We have all marveled at this in films or books: You walk through a portal and suddenly find yourself in a completely different world. In retail, however, we’re not talking about far-flung fantasies when it comes to omnichannel. The challenge of omnichannel retail has long been a reality for ambitious sellers. The retail sector is currently experiencing a revolution, fueled by advancing digitization. The transparency and increasing mobile availability of the World Wide Web have fundamentally changed the expectations of consumers when it comes to their shopping experience. Today customers are mature and very well informed. You expect a holistic shopping experience using and networking all existing online and offline channels.
Why is omnichannel a game changer?
As is well known, e-commerce in Germany is a booming industry. While online sales in 2011 were around 38 billion euros, according to the Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland eV (bevh) they were already around 65 billion euros in 2016. Forecasts assume that the sales threshold of EUR 100 billion will be exceeded by the end of the decade. The German online shoppers are in the top group in an international comparison. Deals.com and the Center for Retail Research found in a survey at the beginning of 2015 that Germans were in third place behind the British and Americans with annual per capita spending on online purchases of the equivalent of US $ 1,211.
However, not all market participants will benefit to the same extent from this positive development. Those retailers who meet the customer’s desire for a holistic shopping experience across all channels will survive in the market and benefit disproportionately. Consumer demand for omnichannel shopping is increasing and will continue to increase in the future, if only for reasons of population statistics. The proportion of the Internet-savvy generation is increasing, the proportion of the older generation who are far from the Internet is falling.
The study “E-Commerce-Markt Deutschland 2015” by the EHI Retail Institute has shown that online shops with omni or cross-channel offers are already growing significantly faster than others. Cross- and omnichannel shops increased their sales by 19 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year, while single-channel shops had to accept a drop in sales of one percent.
POS systems are the door opener
Customer: “I would like to buy this television. I still have a voucher for 30 euros from your online shop. “Seller:” Unfortunately, we cannot credit it. This is only possible if you shop online. Unfortunately, I cannot check the validity of this voucher here. ”This scenario in the traditional silo thinking of individual sales channels does not work! Today, customers no longer perceive a retailer as being online or offline, but rather as an overall brand under one roof, regardless of the channel in which they come into contact with them. This has to be taken into account. If you don’t do that, you will lose.
With an online cash register system at the POS , customer advisors on site are able to call up customer histories in real time and meet customer requirements across all channels. With a smart POS systems also at the POS, the prerequisite for a customer-specific, barrier-free and seamless customer journey in all channels and the complete and consistent availability of all information, services and products on all channels is given.
This concerns in detail:
- Goods: inventory, shipping, returns, reservation
- Product data: images, media, descriptions
- Payment: Pay, credit, vouchers
- Marketing: prices, stocks, availabilities, promotions
- Organization: Cross-channel remuneration system (advice, returns …)
All this data must be centralized in the backend for all channels and continuously updated in the event of changes – and of course be immediately visible and accessible for each individual salesperson in each channel. If this requirement is met, the basis for customer-oriented omnichannel retail is laid. Customers will thank you.
Retailers who want to escape the single-channel trap and participate in the rapidly growing potential of omnichannel retail absolutely need an interactive, web-based cash register system at the POS. Or do you want to say to your potential customers: “Sorry, that won’t work! You have to ask your online colleagues? “Surely not, right?