What Is Omnichannel, and Why Do You Need It?

What Is Omnichannel, and Why Do You Need It?

In the ever-changing world of retail, one thing is constant: shoppers always want choices. And with the ongoing stresses of the pandemic, more than ever before, businesses need to adopt a strategy that keeps them ahead of the competition while also satisfying customer needs. For retailers, omnichannel payments is that strategy.

But how does this happen? How does an omnichannel strategy help capture sales?

The term “omnichannel” isn’t new – it first emerged when businesses began to sell online. The name comes from Latin (“omni” means “all”), so omnichannel simply means that customers can easily shop on all channels. They might browse on one and see reviews on another before making their purchase in a third. For the customer, everything is seamless and connected. They can move easily between platforms, and make their purchase at any point, using whatever platform or channel is easiest at that moment.

For payments, omnichannel is much the same. In addition to cash and card payments in store, customers want convenient payment options that they can access across eCommerce and social media platforms. And now, with the pandemic, there’s new interest in payment channels such as buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS), curbside pickup and delivery to customer cars.

Omnichannel gives customers the power of choice

It wasn’t that long ago that most buying decisions were made in store, based mainly on an item’s price tag. But today’s customer has lots of shopping options. Whether they choose to shop in person and in store, online using a computer or on social platforms using their phone while they’re out and about, the choice is theirs.

Now, even when a customer is buying in person, they likely have their cell phone out. They’re checking to see if the item is cheaper online, and if so, how long it will take to get it. They’re looking for product reviews, and checking to see what influencers have to say about it. They want to know if any of their friends have posted videos about the product. Today’s savvy shoppers have access to more information than ever before.

Omnichannel delivers better customer experiences

By embracing omnichannel payments, businesses can enhance the customer experience by making it easy for customers to pay, wherever they are. For brick-and-mortar retailers, that means using mobile tablets to take payments anywhere in the store. Instead of waiting in line, the customer experience can end on a positive note. For restaurants, that means bringing payments to the table or the patio, even making it possible for customers to pay by scanning a QR code. And for online stores, that means a seamless transition between social media platforms and payments so customers can buy when the urge strikes, without having to navigate away to a separate eCommerce site.

For businesses, too, omnichannel payments strategies help staff create exceptional experiences. Think about your typical “regular” customer. They’ve made many in-store purchases over the years. During the pandemic, they turned to your website, and placed orders for curbside pickup. Now, you’ve decided to offer personalized online shopping assistance, and because your staff can see the customer’s entire purchasing history, and even their browsing history on your website, they’re able to make better suggestions, and customers are more likely to buy as a result. With an omnichannel payments strategy, staff have the information they need to drive sales, and customers can make their purchases using the payment method that works best for them.

Omnichannel does it all

Choice. Convenience. Speed. For businesses, the goal is always to give customers a choice of convenient payment options, all without sacrificing speed. When you have different payments devices available, you can target specific customer needs. And when you meet your customers’ needs, you raise the chances that they’ll be back.

With a strong omnichannel payments strategy in place, you’ve got more chances to reach more customers, in more ways. Thinking about building a stronger future for your business? Start with omnichannel payments.

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