There is a growing demand for customers to be able to switch between online and physical stores seamlessly. Omnichannel POS Solution bridges the online-offline service gap many retailers are struggling with. Omnichannel POS enables cross-channel purchase, promotion, and return. It allows real-time inventory management and the utilization of customer journey.
What is the Online – Offline Service Gap?
In the past, online retail has been considered a competitor to traditional, brick-and-mortar retail. In the digital age, offline vs online retail is no longer the case. Companies are starting to realize the benefits of having both.
However, having online and offline channels is no longer enough.
Can your customers transition between the two types of store seamlessly? If not, chances are you’re not using them effectively. Inefficient online-offline shopping integration is the latest problem in a changing retail landscape. It leads to disappointed customers and loss in sales.
Customers in the digital age shop at their own pace, in their own time, following their own rules. They still need high-quality products at a reasonable price. However, they want to be able to do a lot more. What they desire is a seamless, unified, and unique shopping experience.
What makes a seamless, unified, and unique shopping experience?
Customers want both the convenience of online shopping and the personal touch of a brick-and-mortar store. For example, they can switch between mobile and desktop before finalizing a purchase. The information they got from online research matches their in-store experience. Online offers are relevant to their interests. In-store support has been tailored to their needs.
Customers who like a retailer’s shopping experience will choose that retailer over competitors. They are more likely to recommend the retailer to their friends and family. They are also willing to return and spend more per purchase, increasing overall customer value.
On the other hand, even a minor inconvenience in the shopping experience can turn a potential customer away. Retailers are struggling to deliver an adequate customer experience and there are many bad online-offline integration examples.
How should you respond to this trend?
The demand and expectation of customers are ever changing and growing. How can you give the customers what they want? This is where Omnichannel and Omnichannel POS Solution come in.
Under heavy competition, more and more businesses are adopting the Omnichannel model. In the Omnichannel model, the retailer’s stores, warehouse, and every part of the business operate as a unified, cohesive system. This makes life easier for retail managers: your complex business is managed by one central system. Omnichannel also has the potential to create a seamless shopping experience to keep customers satisfied.
At the heart of any good Omnichannel solution is an effective Point-of-Sale (POS) system. It is the center of the Omnichannel network that draws information from any point of the system. Order details, customer database, inventory information – the Omnichannel POS Solution combines all to assist both customers and sale staff.
If you are looking for a way to bridge the online-offline customer service gap, Omnichannel POS might just be your solution.
How can Omnichannel POS Solution Bridge the Online-Offline Gap?
Omnichannel POS Solution is one of the modules that customers will come across most often. One way or another during the purchasing process, they will interact with it themselves or through the sale staff. It can make or break the customer’s first impression of you.
Using the Omnichannel POS software effectively online and in-store can create a better experience for customers. The Omnichannel POS Solution will enable:
When customers want to buy your products, they should be able to do so at a time and a place most convenient for them. The online-offline data integration means that customers can complete an order in different ways. This includes:
– Complete the order online;
– Add items to an online shopping cart, come to your store, access this cart, and complete the order;
– Reserve items online and pick them up at a store close to them;
– Pay for the items online and come to a local store to collect. Click-and-collect is one of the most popular shipping methods for customers.
The Omnichannel retailing POS enables online and offline data integration, including online and in-store promotion.
One effective way to boost sales for your physical store is to send promotion codes via emails. This might convince the customer to go your store to redeem them. The POS will give your staff easy access to the customer’s account in your system. They can see the rewards and promotions that each customer is eligible for, and apply them accordingly. If there is a promotion for both online and offline channels, the POS Solution can inform the staff and customer so they can use it.
Real-time, accessible inventory data
Online and offline product availability is a key factor when customers decide which retailer to buy from. The Omnichannel POS software, combined with Inventory Management and Order Management solutions, will ensure real-time access to correct inventory data.
In an Omnichannel system, inventory information is synchronized across all points. Anyone in your system searching for a product’s availability will get the same result. Thanks to this, a customer will be able to check if an item is available online or in-store, and plan their purchase accordingly. Your staff can get the accurate quantity of a product across all warehouse in a timely manner.
A reliable inventory system will also lead to a diverse purchase and delivery methods. In addition to the cross-channel purchase examples I mentioned above, consider this situation:
A customer wants to buy an item from you, but it is out-of-stock in the store they are in. If your sale staff cannot access the other store’s inventory, you will lose a customer. However, thanks to the Omnichannel POS Solution, the sale staff can check the system and see that it’s available in another store. But we can go one step further: Instead of making the customer walk to the other store, you can arrange for the item to be picked and delivered to the customer’s house.
The customer is truly the king in your store – This might be the factor that sets you apart from your competitors.
In the operation of your business, you will face an unwanted but unavoidable issue: Return and refund. If the customer did not like a product in your store, is there a way to save this sale? The Omnichannel POS Solution can draw data from any point in the system to ensure a fast and convenient return and refund process.
Let’s think of an example: A customer who bought their item online can bring it to a store to return. Your sale staff can then update the item in the inventory system, ensuring that the inventory ledger is always correct. The staff can also open the customer’s account and give them a refund to their card, as reward points, or as future discount.
It is clear that a good return system will help both business and customer. A customer satisfied with your return process may come back to your store in the future. The Omnichannel POS Solution is not only capable of securing sales, it is also capable of securing brand loyalty.
Utilization of customer journey
In the ever-growing field of retail, customer journey is one of the aspects that will determine success or failure. A good Omnichannel system will gather customer data across all of your channels to create a seamless, unified, and unique experience for any customer. It offers customers a variety of ways to access, buy, and receive their products. Moreover, a sale staff in your physical store can see the customer’s journey with the brand and approach the customer with a holistic perspective.
The Omnichannel POS Solution lets your staff access the customer’s profile, their purchase history, and other offline and online social data. This will help the staff fully understand the interests and expectations of that customer. Knowing that the customer has done some research before going in-store can go a long way in securing their trust and satisfaction. Making relevant recommendations to them is one of the ways to enhance their in-store experience, contributing to an enjoyable visit.
For example, a customer has left items in their online shopping cart before coming in-store. Your staff can help the customer try those items and complete their online order. If the staff sees that the customer was searching for an item online, they can suggest products similar to the customer’s interest. They can remind the customer of promotion or reward points in their account so they can use it to purchase even more products.
A note about the role of staff
Regardless of the retail model, the staff is one of the key factors to success. They are an essential part of the customer’s experience when the customer visits your store. A helpful sale staff who is passionate about their work will help secure a customer and make their visit much more enjoyable.
A good shopping experience for the customer requires more than just good social skills. Your staffs need to understand and use every single feature of the POS Solution. The Omnichannel system is a complex network that will require time to learn. Make sure your staff has adequate training and is comfortable using the system. Help them understand the purpose of the Omnichannel model and how it can help them.
On the other hand, you need to consider that the customer might have looked you up online before going to your store. Their online research has to be reflected in their visit: Having a coherent message across all channels is of utmost importance. Your staffs have to deliver the same information as your online store, with dedication and passion.
Omnichannel POS can help you integrate online and offline shopping, but only to the extent of the capability of your system and your staff.
So what are the key take away points?
The Omnichannel POS Solution is the right tool to bridge the online-offline service gap. It creates a seamless experience for customers and a convenient way for a business to manage the operation. In order to fully utilize it, a retailer must have a good system and capable staff.