IT infrastructure in omnichannel setups is pretty complex. To start with, that’s an understatement, but hear us out. Because IT develops organically, over a period of years or even decades, the connections that are built very often don’t really do what you want them to. This problem is compounded across software and across sales channels, so why does middleware hold the answer?
With so many different applications vying for your attention and with so many providers trying to convince you their service is the best thing since sliced bread, it’s easy to see why IT infrastructure can naturally arrive at a pretty bloated place. Why is middleware different, and how can it actually solve some of these problems?
Don’t Touch It
If you’re in a retail environment of any real scale, i.e. multiple sales channels including physical stores and webshops, then the IT infrastructure you have will have been built up by lots of different people over a long period of time. That inevitably will have led to things not being completely joined up – don’t worry, it’s a challenge every retail business faces.
You’ve got your ERP system, for example, which was set up very diligently right at the inception of your organization. That’s been in place and ticking along nicely enough since that date. The last thing you want to do is touch it, in case it falls over. That’s understandable and, perhaps surprisingly, we recommend you leave it well alone. Set it and forget it. It’s far too important to risk the quality of your financial and stock records to make improvements in the connection of your sales channels.
That’s precisely where middleware comes in. It integrates on top of your existing systems.
If you’re looking to integrate and truly connect your omnichannel presence, then you need to bring your systems together. That’s your POS, CRM, ERP, CDP, you name the acronym – you need it joined up. Improving your customer experience and harnessing all the data you have is key to staying competitive in the modern retail environment.
Bringing It All Together
Our Omni-channel Retail Platform (ORP) is a middleware application that offers a connectivity layer between all the services you already have in play. Once you have middleware in place you can more easily adjust the connections and communication between separate platforms without the risk of breaking anything in the backend.
The funny thing about making omnichannel really work is that it doesn’t start with some huge demonstration of change or a single technology. It starts by steadily bringing the individual channels in your business together, through a single pane of glass. Once that’s in hand, you can upgrade your webshop, or loyalty system, or whatever you see your customers needing. But, until you have everything joined up, it’ll all be for nought.
Want to make your omnichannel dreams come true? Get in touch with Wolfpack now.