Omnichannel features are the key to winning customers as they expect a seamless shopping experience across all of a retailer’s online and in-store channels. The report ‘Omnichannel Retail Index’ conducted by the National Retail Foundation and FitForCommerce on 120 retailers across multiple categories found that while businesses continue to leverage their omnichannel capabilities, there’s still much room for improvement.
Here are some omnichannel building blocks as defined by the Omnichannel Retail Index:
Only 20% of the indexed retailers allow shoppers to search in-store availability online. However, 70% of staff at those businesses often offer to look up items at other physical stores or online for customers. And modern customers, especially millennials, love to save on shipping by searching to see if the items are available for pickup in a store near them. You should integrate the capability of searching in-store availability online and turn your brick-and-mortar store into a fulfillment center for online orders so people can pick up their products without paying for shipping. This also helps you run your business more efficiently.
Returning items via mail can be a hassle for customers. That’s why it’s important to also offer the convenience of returning online purchases in stores. 75% of the indexed retailers already do this.
Loyalty programs are one of the most effective ways to get more repeat customers (who, as we’ve noted, are critical to your bottom line). But only half of the indexed businesses offer them. It’s easy to start a digital rewards program for your business with Square Loyalty, which integrates with your Square point of sale.
Gift cards should be sold and redeemed both online and at stores, so the givers and recipients feel more comfortable buying and using them. 81% of indexed retailers are actively investing in offering cross-channel gift cards.
Paper receipts are harder for customers to keep, not to mention that they are environment-friendly. Email receipts can be kept easily for a longer time and a lot more searchable in case your customers need to return an item or find it for their records. However, it’s surprising that only 20% of indexed retailers have integrated digital receipt technology.
These features are not difficult to implement – what you need is an e-commerce website and a Point of Sale system that can be integrated with your online store, so why don’t you plan on offering them today? You will have a key competitive advantage and set your brand apart from retailers who are still lagging behind. Once you have those features all set, take your omnichannel strategy to the next level.
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