Omnichannel retailing is essential in a time where many touchpoints are available to consumers and most are multichannel buyers. At present, consumers go through an average of 6 touchpoints before making a purchase, making the gap between these buying channels a point of friction.

Retailer must bridge the gap between these different touchpoint as PWC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey found that the less friction in the buyers’ journey, the more frequently consumers will shop and the more money they will spend. 

Technology can help retailers create a seamless omnichannel experience by providing convenience, value, and personalisation in all touchpoints.

For example, buy online pick up in store services (BOPIS) or return online purchases in store are ways in which retailers can encourage footfall into their brick-and-mortar stores while giving consumers convenience. This makes the consumer happy as they have choice and allows the retailer to upsell and/or cross sell in store. 

Collecting data:

Connecting omnichannel requires data. There are many different technologies that collect data on consumer behaviour and how they navigate the touchpoints. This level of data will reveal the role of each touchpoint within the buyers’ journey and empower retailers to personalise the shopping experience by accurately predicting consumer needs.

For instance, if a physical store is getting very high footfall, time spent, and engagement but little conversions, it can indicate that the consumers are discovering products offline and purchasing online. QR codes and POS data can verify this prediction and the retailer can make sure new products, holiday bundles, and sales are heavily promoted within this store, leading to improve sales.

Cross-channel marketing:

Sharing data of the different purchasing channels is also important as it will provide the business enriched customer profiles with the full buyer journey breakdown. APIs, RFIDs and other technologies can help pass and process data from one channel to another.

With this data, retailers should implement strong cross-channel marketing campaigns to reduce the online-offline gap. And more importantly, data-backed marketing can be highly targeted and personalised, having a much higher impact.

Payment solutions:

Payment solutions is another point of friction which should be streamlined across all buying channels. Accepting various payment methods such as Google and Apple Pay, QR code payments, buy now pay late, and even cryptocurrency allows consumers convenience. This level of convenience when it comes to payment will improve customer experience and reduce cart abandonment.

In summary, technology is the friend retailers need to bridge the gap between online and offline stores. Having consistency in the customer experience and a seamless movement between omnichannel will make retailers stand out among competitors and earn loyal customers.

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