What can all small and midsize businesses (SMBs) learn about omnicommerce from a specialty coffee roaster in New Hampshire? The need to embrace omnichannel tools and techniques to maintain the same kind of personal relationship they have in their physical stores across all of the channels their customers want to use to engage with them. Fully 63 percent of SMBs say they are interested in omnicommerce today, with 69 percent saying their interest will grow in 2 years, says Vantiv. But how do they plan to engage, enable and serve their customers?
This month’s Tracker shows that merchants, particularly those small and mid-sized, are showing a growing interest in Omnicommerce based on the interests and need of their customers. While the “trump card” for smaller retailers stems from their relationships with and products provided to their customers, these merchants are quickly realizing that omnichannel, and the tools and technologies that come with it, offer even more benefits for the overall retail experience.
Key insights from Vantiv indicate the following:
1) To engage customers, SMBs support an array of different sales channels and a broad variety of payment options necessary to support an Omnicommerce environment to engage customers and offer the flexibility of they demand. Banks and independent sales organizations (ISOs) that serve those merchants need to keep pace with that shift, and extend their capabilities to include a growing array of technology-based offerings.
2) To enable customers, the growing use of electronic channels — and the need to integrate channels to succeed in an era of “Omnibusiness” — means smaller merchants are naturally becoming more focused on evolving and enabling technologies for payments and serving customers.
3) To serve customers, merchants rely on a variety of servicing channels to work with their primary payment providers, including phone contact with their service reps, e-mail, and phoning into a call center. When asked what would prompt them to change providers, top criteria were payment costs and service, but 72 percent said that it is difficult to switch.
More merchants and providers, including SMBs, have jumped aboard in furthering the Omnicommerce movement:
1) To engage customers, restaurants and retail chains can take advantage of Patronix’s EXPRESS Pilot loyalty program that allows them to create and deploy their own customer rewards programs.
2) To enable customers, regional pizza retailer Donatos launched its new website, “one of the first fully responsive mobile commerce sites in the restaurant industry,” featuring an animated, image-filled menu and a real-time geo-location tool.
3) To serve customers, the majority of the small and mid-sized retailers in the Second 500 Guide now operate mobile-optimized sites, which is way up from the 176 Second 500 retailers with mobile sites in the year prior.
This report will, on a monthly basis, document the moves these progressive retailers are making to enable omnichannel across three critical lenses:
Engage the Customer: Strategies merchants are enacting to drive customers into their store or online including loyalty programs, contextually relevant offers, and leveraging data to make relevant product recommendations.
Enable the Customer: Tools merchants are deploying to arm customers with the ability to shop and buy whenever and wherever they want including apps, enabling payment within the app, location-based services, and the ability to shop and fulfill purchases regardless of channel.
Serve the Customer: Ways in which merchants are stepping out from behind the counter to deliver enhanced shopping experiences such as mobile-point-of-sale, ability to check inventory in real-time, etc.
The report will also feature industry-spanning statistics and factoids curated by Vantiv, whose solutions help merchants more easily make that transition. These statistics and factoids will help to arm retailers (and those who power them) with data to make smarter decisions when considering various options for enabling omnicommerce.
For more on the developments across the omnicommerce ecosystem, download the full version of this month’s report by clicking the button below.