Adopting a single view of your stock across retail channels is an essential precursor to a true multichannel strategy.
Alongside a single view of the customer, it is a fundamental foundation in integrating online and offline operations.
Even as a standalone project, a single view of stock can be highly beneficial. Understanding your stock in real-time across your retail channels can enable utilisation of innovative fulfilment models: click and collect, multichannel returns, as well as new and valuable customer service and merchandising solutions.
Whilst understanding your stock may sound simple, it can be quite the opposite.
This is particularly relevant in environments where offline and online retail functions have developed as essentially independent businesses, as is the case for many clicks-and-mortar retailers.
In these scenarios, store distribution warehouses might operate entirely separately from online fulfilment, with in-store stock tracked separately from its online equivalent and even online and offline returns accounted for differently.