by Paul Marcantonio (Head of UK/Western Europe at ECOMMPAY)
Omnichannel is one of those buzzwords that seems to have stuck around. Perhaps it’s more than just hype? Studies show that up to 65% of online purchases are conducted across multiple devices. In election terms, that’s a landslide, so it’s clearly a trend worth investing in for eCommerce sites eager to appeal to the modern consumer.
Research has found that European internet users frequently switch between multiple devices to get online, with computers, smartphones, and tablets dominating their browsing in particular, while other studies have found that companies with a strong omnichannel experience retain 89% of their customers.
Companies who aren’t meeting this demand, who display a messy desktop site when a customer is on a tablet, or whose payment system isn’t equipped to handle payments from mobile phones, are liable to get left behind by companies who can keep up with the shifting eCommerce landscape. Companies that can and do meet these needs, on the other hand, reap the rewards of a happy customer base that’s known to spend up to 300% more on their purchases than single-channel buyers.
Omnichannel is Omnipresent
One industry in which the omnichannel approach has made inroads is good, old-fashioned, brick and mortar hotels. By way of combatting the various sources of friction that prevent guests from venturing beyond their bedrooms, traditional hotels have taken to integrating the physical and digital aspects of their experiences into a contiguous whole. Guests at certain hotels are now accustomed to checking out their meal options via QR code, purchasing it via mobile or laptop, and collecting it from the hotel restaurant. By intelligently combining their online and concrete storefronts, businesses can radically improve the ease with which customers engage with them, smoothly transitioning from one contact channel to another.
Studies have found that companies with a strong omnichannel experience retain 89% of their customers
Some hotels have taken to installing self-serve kiosks in their lobbies, spurred on by the success of airlines using such kiosks for check-in, and surveys that found 43% of people would be more likely to frequent businesses with self-service options. It’s clearer every year that omnichannel payments aren’t some localised phenomenon that businesses can choose to ignore, but a vital part of building up a customer’s faith in the merchant’s ability to give them what they need.
What Does an Omnichannel Journey Look Like?
To get an idea of the journey the average omnichannel customer goes on, think of any large retailer with a social media page. Consumers may see a targeted ad on their Facebook page and head on over to the retailer’s website to take a closer look. Having checked out the site, which scales adeptly to pretty much any display on which it’s shown, and possibly even registered an account, which means their shopping baskets will retain any goods deposited therein, they can buy their desired items via mobile during their commute to work the following morning. Depending on the retailer, they can even use the company’s own smartphone app to unlock exclusive discounts.
One industry in which the omnichannel approach has made inroads is good, old-fashioned, brick and mortar hotels.
The important thing is to make the payment experience as seamless as possible, which will help any eCommerce website avoid shopping cart abandonment and drive conversion. Checkout should be optimised for various channels, incorporating a native software development kit (SDK) for mobile applications and adapting the payment page to various screen sizes. Features such as OneClick Payment, which registers card details for repeat purchases through a single click, or the Try Again button, which offers a second attempt at failed transactions, can be integrated to streamline the customer journey.
Making Every Step Accessible
Consider what would happen if, at any one stage in that process, the omnichannel experience wasn’t quite as ‘omni’ as it ought to be. A customer sees an ad and goes to check out the site on their phone, only to be stymied by a clunky desktop interface (or worse, no site at all!), or they go to conclude the checkout process they began the night before only to find none of their details have been remembered. These kinds of speed bumps can damage the relationship between companies and their customers to the point that the latter give up on buying anything at all.
Guests at certain hotels are now accustomed to checking out their meal options via QR code, purchasing it via mobile or laptop, and collecting it from the hotel restaurant.
That’s why it’s essential to not only invest in adapting websites to the multitude of devices used by consumers when engaging in eCommerce, but it’s worth partnering with payment service providers that understand the vital importance of a flawless multi-device experience and who are able to support omnichannel payments through simple, clean, and clever interfaces. For online businesses, it’s crucial to accompany customers on every step of the omnichannel journey, or else they might just disembark early.