What once seemed like an overused retail industry buzzword a few years ago is now a consumer demand. People expect retailers to be omnichannel. According to research by marketing automation platform Sailthru and Coresight Research, consumers consider omnichannel experiences a must. However, the survey revealed that only 41 percent of retailers provide seamless buying journeys across channels. The good news is that an omnichannel payments platform can help retailers enhance those experiences.
What Is an Omnichannel Payments Platform?
An omnichannel payments platform is a single solution that enables payments everywhere a consumer engages with a retailer – online, in-store, mobile app, self-service kiosk, link embedded in a social media post, and more. The platform is built on modern technology that the provider can extend as payment innovation continues and that enables security and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance for payments on every channel.
Rather than using different providers for different types of payments (i.e., one provider for card-present payments, another for in-app payments, and another for self-service kiosks), an omnichannel payments platform enables payments at all of these points of engagement. Additionally, it generates a single report that streamlines back-office processes for merchants. It’s also typically more cost-effective to work with one provider rather than paying fees to multiple providers, giving merchants a way to operate more profitably.
How Omnichannel Payments Can Help Retailers Improve Customer Experience (CX)
Leveraging omnichannel payments functionality in an omnichannel world is a given. However, an omnichannel payments platform can provide even more value to retailers. Take buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS), for example. The demand for this service is increasing at a 16.49 percent CAGR and is projected to reach more than $625 billion in sales by 2027. But as BOPIS volume grows, it becomes more apparent that data sharing among e-commerce, fulfillment, and in-store teams is necessary for optimal customer experiences.
An omnichannel payments platform allows each department to confirm payment and use customer data to ensure the order is routed to the right customer. Additionally, if the customer decides to return the item or make add-on purchases when arriving at the store, the process can be quick and efficient.
Another advantage is data. Enterprise retailers often have sophisticated data collection and analytics systems that create 360-degree views of their customers, but small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often do not have those capabilities. Fortunately, they can use payment data to link customer activities online, in-app, and in-store to understand their customers’ behaviors and preferences better. With those insights, SMBs can market more intelligently and create more effective loyalty programs, improving their competitive position in the market.
Standard Omnichannel Operating Procedures
Retailers who quickly added digital channels to continue to engage customers during pandemic shutdowns may have expected consumers to revert to old habits when brick-and-mortar stores reopened. But omnichannel trends are continuing and even gaining momentum.
After a few years of omnichannel shopping, consumers expect to be able to engage however and whenever they prefer and pay for purchases with their preferred payment types, from credit and debit to mobile wallets and alternative payments. An omnichannel payments platform supports those transactions, enabling retailers to meet those expectations and build stronger customer relationships.
Retail’s legacy processes are fading as tech-savvy and digital-native consumers’ shopping journeys take them from channel to channel and complete transactions. The payments solutions that retailers use should support the way consumers choose to engage. An omnichannel payments platform meets those needs today and will adapt for whatever lies ahead.
To learn more about current omnichannel payment trends and the solutions that retailers need to align with them, contact us.
Andrew Mahaffey is a Strategic Sales Executive at Ingenico.