Retailers in the digital age are frequently split into online and offline camps. However, neither is really important in this situation. Instead, it’s about closing the gap between the two to offer a superior omnichannel experience that exceeds customer expectations. We’ll go over the what, why, and how in the piece that follows.
What is the Online-Offline Gap?
Online retail has historically been seen as a rival to conventional, brick-and-mortar retail. Retailing offline vs. online is no longer relevant in the digital age. Businesses are beginning to see the advantages of having both.
Can your customers easily switch between the two styles of shops? If not, you probably aren’t using them properly. The most recent issue in a shifting retail environment is ineffective online-offline shopping integration. Customers become dissatisfied, and sales decline.
Customers today shop online at their own pace, on their own schedule, and according to their own set of rules. They still require reasonably priced goods with outstanding quality. They do, however, want to be able to do much more. They want a seamless, uniform, and distinctive buying experience.
How Omnichannel POS Solutions Connect Digital and Physical Touchpoints
To offer a seamless customer experience through all channels and touchpoints, you need a cohesive ecosystem that collects your customer data. How can you deliver the crucial omnichannel experience by tying together the gaps between your customer touchpoints?
Enable in-Store returns and Pickups
The ideal approach for eCommerce businesses whose sales volumes don’t yet match those of Amazon is to let online customers choose to pick up their items from a physical location. In the end, eCommerce POS integration turns your real store into a location where your online clients may place orders.
You can cut shipping costs while raising customer satisfaction by allowing customers to pick up orders and pay at the register at a close-by store. Additionally, it helps you entice clients to make impulsive purchases while they’re in your actual business.
In addition to these advantages, you can provide your consumers with the option to return things they’ve bought online to your actual store. You may also indicate the product availability in your physical stores by adding a map with store locations on your website. The ultimate objective is to enhance the purchasing experience for the customer.
Real-time Inventory Data
Customers often consider product availability-both online and offline, when choosing which merchant to purchase from. Real-time access to accurate inventory data will be made possible by the Omnichannel POS software in conjunction with inventory management and order management systems.
Inventory data is synced across all points in an omnichannel system. The identical outcome will be returned to anyone in your system looking for a product’s availability. This will enable customers to determine if an item is offered in-store or online and make purchasing plans accordingly. Your personnel can quickly and accurately obtain product quantities in every warehouse.
Consumer patience has also decreased significantly, in addition to consumer loyalty. A “right now” attitude has emerged thanks to the internet and has permeated the retail industry. Online shoppers make decisions in less than 8 seconds, so retailers must remove as many obstacles as they can from the shopping process if they are to meet that extraordinarily short deadline.
One Italian high-street business has cleverly used touchscreen tables that enable customers to view the full collection to redefine its store experience in a concept London store. Additionally, it has done away with conventional checkpoints and replaced them with payment terminals positioned all across the store, making it simple for customers to finish their purchases.
And it looks like the plan worked, as the Italian retailer plans to establish a large number of additional locations throughout the world in 2019. This is an excellent illustration of how embracing technology may have a significant influence in a time of physical store closures.
No Manual Data Entry
You can save time on data entry by integrating a point of sale for your eCommerce business. A significant value-add is having all of your product information managed in one location and not having to update it manually. You won’t need to harmonize the data any longer if the point-of-sale system synchronizes the information from online orders.
Your important time and effort are reduced by the integration, allowing you to concentrate on your business. There is a natural delay between the time a consumer places an order and the time the order is actually filled when personnel process orders manually through decoupled point-of-sale systems.
However, orders are processed and dispatched to shipment right away when your eCommerce platform and point of sale are combined, greatly improving the customer’s buying experience.
It is obvious that a good return system will benefit customers and businesses alike. A customer who is pleased with your return policy might visit your store again in the future. In addition to ensuring sales, the Omnichannel POS Solution may also ensure customer loyalty to a company.
Transactions are often anonymous unless a customer uses a loyalty card in a physical store. Retailers are successfully communicating with customers both online and in-store by offering incentives for people to not just visit stores but to be more active.
Retailers have been putting money into strategies to keep customers and reward loyalty, from discounts to alliances with other parties. Customers expect rewards for brand loyalty since, on average, 50% of consumers report that earning rewards on regular purchases is their main motivation for joining a loyalty program.
Retailers will launch additional customer loyalty programs as a result, including “VIP member clubs” for customers who spend a particular amount annually. Rewards programs will also feature increasing collaboration between retailers and other non-retail businesses.
In this age of commerce that allows for retail anywhere and everywhere, the retailer who is flexible and adaptable will succeed. It’s simply not an option to continue using only traditional methods today. Customers want to use every available channel and expect to receive the same service no matter which one they choose. Successful merchants support this desire and provide a smooth transition from the online world to the physical store.
The best tool for bridging the online-offline service divide is the Omnichannel POS Solution. Customers have a seamless experience thanks to it, and businesses can easily run their operations in this way. A retailer needs to have an effective system and qualified people in order to make the most of it.
About the Author
Irene is a content writer at Magestore—a point-of-sale solution provider. She often writes about eCommerce and technology trends to help retailers stay relevant to the industry movements.