The retail sector and the payments industry are witnessing huge transformations due to changing consumer habits, primarily driven by new technologies and the proliferation of mobile devices. As consumers switch between retail stores, mobile apps, and websites, retailers have to capitalise on a common denominator that will help them connect with the consumer-digital payments.
Aspect Software, an American multinational call center technology and customer experience company recently reported that businesses that adopt an omni-channel strategy witness a 91 percent higher year-on-year retention rate as compared to businesses that don't.
Further, the Aberdeen Group, a similar tech MNC noted that companies that focus strongly on omni-channel customer engagement retain on average 89 percent of their customers, as compared to 33 percent of the companies that don't. It may be concluded from this data that retailers have to unify their online and physical presence to reap the benefits of a wider market and the new opportunities that come with it.
Retailers adopting an omni-channel retail model have to complement it with an omni-channel payment model. Having multiple payment systems in an omni-channel ecosystem will translate into operational issues in managing disparate systems and a high cost of payment processing as each provider charges differently. Just as critical is the lack of a common and consolidated customer view and reporting, and untracked customer data and customer journeys.
Omni-channel payments are all about providing the flexibility that improves customer experience and satisfaction. As physical and online retailing begins to converge, retailers are looking at innovative ways to make payments more seamless across these diverse platforms.
"Providing a unified payments experience to customers has become a critical enabler of an improved retail experience. Integrating payments on a single platform assists customers in complete experiences and end-to-end payment journeys. This then translates into an integrated service that is secure, reliable, convenient and efficient and helps the whole segment become more connected," said Jose Thattil, CEO of Phi Commerce, a firm that creates an ecosystem between merchants and consumers through simple, secure and efficient payment processing.
Today retailers can adopt multiple payment methods such as bank transfers, digital wallets, cards, scan and pay. With so many payment methods retailers are faced with the burden of managing multiple contracts and relationships and the consequent effort of managing the reports and financial transactions.
Omnichannel payments can be a great enabler of efficiencies. With these payment solutions, retailers can accept payments across modes and channels simplify processes, reduce human errors and resource wastage, while with reducing the volume of financial investments needed to manage payment acceptance. Such payments give the consumers the benefit of using their preferred payment mode independent of the purchasing channel and hence enable better shopping experiences.
With an omni-channel payment strategy in place, retailers can gain access to important customer data that helps in driving better insights. An omni-channel payment platform consolidates consumer data from disparate channels. This can uncover a treasure trove of information about customer behaviour, buying patterns, payment preferences. This information can be leveraged to drive sales, offer personalised options, and discounts. This improves the shopping experience and consequently customer loyalty and retention.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)