Most customers want unified, consistent, and personalized experiences whenever they interact with a business, and this is not limited to online businesses.
However, integrating business operating channels to provide the experiences they want can be a major challenge as businesses use various systems and channels for different processes. Fortunately, omnichannel solutions unify various business channels, solving this problem.
This article provides insight into omnichannel payment solutions, outlining the benefits and detailing what to look out for in an omnichannel payment solution. We also offer guidance on choosing the best POS solution for your business.
What are omnichannel solutions?
Omnichannel solutions are user-centric platforms that combine business processes to give customers and shoppers a seamless customer experience. These platforms could cover sales, customer service, and payment.
For example, omnichannel solutions like Salesforce Commerce Cloud are designed to provide personalized shopping experiences to online shoppers using artificial intelligence.
The goal of any omnichannel solution is to ensure that customers get what they want, when they want it. To achieve this, each omnichannel solution would have several channels (touch points.)
For example, an omnichannel payment solution would allow customers to make purchases through different business platforms and would also be flexible enough for customers to choose their most preferred payment method.
Similarly, a sales and retail solution connects all your sales channels including your product marketing channels. A good example of an omnichannel sales solution is SAP Commerce Cloud with several touch points such as sales, online customer support, in-store support, and sales analytics on one platform.
Some omnichannel solutions manage business sales online and in their brick and mortar store, helping them improve customer service.
Yes, omnichannel strategies have become quite popular but what makes it so special? Businesses that implement an omnichannel solution get an all-in-one platform that seamlessly integrates different channels and processes, allowing them to provide a consistent and personalized service across all channels.
How are omnichannel solutions applied to payments?
Alexis Damen describes the application of omnichannel solutions in payment as when businesses can skip asking "cash or card" and instead ask "how would you like to pay?" Businesses use omnichannel payment solutions to meet customers where they are and serve them the way they want.
Some omnichannel payment solutions can have up to ten (10) payment channels, such as:
- Point of sale (POS) terminals
- Online payment gateways
- Mobile wallets, e.g., Apple Pay
- Contactless payments
- In-app payments
- QR code payments
- Bank transfers
- Subscription billing
- Voice-activated payments
While these payment channels may seem extensive, not all omnichannel payment solutions would have these channels. Some omnichannel payment solutions have less channels than others and some have more. It all depends on the solutions provider and their offerings. There are other applications of omnichannel solutions in payment asides from multi-channel integration.
Omnichannel payment solutions also enable cross-channel data synchronization. These solutions ensure that customer’s data is linked across all channels such that their payment preferences and even their purchase histories are available for both online and offline shopping.
This means that customers can add to their online cart and the items they put in their online cart would also be available when they are shopping in the physical store. This eventually reduces cart abandonment and makes shopping online and offline easier.
Omnichannel payment solutions also unlock new data for businesses as it provides them with real-time, valuable data regarding customer behavior, customer purchase preferences, and their purchasing patterns.
Benefits of omnichannel solutions
The business benefits of using omnichannel solutions cannot be overemphasized.
Omnichannel payments solutions draw data from various payment channels and every stage of the customer journey. This data is then used to provide customer service and improve customers' experiences and satisfaction through personalization.
Using Omnichannel solutions in this way can be a differentiator for your business. Research indicates that 91% of customers prefer to buy from brands that remember them and provide services that are tailored to them.
Access to detailed insights
Omnichannel payment solutions give businesses access to detailed insights on consumer preferences, which is useful not only for offering personalized experiences to customers but also for optimizing processes to ensure customer satisfaction.
These detailed insights on consumer behavior across all payment channels help businesses understand how customers interact with their brand, products, and services.
For example, if the data shows that customers frequently abandon their purchases at a particular payment stage, they can address the issue and optimize the checkout process to reduce cart abandonment rates. This enhances customer satisfaction and boosts retention by up to 89% on average.
Centralized inventory management
Inventory management can get challenging when clients submit orders across many platforms, such as websites, social media pages, and physical storefronts. Businesses can address this by only accepting orders placed in their actual store or through their website.
However, this method to streamlining inventory management limits the number of sales that may be closed, putting businesses at danger of customer churn.
Omnichannel solutions help with this problem as they seamlessly integrate all ordering and payment channels and instantly update inventory balances in real time and across all channels so you do not have to limit customer orders.
Consistency is one of the most attractive benefits of omnichannel payment solutions—customers experience the same level of efficiency on all channels. There’s also continuity in customer service as there is less friction between payment and service channels.
For instance, if a customer initiates a payment transaction on one channel and later requires assistance or has a query, the customer service representatives can easily access the transaction details and provide seamless support, regardless of the channel the customer used. This makes reaching and even surpassing customer expectations easy.
Expansion of the customer base
Omnichannel payment solutions improve your product ordering and payment processes, making your business even more appealing to customers who are looking to engage with businesses that offer convenient services.
This can lead to an organic expansion of the customer base at no significant extra cost. Statistics indicate that companies with strong omnichannel solutions see 91% higher customer retention rates year on year.
What to look out for in an omnichannel payment solution
The aim of using an omnichannel solution is to offer unified services to customers across all business channels. Thus, an omnichannel solution that doesn’t completely achieve this is not good enough. Here are some essential things to look out for in an omnichannel payment solution:
Seamless order fulfillment
Your preferred omnichannel solution should seamlessly process and fulfill customer orders across multiple channels.
This will ensure that customers can place orders through their preferred channels and receive a consistent experience throughout the entire purchasing process. With an omnichannel solution, it won't matter whether you are shopping on your desktop or mobile device.
Integrated payment processing
While some customers are comfortable with paying for their orders via mobile wallets, some are more comfortable paying for their orders via bank transfers. These customers expect businesses to provide these options and many more for them.
This is why integrated payment processing is one of the key features to look out for when choosing an omnichannel payment solution. You would also be simplifying the payment process for your customers and reduce payment errors and discrepancies.
An omnichannel payment solution that supports mobile checkout is ideal as it accommodates the bulk of customers who shop for products online using their mobile phones.
A mobile checkout support also boosts the checkout experience of customers as they can complete their transactions from anywhere. Mobile checkout also enhances customer engagement, expands sales opportunities, and enables businesses to reach customers on the go.
Real-time data synchronization
Real-time data synchronization means that information related to orders, inventory, customer profiles, and transactions would be updated in real-time and accessible across all business channels, including digital channels.
Real-time data synchronization eliminates data inconsistencies, minimizes errors, and enhances operational efficiency. It also enables businesses to provide customers with accurate product availability information and personalized experiences across various channels.
To comply with the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and other data security standards, you need to ensure the security of transactions on your omnichannel payment solution.
Analytics and insights
With analytics and insight support, you can generate reports, dashboards, and visualizations that help you make informed decisions and optimize your strategies. This is a feature of omnichannel payment solutions that supports marketing efforts and drives up sales.
Omnichannel Payment Platforms for Ecommerce
Carat by Fiserv
Carat powers integrated payment processing at an enterprise level. Carat supports payment optimization, encryption and tokenization, and reporting and analytics. Carat also powers the acceptance of 130 foreign currencies, increasing business global reach.
TECS Omni Channel Payment Solution
TECS omni channel payment solution focuses on increasing customer experience in online shopping and they achieve this through offering business owners a seamless way to receive payment for their goods and service.
TECS has several features to facilitate its goal which includes contactless payments, debit and credit card payments, mPOS, and SmartPOS. TECS also combined with BlueFin to ensure that transactions done using its solution are very safe.
CrefoPay is an omnichannel payment solution that allows business owners to accept payment from customers via different payment mediums. CrefoPay, also called CrefoPayment, also provides secure technologies to ensure shoppers safety when they pay through the payment channels it provides.
Companies with excellent omnichannel solutions
Domino’s has one of the most well-developed omnichannel payment solutions around, and its Nigerian platform is a prime example of a well-run multi-touchpoint system.
From landing page to final checkout, customers use the company’s service in the exact same way on mobile, web, and app. Offers are synchronized across these channels and in marketing communications via email and SMS.
Clicking on any offer takes the customer to the order platform that is most relevant to them. For example, if you’re clicking on an offer on your mobile device, you’ll be directed to the app or mobile website if the app isn’t installed.
Ordering happens in a streamlined way using a simplified menu and cart. Payment is also tailored to the Nigerian market, which is heavily reliant on debit card, transfer, and cash payments.
The process is also personalized. It remembers customers’ delivery location and previous orders so you can reorder favorites with a single click. There’s also a real-time tracker so customers know exactly what is happening with their order.
After filling the cart, the platform automatically routes the order through the nearest outlet to the customer’s delivery location.
Customers can choose to pay online or in-person. When paying online, the company offers card and bank transfer as payment options. For in-person transactions, customers can choose to pay with cash, bank transfer, or card.
According to Nordstrom, their strategy is to “serv[e] the customer through our interconnected model…” Omnichannel is a key part of how the company sells, and they’ve received recognition for this as one of the world’s Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers.
The company marries online and offline selling using “Nordstrom Local” stores where customers can go to pick up online orders, make returns, and receive personalized help. And if they would rather stay online, the retailer offers an end-to-end on mobile and web.
Nordstrom prioritizes convenience when offering payment options. It lets customers pay via credit or debit card or with a number of wallets such as Alipay, PayPal, Trustly and UnionPay.
It also provides an intelligent checkout process that recommends “frequently bought together” items. This helps increase the value of each order and keeps customers coming back for more.
Rothys is known for its customer-centric, eco-friendly products sourced from recycled materials. But that’s not all it’s known for.
The company marries an environmentally-conscious approach with an omnichannel strategy focused on convenient payments, unified customer support, and a comfortable returns process.
Rothy’s centralizes all its interactions with customers using Gladly, its customer support solution. This way, customers can have relevant conversations and consistent experiences across multiple devices and channels.
Ordering on Rothy’s is intuitive. The platform showcases product pictures in clean, sharp image formats produced in different aspect ratios for easy viewing on multiple devices.
The retailer also offers various payment options, including an option to pay on credit and repay in four interest-free installments.
Choose the best POS solution for your business — Shopify POS
The omnichannel customer experience is truly unique, and you can kick off yours with Shopify POS. The Shopify POS offers omnichannel selling, supporting in-store sales, online sales, social media sales, and sales on ecommerce marketplaces with the aim of selling to everyone everywhere.
More features of the Shopify POS include payment processing, inventory management, customer management, reporting, and analytics.
Shopify POS has support for popular payment methods such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Customers using these payment methods would also enjoy low in-person transaction costs. Customers who use iPhones can also enjoy contactless payments using the iPhone app.
Shopify POS also has support for cash flow management, auto-reconciliation, and chargebacks. Businesses can also improve payment processing with the Shopify POS by accepting gift cards for payment of products or services.
The aim of this omnichannel payment solution is to transform one-time customers into loyal customers. Shopify POS does this through carefully curated customer profiles and detailed records of customer behavior, including buying habits and order history.
Shopify POS powers a full-circle inventory management process, from creating purchase orders to tracking inventory. Using the Shopify POS, businesses gain access to a barcode scanner that can match inventory in store to online records.
This omnichannel solution also provides purchase order suggestions, low stock warnings, and even suggestions on which products aren’t selling.
Reporting and analytics
Shopify POS gives you real-time access to daily sales reports, cash tracking, cash flow reports, product reports, inventory reports, and financial reports. All of these reports would help you make well-informed business decisions that would result in business growth and success.
Shopify POS also supports mobile POS hardware, an intuitive and fast checkout, and custom staff permissions, making it an effective choice for implementing your omnichannel strategy.