By: Ian Drysdale
Executive Vice President Global eCommerce, Elavon
It wasn’t so long ago that the rise of the Internet and the invention of MP3 technology led to predictions that all physical forms of recorded music would soon be extinct. At the same time, the explosion of online shopping brought fears that main streets would soon be littered with the ghosts of shuttered bricks-and-mortar stores.
In industries such as retail, services, food and beverage or hospitality, this means businesses have to satisfy the customers’ needs at every possible access point – whether it’s bricks and mortar, online shopping on a desktop, or in the mobile world. It’s a concept known as omnichannel, or omnicommerce. And in the world of payment processing, having an omnicommerce capability is essential to get the most value out of your relationship with the customer.
But as a business, it’s hard to provide that full, seamless, omnicommerce experience to your customers unless you have a fully integrated payment system dedicated to delivering it. Your customers need to be able to use the same card across all digital and bricks-and-mortar points without hitch; if, for example, a customer makes a CNP (card-not-present) online purchase and then needs to take the product back to a store for a CP (card-present) refund or exchange, the process is only as smooth as the payment system supporting it. The happier the user experience, the more loyal the customer and the better for your bottom line.
Being omnicommerce also provides a singular view into your customers, no matter how they choose to interact with your business. Having all your company’s payment points serviced through a single system such as Elavon’s Converge solution means you can learn each client’s shopping habits across all channels, and harness that data to drive more business through online sales, in-store promotions or loyalty rewards.
Then there’s the huge efficiency gains that one integrated, omnichannel payment solution will bring to your operations; think of having all your important data related to sales, inventory and customer behavior in one central collection point. Imagine no longer having to retrieve data from separate in-store and e-commerce systems and waste precious time spent getting it all to make sense.
These are just a few of reasons why all merchants should be part of the omnicommerce future. And despite the state-of-the art technology required to drive a true omnicommerce experience, the ideas behind it – great customer service and a productive business – are by no means new; in fact, they’re even older than vinyl.
For more information on Elavon’s Converge solution, visit www.elavon.ca/point-of-sale-products/online-ecommerce