The way to success for small, independent businesses, is creating a great in-store and online experience for customers. More often than not, businesses will focus on one more than the other, but to boost sales on both platforms, the focus needs to be evenly distributed.
Traditionally, customers will prefer seeing and touching the products they are going to buy, and that direct contact is a great for them to be certain about their purchases. Face-to-face interaction is also a good way for the businesses to build a relationship with their customers. However, the ‘virtual’ buying experience has upsides, as customers are not restricted by a shop’s opening hours to browse the items for sale and enjoy the benefits of having purchases delivered right to their door. From a business point of view, the website analytics accumulated from online shoppers allows you to learn about your customers, giving you a chance to customise promotions to meet their needs and build up loyalty.
There are, of course, downsides to online shopping. You, and your customers, lose the personal touch, and as they cannot see products in person, there is a likelihood they are returned.
In recent years, shopping online has taken over shopping in physical shops, but that won’t mean they are fading away. What businesses and customers can expect is an integration of online and in-store, giving customers the advantages of each. The solution mostly lies in mobile technology and cloud EPOS software. Businesses of all sizes are jumping on the mobile bandwagon.
Mobile EPOS combines what people look for when shopping online to what they expect in store. It can track customer behaviour in-store, creating data on them which can be used for customisable offers and loyalty schemes, and customers aren’t losing out on the touch-and-feel aspect they love about brick and mortar stores.
Another advantage of modern in-store retail is that it can track how long someone looks at a product on display, and can send assistance.
Embracing Multi-Channel Retail
If you want your business to embrace both online and in-store shopping experiences, there are some steps you can take:
Make sure the technology you have is up to date, including your EPOS system and software. Contact your merchant provider if you need to upgrade.
Make sure the website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate, as you don’t want to miss out on customer’s who are increasingly using mobiles and tablets to shop online.
Get in touch with CES to learn more about mobile systems and cloud based EPOS software.