Consumers driving multi-device, omni-channel retailing

By: Teamwork Retail

Customers, not companies, are influencing the retail sector, forcing brands to upgrade their infrastructures to keep pace with changing consumer expectations. Today, people want options when purchasing products, whether these are made available through mobile applications, e-commerce websites or old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores.

MultiChannel Merchant’s Jim Davidson recently detailed the “multi-channel, multi-device landscape” occurring throughout the retail industry. Brands, including Target, are responding to the fact that audiences want consistent experiences across the entire organization.

The retail giant’s Cartwheel solution enables customers to shop through a designated application, PCs or mobile browsers, Davidson reported. Users can also leverage the tool to access sales and coupons prior to visiting physical stores. Once at a brick-and-mortar location, customers can use the app to scan item barcodes and receive further benefits.

Davidson sees retailers not standing still with this evolving e-commerce sector throughout 2015 and into 2016. The most successful businesses will welcome changing customer expectations head on by supporting consumer shopping preferences regardless of how individuals wish to buy items or the devices they rely on to perform these actions.

Companies still relying on older point-of-sale systems cannot solely use these solutions in this competitive marketplace. Businesses do not have to replace these tools altogether, but they have to augment them in some capacity. Omni-channel POS platforms backed by cloud computing offer far more functionality than outdated equipment.

Retailers using omni-channel POS systems and cloud suites can deliver consistent checkout experiences to consumers regardless of how people purchase items. Once audiences buy products, the transaction information is immediately available through the cloud, allowing employees to access this valuable data through myriad Internet-connected devices to deliver real-time customer service.

Omni-channel retailing will only become more ingrained into the shopping culture moving forward. Companies that upgrade to cloud-powered POS systems will be in position to get a leg up on any competitors not prepared for this transition.

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