The way your customers shop is constantly evolving. Retailers are faced with new challenges as customers demand a cohesive experience across the board. Whether it is shopping through offline and online channels, or getting products delivered as expected, retailers have to deliver their absolute best.
54% of customers have reported that they are likely to look for a product online and buy it in-store later on in the year. The way things are going, this percentage is bound to increase.
So what’s the take here?
In order to deliver in-store experiences that match the personalized online experience your customers are getting, you need an omnichannel POS.
This blog covers everything you need to know about omnichannel POS and how you can utilize it for maximum business advantages.
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What is Omnichannel POS?
Omnichannel POS software is used by businesses to handle both online and in-store sales. It usually has an interface that allows eCommerce businesses to enter and record information about the products or services they sell.
These software usually come with functionality and integrations to carry out financial transactions and keep track of order expenses. Combined with the required hardware, an omnichannel POS system assists businesses in processing orders.
Omnichannel POS differentiates itself from traditional POS mainly by synchronizing and processing orders across all sales channels. This means everything is connected to a unified central system, where you can manage inventory, sales, and customer data.
The result is that customers can look for products across any of your platforms while the product and customer data is being updated in real-time. Your eCommerce business can enjoy the profits while you have detailed insights into stock levels across all channels.
Instead of conducting time-consuming manual synchronization and reconciliation between one platform and another, you can use omnichannel POS for unlimited 24/7 access from any channel.
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Why Omnichannel POS is the Future of Retail
The future of retail is best defined by phygital customer experience, convenience, efficiency, and personalization. As you have probably guessed, the term phygital combines physical and digital platforms to deliver a consistent experience to customers.
Today’s shoppers are increasingly aware about the availabile options and do quite a lot of research before choosing a brand. This puts retailers in a tough spot, as they need to adopt an omnichannel POS solution to meet ever-growing customer expectations.
Omnichannel POS is the ideal solution for eCommerce retailers to integrate online and in-store sales channels. Whether your customers prefer online shopping or like to get hands-on feel of products in physical store, omnichannel POS connects everything seamlessly.
What you get is an opportunity to target a wider audience and improve chances of growth across different industries.
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The Importance of Omnichannel POS in Modern Retail Operations
Modern retail businesses require fast and convenient checkout processes to attract maximum customers. An omnichannel POS accelerates your checkout process by a considerable margin.
Through a centralized database, you can streamline information about products, pricing, customers, and orders. This also allows you to easily apply discounts to specific products based on sales data and how many customers have previously added that item to cart.
We all know today’s customers. They do not wait for the next minute in case of delay from the retail platform. So it’s important to keep in mind the changing customer expectations and their shopping behaviours before implementing the right omnichannel POS.
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How Omnichannel POS Can Streamline Operations
Since the goal is to offer a frictionless shopping experience across all channels, omnichannel POS does so by integrating these channels into a centralized database.
This means you get to access data from diverse business channels in real time under one dashboard. You can view inventory levels, supply chain, orders, fulfillment, and customers’ individual profiles.
Centralized management and control
With an omnichannel POS software, you can handle every retail operation from sales, checkout, customer services, and inventory management. A customizable omnichannel POS connects back-end operations with customer-centric UI to sync product information, including availability and pricing, across all touch points.
Moreover, an omnichannel POS assists retailers in following and learning from customer journeys. This means that you can interact with customers whenever they reach your brand from any channel.
As a result, you can develop a better understanding of buying behaviours and make better decisions regarding personalized marketing. As per recent trends, a unified customer experience across multiple sales channels has proven to be a key driver in increasing sales.
Real-time analytics and reporting
With automatically updating data, you can always keep an eye on stock levels, product types, and prices. The key to running a successful eCommerce business is to ensure that all of this information is consistent between your POS and your eCommerce website.
As a plus point, you can manage inventory and make better decisions regarding stock purchases. This means you do not have to keep obsolete items on your shelves for prolonged periods.
Using an omnichannel POS software, you can create orders just like your website and also calculate tax amounts. Since all customer data is consistent, your business gets to learn more and more about customer expectations in order to add a touch of personalization.
Reduced operational costs
In addition to streamlining your business operations, omnichannel POS systems also reduce overhead costs. Unlike traditional point of sale systems, omnichannel POS offer multiple payment methods under one unified platform.
The first major cost reduction you will see when you incorporate an omnichannel POS is labor cost. The automated system comes packed with algorithms that ‘learn’ different aspects of your business over time.
As mentioned previously, effective inventory management allows you to order the right number of items to prevent overstocking. This is also an area where businesses usually spend more than they should.
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Benefits of Omnichannel POS for Your Business
The omnichannel approach is all about improving customer engagement with the aim of higher product sales. In order to offer the right product recommendations, you need to know what your customers search for through physical and online channels.
Here are some of the benefits you can extract from an omnichannel POS:
Personalized experiences across sales channels
With the help of real-time data analytics, you are able to create personalized experiences and keep your customers hooked. Online shopping provides customers the opportunity to browse products 24/7 without having to worry about closing times.
At the same time, customers who want to get hands-on experience of your products have the option to visit physical stores. Acting as a bridge between these two types of channels, omnichannel POS is the perfect solution to create phenomenal customer experiences.
With the convenience of accessing product details through multiple touchpoints, customers are bound to come back for future purchases. Statistics prove this point, as omnichannel shoppers have been found to spend 20% more on their purchases as compared to single-channel shoppers.
Unlike traditional brick and mortar stores, omnichannel POS solutions have much more to offer than simply processing orders. You get new sales opportunities at online marketplaces, websites, apps, and social media.
Customers have the liberty to choose the medium they want for browsing products and also checkout after completing their order from another channel. Not to forget, when a brand offers multiple channels of shopping, it gets more brand visibility, meaning there are higher chances of customers actually making the purchase.
Enhanced inventory management
Inventory management is perhaps one of the most important aspects for retailers to consider. When you have visibility of stock levels across the board, you can avoid making reconciliations between different platforms and save time.
As you are getting real-time stock flow updates and sales orders under a central database, your inventory gets updated automatically as soon as a customer makes a purchase.
This level of automation means that your employees have fewer manual tasks and can focus on more important goals. With an omnichannel POS, you get forecast demand of each particular item, which lets you know the time and quantity of products you need. The system helps you avoid both overstocking and understocking.
Loyalty and retention
When your customers enjoy their shopping experience with your brand, your chances of retaining them go up by a long shot. Omnichannel POS helps create the kind of shopping experiences that makes customers want to return for future purchases.
Similarly, if you exceed their expectations with real-time data synchronization and personalized suggestions, they are more likely to become loyal customers.
In addition to the functionalities that create a great customer experience, omnichannel POS systems also allow you to create loyalty programs. By utilizing credits and reward points, you can offer incentives to customers who have been loyal to your brand.
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Examples of Successful Omnichannel POS Implementation
Oman’s first online butcher service has implemented XStak’s Omnichannel POS to streamline sales and track orders. Muscat Livestock delivers fresh Australian Angus Beef within 2 hours with the help of XStak’s automated self-service retail operating system.
The renowned luxury fashion brand picked XStak’s POS for it’s simplification of inventory management and order fulfillment processes. Republic Womenswear leverages the all-in-one solution to streamline store operations and sell their intricately detailed bridal wear pieces to both offline and online shoppers.
Maria B is a popular premium clothing brand that adopts the omnichannel approach to ensure customer satisfaction. It leverages XStak’s AI-based omnichannel POS to enhance customer experience and build brand loyalty. XStak’s loyalty management program Omniretain also helps the brand develop long-lasting relationships with its customers,
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How to Choose the Right Omnichannel POS for Your Business
For eCommerce retailers operating through a website, an omnichannel POS is the ideal solution to establish their physical presence. However, it’s important to consider a few aspects of an omnichannel POS before making your choice.
1. What functionalities do you need?
Keeping in mind your unique business goals and your omnichannel strategy, you need to evaluate the particular POS. Then there are a list of functionalities to consider. Some may be necessary, while others might be a bit extra for your business.
Here are some questions to answer before choosing an omnichannel POS:
- Which channels do you want to use to sell your products?
- What level of inventory management system do you need?
- Do you want to create and manage customer profile?
- Do you want to offer multiple payment methods?
- Do you need loyalty programs?
2. What is your budget?
At this point, you have to think about the price you are willing to pay for an omnichannel POS. Considering the cost-to-benefit ratio, evaluate the functionalities you can avail for the money you pay.
- Does the omnichannel POS speed up transactions and inventory management to save time?
- Does it reduce the efforts of your employees to minimize human error?
- Does is help you boost revenue by increasing sales?
- Does it help engage customers for longer periods of time?
- In case you consider growing your business, is the omnichannel POS scalable?
Some omnichannel POS come at a low price point to begin with, and may even work for your business. However, you need to have a futuristic approach and consider what will suit your business needs in the coming years.
This decision has a significant impact in the long run, so it’s best if you choose the right POS right from the start. In case you end up trying to switch between POS systems in the future, you will be wasting time to set up and train employees on it.
3. Compare different Omnichannel POS Software
Let’s start by looking at the available options. The market offers 3 main types of omnichannel POS:
- On-premises POS
- Cloud-based POS
- Hybrid POS
While on-premises software is great for in-store set up, data storage will take up your company servers. This has both advantages and disadvantages. For instance, you can control the data in your own servers, but you will also have to handle maintenance.
Also, on-premises POS software have a high upfront cost and require experts to install and maintain. On the other hand, XStak’s cloud-based POS stores data on remote servers that are maintained by the service provider.
This means you have better security and performance without having to spend on physical space for data. This cuts down significant maintenance costs, and your worries about software updates.
Hybrid POS solutions, as the same suggests, are a combination of both on-premises and cloud solutions. These POS solutions come with the promise of both reliability and offline availability in case of bad internet connectivity.
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In recent years, omnichannel POS has emerged as a significant success driver that has helped enterprises boost sales. As retailers get better insights into customer journeys, they are able to make better business decisions while saving both time and money.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, retailers can leverage multiple integrations within an omnichannel POS to both manage and sale their business.
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