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OmniChannel, CrossChannel or MultiChannel: A concept that covers customer-oriented operations like sales and after-sales services such as returns, warranties or repairs, that imply the possible use of multiple channels.
Channel: The identification of a source from where sales orders are obtained or previous sales is serviced. Examples of channels are:
- A physical store;
- A specific physical store, for instance one where no personnel attends (e.g. Amazon Go)
- Personnel with Mobile POS within a (specific) physical store;
- Personnel with Fixed POS within a (specific) physical store;
- A website;
- Access from abroad to a website; Or from a specific country or domentic access;
- A kiosk;
- A callcenter;
An organization can have 1 or multiple (sales) channels, but a sales channel is not defined by the type of access or device: You can have several WebPOS in your store but consider the mobile WebPOS in your store a different sales channel than the fixed POS that you have at the checkout desks. Likewise, you can have a single website as your online presence but consider the domestic access as a different channel from access from abroad. Of course you also can have multiple websites and consider each of them a different channel, or group them into 1 or more channels.
The concept of Channel serves the demanding customer and thus serves the retailer. It allows for better business intelligence and differentiation that allows personalized customer services. Examples of differentiation are:
- Different Payment Rules per Channel;
- Different Delivery Rules per Channel;
- Different Assortment per Channel;
- Different Discounts per Channel;
- Different Loyalty points per Channel;
And with differentiation there is a need for control.
This potential proliferation of channels, it is crucial that they are controllable from a central point. Only if all channels are controlled from a central point, the retailer will be able to compare or adjust discounts between channels. Or to launch a double-loyalty points program for purchases between dates and through the online channel, just to name a common example.
From the definition above, it is clear that there are two levels of functionality, where the second level requires the first level:
- The ability to accept and serve orders for different channels and control from a central point how these channels should behave.
- Channel Payment rules;
- Channel Distribution rules;
- The ability to personalize the service via the different channels.
- Channel Assortment rules;
- Channel Discounts rules;
- Channel Loyalty rules;
- Triangulation - where the order is delivered by a different organization (internal or external) than the organization that captured the order.
The initial scope of Openbravo OmniChannel project is focussed on the first level of functionalities. As such the scope includes:
- The functionality to recognize the channel for orders that are received through these specific channels:
- Website (Magento)
- The functionality to define and process Payment Rules per Channel;
- The functionality to define and process Delivery Rules per Channel;
- The functionality to initiate the picking process automatically.
- The functionality to assign the picking tasks to the appropiate operator.
The configuration of the OmniChannel scenarios has the sole purpose to provide the order-creation process with the correct input since each order can -will- be different and personalized to the customer' requirements.
It is this configuration that determines -and provides as input- the first-phase order-components that are needed for the payment and delivery: How and when must be paid? and ¿How and when must be delivered? This configuration provides the following concepts to the Central OMS: Payment moment/method/amount, Scheduled Delivery Date, the Terms and Carrier, the Ship-From and -To, and whether or not an additional product of type "Service-Transport" has to be added to the order and what the costs of that service is, if any.
The following OmniChannel scenarios are considered:
BODAH - Buy Online + Deliver At Home
The most well-known and widely used omnichannel scenario. Concerning the flexibility of the options that the channel may offer, this scenario implies the following:
Delivery Options: The Channel offers that the customer may specify (part of) the delivery by choosing:
- Delivery Ship-To address;
- Delivery Service.
Note that the concepts of Terms, Ship-From, Carrier, costs (if-any) are either not shown to the customer or are implicit in the chosen option.
|Conditions||Action (atomic rules that can be assigned to a situation)||Terms||Carrier|
|Ship-To||Yes||Yes||Show * from Customer-Address||Allow to create new Address (Parent=Customer, Type=Ship-To)|
|No||Show * from Stores||Do not allow to create a new Address|
|Service||Yes||No||24h||Add Product to order "Transport 24h" (price 24 US$)||DDP||Fedex|
|Set Delivery Date = *NOW* + 24h - shipping LeadTime||DDP||Fedex|
|72h||Add Product to order "Transport 72h" (price 8 US$)||DDP||Fedex|
|Set Delivery Date = *NOW* + 72h - shipping LeadTime||DDP||Fedex|
|Std. Business delivery - Free||Set Delivery Date = *NOW*||DDP||Mailorder|
Payment Options: The Channel offers that the customer may specify (part of) the payment rules as defined in the Payment Assignment tab:
- Payment moment;
- Payment method;
- Payment amount.
|Gold||On-Invoice (Post-Payment)||Customer Credit||Remainder|
|Silver||On-Order (Pre-Payment)||Bank Card||20% uprounded M10|
|Silver||On-Invoice (Post-Payment)||Bank Card||Remainder|
|On-Order (Pre-Payment)||Bank Card||100%|
BOPIS - Buy Online + Pickup In-Store
This scenario implies that the front-end (online channel) offers specific payment rules (moment + method + amount) and that the customer may specify part of the delivery rules (moment).
The sole difference between this channel and BOP@H is that the delivery address was set (by the customer) to a near shop.
Buy @ Kiosk + Pickup In-Store
Buy @ Call-Centre + Deliver At Home
Buy @ Call-Centre + Pickup In-Store
Return to Different Store - Owned
Return to Different Store - Franchise
- Placing a Sales Order
- payment moment (pre-/on-delivery/post-);
- payment amount (%/mount/remainder);
- payment method (cash/card/credit/voucher).
- delivery terms (EXW/FOB/DDP/...)
- ship-from (determined/dynamic/triangulation);
- ship-to (client/store);
- delivery moment (scheduled/24h/...).
- Service requests
- repair, with or without warranty coverage;
- maintenance (preventive/corrective);
- transportation (with/without driver);
- Reverse Logistics
- Returning goods that were purchased online / physical store.
- refund moment;
- refund amount;
- refund method (voucher, product, money).
- Requesting a pickup of goods purchased online / physical store.
- Returning goods that were purchased online / physical store.
Order Management System
When elaborating the scenarios it is clear that there are two main concepts that vary: The payment and the delivery (or receipts and receipt in reversed logistics).
A key-characteristic of Omni-Channel is that the client decides / chooses whatever payment and/or delivery is the most convenient for each order. Subsequently, the OMS must be capable to accept and manage orders with different payment options and with different delivery options.
As a company, you need to be able to influence -from a central point- which payment(refund) rules and which delivery(receipt) options are valid for each of the channels. This introduces the concept of 'channel' in an OmniChannel Order Management System, a concept of high interest in Business intelligence KPI's.
This finally leads to the conclusion that the concepts of Payment and Delivery are like functional building blocks within the order, each with a set of rules per channel about the valid/allowed choices and how to manage them downstream.