From an omnichannel point of view, in the past, in-store was in denial of online, resistant to change. Online, meanwhile, looked down its nose at in-store, believing it was growing old and obsolete. Nowadays, merchants focus on being present on many channels and platforms; online, offline, mobile, social and everything in between. Omnichannel is still in its early stages because all elements of the experience are fragmented.
In this increasingly omnichannel retail landscape, SMEs’ main challenge is often the jointed processing systems they use, the independent fulfilment and CRM systems for each channel, the different settlements dates, reports, contacts and so on. With such disparate operations, uniting the user experience can be impossible. Merchants should unite their channels so customers can be approached as a single, identifiable customer.
The use of data within omnichannel
By moving from multi-vendor strategies, integrating and connecting the processing systems and collecting visitors’ data, merchants can better understand their customer’s desires and needs and add new services to their offering. Payment providers are the ones to gather this data and make it handy for their retailers to integrate it in the shopping experience. Merchants must use the data to identify demand, understand their loyal customers and profitable channels, and serve their customer at the right time. They must have a centralized back office system with one source of information and reporting, rather than separate inventory for independent channels.
Therefore, SMEs should stick to one vendor that can accommodate their specific omnichannel needs and fits their business, tackling specific pain points and providing consumer-led, emotional experiences and invisible payments. On the other hand, the large retailers should look for a complete solution that incorporates a full suite of omnichannel tools offered by the best-of-breed suppliers in the payments ecosystem.
But more importantly, merchants should focus on channels that are most appropriate, put their customer into the heart of their strategy and streamline the entire experience for them. Be consumer-led not just consumer-driven.
So the future of omnichannel will be a lot more integrated, but this integration will vary across different businesses. And it’s good to repeat one of our predictions for 2016; the Internet of Things (IoT) is considered to be ultimate omnichannel experience, transforming the payments industry by processing transactions without any intervention from the card holder, offering a truly seamless experience. As with the entire Internet of Things ecosystem, the value is driven by what we don’t see than what we do.
Payvision’s omnichannel strategy
Together with Acapture, Payvision’s daughter company launched in 2015 – a brand new, scalable, payment platform, we combine the experience of an industry leader and the flexibility and speed of a start-up. Our omnichannel solution covers the global acquiring capabilities of Payvision, the alternative payment of Acapture, and the innovative POS/mPOS technology of our partner, PayPlaza.
Now that we can offer a 360-degrees omnichannel package, our clients have access to a full suite of tools behind one central interface, with unified reporting and the opportunity to migrate away from their multi-vendor strategies, and implement an end-to-end platform for all their payment processing and reporting.