Companies like Lightspeed and Netsuite have made huge investments into providing omnichannel software solutions for retailers. But why? For years retailers have sustained their businesses using a variety of different platforms for their POS, ecommerce website, ordering systems and accounting. So why are retailers hearing the industry’s latest buzzword so often? –  and why does it matter?

 

Omnichannel is the multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a brick and mortar store.  – TechTarget

 

  1. Customer Experience

According to Google, today’s consumer sees their smartphone as their personal assistant when it comes to shopping in your store. Omni-channel shoppers expect an experience from your brand that extends beyond the store to their smartphone, tablet and laptop computer.

Providing shoppers with a way to engage with information about your brand, products, services and reviews across multiple platforms is essential for optimal engagement.

 

  1. Purchase Habits

In the future, what percentage of your sales will come from your brick and mortar location and what percentage will come from your online store?

The omnichannel consumer will choose to purchase from your business in the most convenient way. Consider these three types of shoppers-

  • Consumer Type A- Those who prefer to research your business on their smartphone before going to the store the next day to complete the purchase in person.
  • Consumer B- Those who may turn to their smartphone while in your store to help decide if your prices are competitive, your products have positive reviews or to find additional details about your products.
  • Consumer C- Those who are interested in the products you sell, but they’re more interested in the convenience of online shopping. Can they purchase from your store on their mobile phone?

Omnichannel means recognizing that different individuals will use different channels to make purchasing decision. Also, they’ll complete the purchase in different ways. Capturing your consumers in the way that works for them means being prepared across multiple channels, in other words, having an omnichannel presence.

 

  1. Efficiency

Omnichannel software providers matter now more than ever. This type of software provides a single data point for all your product information, usually through your POS. This tracks your inventory levels and prices while pushing that information to your ecommerce website or other platforms like Amazon or eBay.

If you had to sell on multiple channels using multiple different platforms it would be nearly impossible to track. What if you change a price of a product? You’d have to log into 5 or 6 different platforms to update the information. An omnichannel software solution houses data in one location to centralize control and make your business into an effective omnichannel provider for your customers.