“Without excellence in each channel, it becomes difficult to even contemplate the delivery of the seamless experience that characterizes omnichannel commerce.”
This is the challenge of omnichannel, as defined by Faisal Masud, executive vice president of Staples, one of the companies that is leading the omnichannel retail revolution with its innovative omnichannel retail concepts. But, while the big idea may be clear, there is still a gap between Masud’s vision and the quality of experience small-and medium-sized business owners can achieve through existing market solutions.
A newly released white paper from direct payment processing provider SecureNet illustrates this divide by calling attention to what it considers the four biggest obstacles to merchants who want to provide consumers with an omnichannel experience.
“These roadblocks, or friction points, can hamper a merchant’s ability to deploy new sales channels; reach new and existing customers with relevant, effective promotions and offers and ultimately expand their businesses,” SecureNet wrote in its report. “In other words, these friction points can prevent a business from operating smoothly and reaching its full potential.”
Which specific areas do omnichannel solution providers need to address to cater to the market? For this answer and more, we break down SecureNet’s latest white paper “Overcoming The Friction Points In Omnichannel Commerce.”
1. Multiple processors – Because of the limited offerings of payment processors, according to the white paper, merchants may be required to contract different service providers to serve customers in the eCommerce, mobile and physical channels. As such, SecureNet suggests finding a single service provider could eliminate this challenge.
2. Managing inventory – The report notes how many large retailers are struggling to manage their inventory across multiple channels due to the different systems used for POS, eCommerce and mobile sales. Having one way to access this information would allow merchants to easily monitor stock levels and determine when to reorder, SecureNet says.
3. Consolidating sales reporting – The market does not yet offer a way to easily see a complete view of daily, weekly and monthly sales, according to SecureNet. This necessitates that merchants compile multiple reports to determine their best- or worst-selling items and to structure their sales approach accordingly. However, it noted that solutions that provide end-to-end services can solve this issue.
4. – Reconciling accounts Merchants operating across multiple accounts must also consolidate their accounts across each payment processor and channel. SecureNet suggests these sellers require solutions that allow merchants to set up and manage their merchant accounts in a single dashboard or interface.
Of course, not all retailers are struggling in the transition to omnichannel. To see which retailers are going further than others when it comes to providing this type of seamless selling experience, read “12 Retailers Innovating With Mobile” here.