As omnichannel retail becomes more prevalent, retailers are expected to be able to provide the same quality of service for both in-store and online customers. But not all companies are doing this well. Here are five common problems with omnichannel retail and how these problems can be solved.
Infographic created by Fiserv , an omnichannel commerce company
1.) Customers don’t know whether to buy online or in-store
This is one of the biggest issues faced by retailers today, especially when building an omnichannel presence. Oftentimes it’s difficult for your customer to see if something is available in stores during their initial search on your website, which means they either have to go out of their way to find a product or simply give up. This leads to lost sales because your customer would likely find it somewhere else, most often the competition.
2.) Not having physical stores limits your reach and sales exponentially
Just as we mentioned in problem one, if your customer can’t see if a product is available in-store during their initial search, they might as well give up and go with a different retailer. Your potential for growth or revenue is not only capped by how much you sell online but also by how many people you can physically serve at once. By opening more brick-and-mortar locations, your reach expands significantly, which means higher sales. The two are directly related.
3.) Customers don’t want to go through multiple stages just to checkout
This is probably the second most common complaint from both customers and employees alike about omnichannel retail. As stated before, customers want to be able to shop with as few disruptions as possible, and they don’t like having to go through multiple stages just to place an order. This is especially true if the process takes too long or seems unnecessary; this often leads customers to abandon their carts.
4.) Customers can’t find what they need in-store
Retailers today are expected not only to carry the largest selection of goods online but also in-store. It’s no longer enough for retailers simply to list products on your website and expect people to buy them sight unseen; customers now demand the ability to see what is available both online and offline at any given time, which means you need both a flexible website that allows customers to shop online and offline as needed, as well as a physical location that offers your customers the selection they need.
5.) Customers can’t check the quality of products before purchase
Even if your customer manages to find what they’re looking for in-store, it’s still possible for them not to buy because they don’t know how it feels or looks. This is especially true for apparel and other soft goods retailers who oftentimes lack the ability to display their products in-store; you might have a shirt on display, but unless someone tries it on, there’s no way for customers to see how nice it feels unless they actually try it on. If this happens too often, you will lose sales and repeat customers to frustration or simply because your customer doesn’t want to give up their time to try it on.
All of these problems can be solved by implementing a platform or system that increases the focus on the customer experience instead of disrupting it, and this is where cloud computing comes in. By using a POS system with built-in mobile capabilities, stores will not only be able to provide a better shopping experience for customers in-store but also help guide them when they’re shopping online. It’s important that your website works seamlessly with your physical locations, allowing customers to shop both offline and online whenever they need.
Wrapping it up:
Not having any omnichannel retail means less revenue for you because you’re limiting your reach and sales potential exponentially by only selling online; if you want to make more money, you need to sell in both places.