Retailers lack capabilities to thrive in omni-channel market

By: Teamwork Retail

Businesses that want to attract consumers from every sales pipeline must boast omni-channel retailing strategies and tools to connect with and accept payments from audiences wherever they are located. An Accenture study, however, suggested companies are struggling to transition to this new marketplace.

The survey discovered 38 percent of consumers feel traditional brick-and-mortar locations need improvements, while only 40 percent of respondents think purchases are easy to do via mobile devices, ComputerWeekly reported.

Fiona O'Hara, managing director of Accenture's United Kingdom practice, said the study shows that consumers want cohesive shopping experiences, regardless of channel.

"Retailers need to take this into account when investing in sales-driving initiatives. Building capabilities such as digital marketing and analytics will become key in the next few years to increase customer traffic and boost loyalty. We see a few retailers doing this already – and they are exhibiting a significant edge over their competitors," O'Hara explained, as quoted by ComputerWeekly.

Companies should look at their point-of-sale systems to determine whether they possess the right tools to achieve successful omni-channel strategies. Businesses must seek solutions that deliver seamless experiences at every sales point, including brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce websites, mobile applications and marketing channels such as email and social media.

Cloud computing can be the perfect technology to facilitate such experiences. A cloud-based omni-channel POS connects all departments to real-time information, allowing employees to view data pertaining to customer purchases, loyalty rewards and other data to provide personalized service. 

A cloud-based omni-channel POS will also make customer checkouts more seamless, whether people prefer to pay for goods in person, through their PCs or via tablets and smartphones. Without the right systems, retailers will continue to struggle to support their consumers, potentially resulting in once-loyal shoppers moving on to other brands that can provide more consistent experiences. 

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