From digital to brick and mortar to phygital, last year saw many big brands integrate online with offline in their bid to be omni-present. With studies now showing that omni-channel strategy builds a strong loyal customer base, it’s time that retailers unify their online and physical presence and build convenient payment options to reap the benefits of a wider market.
“Shopping starts from the mobile screens at home and ends in a mall or vice-versa. You got to be everywhere, if you want to stay updated,” says Vasanth Kumar, Executive Director (Landmark Group, India), as he scrolls through the store catalogue on a LED screen at the smart kiosk of a Max store.
Integrating offline with online is not a new trend, but with consumers increasingly switching between retail stores, brand websites and even mobile apps, it only makes sense that brands capitalize on being omni-present and adopt an omni-channel strategy. And it's no surprise that various reports have shown that being omni-present is the only way to connect with consumers and build a strong loyal customer base.
For instance, the American IT company Aspect Software has recently stated that brands which adopt omni-channel strategy have a 91 per cent YoY retention when compared to brands that are not present on various platforms. Likewise, another MNC has highlighted that companies which strongly focus on customer engagement retain have at least 89 per cent of loyal customers.
“Omni-channel presence provides flexibility, improves shopping experience and customer satisfaction. As physical and online retailing begins to converge, we have to look at innovative ways to enhance shopping experience along with making even payments more seamless,” Kumar said.
Choosing Omni-channel payment for better ecosystem
Just like having an omni-channel retail model, the report suggested, having multiple payment systems is critical for an improved retail experience. From online fund transfers to digital wallets, there are multiple payment methods and integrating payments on a single platform completes customer experience, the report has noted.
Suggesting that omni-channel payment platform consolidates consumer data and gives insights to customer behaviour, buying patterns and payment preferences, the researchers have stressed that omni-channel payments can be a great enabler of efficiencies.
“With these payment solutions, payment methods can be simplified, while consumers can get the benefit of using their preferred payment mode. This improves the shopping experience and consequently customer loyalty and retention,” he said.
While omni-channel payment mode plays a key role along with omni-channel presence to retain loyal customers, the future for digital payments is equally lucrative says, Brijaraj Vaghani, founder, Ridlr, the app which has partnered with Amazon Pay.
“Across the globe, digital payments rule the roost and in India, predictions are that digital payments will be the future by 2022. Although digital payments started slow, it will take off in the coming months. Integrating UPI and digital wallets will be another boost to attract more customers. With omni-channel and digital payments, retail industry is sure to reap benefits,” he said.