The online and offline worlds continue to blur. Retail customers move smoothly and transparently between the digital realm and their favorite brick-and-mortar shops. To attract and retain customers, retailers need to shift just as smoothly between on-site sales and eCommerce.
Achieving this goal requires POS system eCommerce integration that is fluid and natural for store owners, employees, and customers. Here’s a look at the many ways eCommerce integration in POS systems enhance and elevate a retailer’s sales, marketing, and management operations.
POS System eCommerce Integration Boosts Customer Experience
More than ever, a retailer’s success depends on keeping customers happy. Word-of-mouth recommendations are taken to an entirely new level by social media and other methods used by online influencers to spread the word about what they are loving and hating.
However, there is a disconnect between retailers’ awareness of the importance of customer experiences and their ability to deliver the services that customers increasingly expect. A recent survey conducted by NTT Ltd. found that 58 percent of organizations believe customer experience is a “primary differentiator” in business success yet only 8 percent currently deliver a “fully functioning experience.”
By using a POS system that combines eCommerce and on-site customer data, retailers are able to provide their customers with the targeted discounts, special offers, and personalization they have come to expect. Retailers need a POS system with an online ordering component that features a customizable, branded website to make it easy for customers to find and purchase the products they crave.
The Rise of Omnichannel Marketing Drives Ecommerce Integration
Silos may be useful on farms, but they can stop a retailer’s marketing efforts in its tracks. Efforts to implement an integrated eCommerce solution can be slowed by:
- Outdated technology: 47 percent of companies struggle with legacy systems and system integration, according to NTT.
- Siloed channels and business processes: 66 percent of organizations have no cross-channel customer-management capability, and only 25 percent have fully integrated their online and on-site contact data.
- Inconsistent personalization: 77 percent of companies have implemented some form of customer personalization, yet 35 percent of customer inquiries are not resolved on the first contact.
A POS system with eCommerce integration allows retailers to implement a multichannel business model quickly and simply that features 24/7 availability, appointment booking, and after-hours customer assistance. An integrated POS system allows all of a retailer’s business processes to be managed from a central location while also delivering the flexibility that customers demand.
Use of Mobile In-Store Leaves Retailers Playing Catchup
According to a survey conducted by Salesforce, 87 percent of consumers start their shopping by going online, and 71 percent use their mobile phones while they’re shopping in a store. However, only a handful of the stores surveyed provide mobile call-to-action (CTA), apps that support multichannel shopping, and a useful mobile interface.
Syncing in-store and online sales platforms is one of the seven trends that will shape the retail environment in 2021 and beyond. POS systems with eCommerce integration are the hub that links the digital and in-person shopping experiences, often by giving customers ready access to the information they need while they’re in the store. The connection also facilitates inventory management by ensuring all stock counts are up to date, and it simplifies accounting operations.
More Repeat Purchases Are Made Online
When consumers were asked where they are most likely to go when shopping for a product they’ve never bought before, 50 percent choose brick-and-mortar retailers and 31 percent turn to an online marketplace (the other 19 percent go directly to the brand). However, the figures reverse when customers make a repeat purchase, according to Salesforce: 47 percent go to online marketplaces for subsequent buys, while 34 percent return to retailers.
That means the real battle for retailers is to gain that second purchase, and that work really begins with a customer’s first shopping experience. Retailers must be persistent in maintaining their clients’ loyalty as customer expectations and preferences change.
Retailers Face Heightened Competition from Brands and Marketplaces
The immediate gratification that retailers offer their customers has long been perceived as an unbeatable advantage over eCommerce, but that edge isn’t looking quite so unbeatable as more brands and online marketplaces offer same-day and next-day shipping. Delivery is only one of the challenges retailers face from online marketplaces and brands.
An increasing number of companies that started online now have a physical presence. Tinuiti reports that digitally native brands will open 850 brick-and-mortar stores by the year 2025, and popup retail service Storefront estimates that temporary retail, or “pop-up shops,” set up by online retailers generate $80 billion in sales annually.
A POS system that seamlessly integrates eCommerce allows retailers to compete more effectively with online outlets by streamlining sales processes and automating connections to accounting, inventory, employee management, and other vital operations. Retailers are able to analyze their existing processes to identify bottlenecks and respond more quickly to market trends.
There’s nothing new about the stiff competition that retailers face. What has changed is the source of the challenges as new technologies arise and customer preferences evolve along with them. The first step in staying ahead of the growing challenges in the retail business is to find technology partners who listen to your company’s concerns, and who respond with solutions that are tailored to the business’s needs and goals.
When you partner with talech, we commit to helping you develop POS system eCommerce integration that can keep up with the changing times. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.