Below are some basic examples of how to apply universal business logic. Remember that any universally applied rule can be overruled for any given channel at any time if it makes good business sense (e.g., reduced prices at a single store for a clearance sale, a Web-only loyalty program, early access to new products through a “spring preview” catalog).
1) Promotional Coupons: Provide printable online coupons that customers can use at local stores. Allow your Web site to accept codes from printed coupons. Provide a box on your catalog order form for the codes from your electronic or printed coupons.
2) Discounts, promotions, sales: Provide these incentives equally and instantaneously across all channels. This way you won’t penalize customers for buying through the “wrong” channel.
3) Returns and exchanges: Facilitate the return/exchange process by allowing customers to return merchandise at retail locations or via fulfillment centers. Make the process fast and convenient. Universal access to the purchase data makes it easier for you.
4) E-mail opt-in/opt-out: Up-to-date e-mail preferences are vital. Inspired customers can opt-in for newsletters or promotional messages right from the checkout counter, or mark the traditional box on the order form or Web page.
5) Loyalty programs: Honor all loyalty programs throughout all channels. Permit accrual and redemption of “rewards points” wherever the purchase is made. Collect e-mail addresses and opt-in permission whenever retail customers sign up for your various loyalty programs.
6) Customer order history: Any customer service representative—at your call center or a retail location—should be able to look up customer history at a moment’s notice. This aids in placing repeat orders, making returns/exchanges and updating customer information.
7) Purchase option button: Let your online customers select how and where to buy. Let them pay online and pick up their purchases at the nearest store, pay in the store and have it delivered, or simply check stock levels at local stores via a Web browser.