Omni-Channel Payments: Jet Fuel for Retailers

Omni-channel is the macro trend shaking up the retail world.

In fact, almost every retailer in the market is now making a serious effort to implement a considered omnichannel offering.

But while plenty of retailers understand the value of providing a consistent shopper experience across channels, less well understood is how an omnichannel approach to payments fits in with the broader omnichannel trend.

With this in mind, here are four key ways that an omni-channel approach to payments can benefit retailers.

Release the Infinite Aisle….. and improve shopper experience

The Infinite Aisle is the concept that a shopper is able to buy whatever they want, without restrictions on time, location, channel, or even what is available in store.

In a store environment, this might mean that a shopper wants a different color shirt to what is currently in stock.

With an omnichannel approach, they can go to the in-store tablet-assisted sales terminal that carries the entire web-based inventory, choose the color they want, make the payment on the spot, and have it delivered to the address of their choice.

We enable many retailers to accept chip and pin payments for these kind or orders in store with a mobile point of sale (mPos) solution.

The Infinite Aisle improves the experience by giving the shopper maximum control of when and how to make a purchase.

And the benefit for retailers is clear – they never have to refuse a customer who wants to make a purchase again.

Access a treasure trove of cross-channel shopper data

Scenario one: A shopper downloads a retailer’s mobile app and makes a purchase from the in-app inventory. The next time this shopper visits a bricks-and-mortar store, an iBeacon picks up that he is on the location by recognizing the app, and sends a personalized marketing message to his phone.

Scenario two: A shopper makes a number of purchases from an e-commerce site. Several months later, she goes shopping while on vacation. At the checkout, the terminal recognizes the shopper’s card, and the staff member adds a discount and a personal thank you.

Scenario three: A shopper makes a purchase in-store and opts in to allowing the retailer to store his payment details for future use. A month later, the shopper visits the merchant’s site, logs on, and uses his stored card details to make a purchase with a single click.

Having access to cross-channel shopper data gives merchants a treasure trove of information that can be analyzed for patterns across online and offline, and utilized for customer retention and loyalty marketing purposes. As merchants are now moving past planning and into reality with their omni-channel offerings, this particular aspect of the omni-channel trend has enormous potential to significantly improve the shopper experience in the near future.

Slash finance and operations costs

Before, international merchants needed a terminal provider, an integrator and a payment partner in each country of operation, for each sales channel. This meant multiple contracts and relationships to manage, and reporting and money flows to consolidate.

In fact, even now many retailers have over 40 acquiring bank contracts and relationships across Europe to manage, each of which provides part of the company’s in-store payment solution. This represents an enormous investment in managing reports and financial flows.

However, with a single centralized platform such as Adyen that enables businesses to accept and process payments across multiple markets, retailers can drastically simplify these processes and cut down on the human and financial investments needed to manage their payment acceptance.

Grow sales across social media and other channels

In terms of payments, omnichannel is often thought of as the sweet spot between mobile (including in-app and mobile-optimized sites), ecommerce, and in-store. But social media is an underutilized channel to connect with shoppers and grow sales.

For example, KLM accepts requests for upgrades, flight changes, and add-on services across Twitter and Facebook, as well as email. Once a request is received, KLM responds with a link to a payment page. Merchants that are deploying social media payment strategies, such as KLM, are achieving significant additional revenue through this new sales channel.

How to choose a true omnichannel payments platform

The benefits of a mature omnichannel payments strategy are enormous. But not all payment providers are built the same.

While many offer desktop/mobile functionality, they either do not offer an in-store point-of-sale integration, or if they do, it is with a separate integration that does not allow for easy cross-channel analytics and reporting.

However, the Adyen platform is changing payments by bringing its internet-based technology to in-store as well, making it a true omnichannel solution. Because it has a single solution and Customer Area that operates seamlessly across desktop, mobile, and in-store, all backed up by best-in-class analytics and reporting, it gives retailers two game changing advantages. These are:

  1. The ability to operate seamless cross-channel payments on a global scale.
  2. An equally valuable ability to have this rich, global cross-channel shopper data available in a single backoffice and reporting system.

With the Adyen platform in place, merchants such as Domino's, Superdry, Moss Bros, de Bijenkorf, Scotch & Soda, Spar, IC Group, Rituals, and O'Neill are adding jet fuel to their omnichannel offerings by not just reducing costs and giving customers the power of choice, but also unlocking tremendously valuable cross-channel shopper data and using it to craft exceptional shopper experiences.

A version of this article was originally published as part of The Paypers report.


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