The modern consumer marketplace has more touch points than ever before.
The line between online purchasing and bricks and mortar stores is blurring, and customers want businesses to move with the times. When it comes to payments, this means shifting towards what is called an omnichannel experience.
What is omnichannel?
In a nutshell, it means consumers want the same experience no matter how, when or where they pay.
The days of paying with a card in a store could be drawing to a close.
Research has shown that 43% of consumers would appreciate being able to pay using a tablet or another mobile device in store. Research Online Purchase Offline Worldwide studies show that 88% of consumers are seeking information online before they even go into a store. As these lines continue to blur, businesses will continue to create an omnichannel, or universal, experience across all platforms.
A case study of omnichannel payment
A leading UK menswear brand has embraced omnichannel payments for its customers.
This is not a new business. It was founded in 1851 and has moved with the times through modern history.
First, it adopted the adyen payment method, which allows customers to use one platform to pay using traditional Visa, MasterCard and American Express, or digital methods like PayPal, Alipay, giropay and much more.
This was followed up by adopting mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) in its physical stores. This allows customers to use any payment method, using one platform at any time of day or night, anywhere in the world, online, on their mobile device or in store.
Using data to streamline the shopping experience.
Presently, the shopping experience is fragmented and largely in the hands of the consumer.
We browse, shop, read and hear feedback and develop our own experiences.
The frustrating part of this is when we go into a new store, on a new day, we often reset and begin this process again. Smart businesses are tapping into this, by farming consumer data and guiding them towards the product they want.
A brave new world
New technologies are emerging by the day, which is going to radically change how we shop over the next five years. It is imperative that businesses recognise this and provide a universal platform across these new technologies.
Already, about half of all retail transactions are influenced by the web. That equates to $2 trillion in global sales.
Big data gives retailers more insight into their consumer base than ever before. The Internet of Things will continue to grow, putting connectivity in fridges, cars, even houses. Consumers will want to be able to book repairs, replacements, upgrades – with the same omnichannel experience over all platforms.
Virtual reality devices are starting to hit the market in 2016, which paves the way for virtual shopping experiences online.
Google Glass is another device that augments the consumer’s reality.
Personal fitness devices are now connected, opening doors for businesses in that industry.
It will be a radical shift forward over the next five years for businesses to achieve the omnichannel experience, but those who do it best are likely to be the most successful.