Even the hottest brands are looking for ways to go “omnichannel” in 2022, and you should, too. Let us show you why.
In the previous article, we discussed the importance of customized customer experiences for brands. But one thing that is just as crucial is “brand availability.”
A well-personalized, top-quality product may not be able to beat the competition if it can’t bring itself where customers are when they need it before other brands do.
The pandemic age has given rise to the demand for prompt, immediate purchases. Especially in the e-commerce scene, a ten-minute car ride to the store is cut down to two clicks on the app and three steps to the front door. Plus, there is no closing time.
From 2021 to 2022, global Google searches for “24/7 customer service” grew six times and doubled for “late night shopping”1. Shoppers also expect a shorter order processing time for offline and online purchases.
In response to this change, we can see brands of all sizes extending their operating time and sales channels. However, while increased orders on busy Friday nights are tempting, businesses that hastily increase their capacity may end up losing more than they earn.
How can businesses keep up with such demand for promptness without operating deficits in the long run?
The challenge is obviously greater for physical stores since increased opening hours require higher operational investments in payroll, production, overhead, etc.
There are numerous technologies brands can utilize to minimize costs of added working hours while capturing the most business opportunities, for example;
Automatic, manless purchasing channels such as kiosks or vending machines significantly reduce operating costs compared to running the store at full scale.
Digital menus or gadgets allow customers to browse the catalog, order, and pay in-store without contacting staff: facilitating a quicker, automated purchasing process while saving labor costs.
While most digital platforms are accessible 24/7, not all can accept orders at any time of the day. This issue usually stems from the unavailability of the checkout process.
In some cases, admins are required to process orders manually, especially on social commerce platforms. Here is where office hours become a hurdle. When customers cannot complete the checkout or have to wait for too long, they are likely to resort to other brands at one point.
E-commerce brands can make sure payments can come through at any time — thus, secure more orders — with payment automation tools.
- Automatic payment confirmation
Using modern payment technologies, online brands can build an automated checkout flow to accept payments anytime.
Websites can install webhooks to confirm payments in real-time. Mobile platforms also have the mobile banking option that seamlessly redirects customers to and from bank apps. These are just a few examples.
In the long run, businesses can also cut down or completely remove the manual steps such as validating receipts and third-party involvements, which could cause privacy issues.
- Payment links
In some circumstances, customers cannot make payments at the point of sales, or during office hours, despite their willingness to purchase. Brands can take up payment links to tailor a checkout flow where this segment can pay anytime — even outside office hours.
Modern e-commerce technologies have blurred the line between physical and digital channels. Consumers nowadays no longer stick to the traditional online or offline journey. They prefer to mix and match each step how they deem most convenient, which has led to the rapid expansion of omnichannel businesses in recent years.
Omnichannel shopping experience
Customers tend to make purchases 2.5 times more frequently and with a 13% higher value on omnichannel than a single channel.2 This is mainly thanks to a customizable customer journey with a seamless cross-channel shopping experience.
Whether your customers prefer to buy online and pick up in-store, reserve on the app and pay at your store, or shop offline and checkout on their phones, the bottom line for all omnichannel journeys is the consistency of accessibility to data and the quality of purchasing experiences.
What do your customers expect?
- Ease of purchase
They should be able to access sufficient and up-to-date product information. Most importantly, checkout should be fast and smooth, from payment to product handling.
- Painless transition
Customers should not feel any bumps switching across physical and digital channels. They expect brands to remember their preferences and offer prompt services no matter where they are.
Several brands have utilized members’ online data in their physical stores to provide personalized item suggestions. On the other hand, shops can also keep track of in-store purchases to suggest re-purchases via online platforms.
The role of payments in omnichannel
There are endless interpretations of going omnichannel. It can be entirely offline, online, or a hybrid of both. But whatever type of channels you use, make sure to equip your business with a robust payment backbone.
Look for a payment gateway that offers an effortless payment flow to maximize the quality of the checkout experience. Also, facilitate financial management with a single dashboard that lets employees oversee and manage payments from all channels in one place.