Cymbio closed a $20 million Series B fundraising round. dollars. Avidor said the investments set the stage for the company to expand its current operations and move into a new financial services product. “They’re looking at commerce enablement in general,” Avidor said, “and that’s very much in their space,” he said of PayPal’s announcement.

As Avidor told PYMNTS about the need to automate commerce, “the bottom line for any brand is to be there for your consumer online, offline, across all channels and markets.” .

Read also : Commerce automation platform Cymbio secures investment in PayPal Ventures

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 57% OF CONSUMERS PREFER ADVANCED IDENTITY VERIFICATION AFTER TRIING IT

On:Fifty-seven percent of consumers who used advanced identity verification methods such as voice recognition when contacting customer service say they would do it again. The Consumer Authentication Experiences report surveyed nearly 3,800 US consumers to find out how delivering innovative verification experiences helps businesses deliver superior customer service across all channels.

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