How to Improve “Online” Customer Experience

By Paula Da Silva, Senior Vice President, Sales, CitiXsys

Your customers lead busy lives and increasingly look for the most convenient way to shop. Our 2016-2017 Great Omnichannel Expectations Shopper Survey Report confirms if convenience were the only deciding factor in where to shop, eCommerce sites would be the clear winner. According to our online poll of 1,000 North American consumers, only 13.2% find shopping in stores more convenient than shopping online.

Of course, the brick-and-mortar store has remained relevant through the rise of eCommerce — shoppers still need the ability to touch, feel, and see for themselves before making a purchasing decision. But there isn’t a reason that physical retail locations can’t bring some of the convenience of online shopping into the brick-and-mortar retail experience, especially when they have deployed mobile point of sale (mPOS).

Here are three basic shopper needs and how mPOS can address them to make the in-store experience one that’s characterized by convenience, relevance and ease of use.

1. Know Who I Am

Customers don’t waste time online explaining who they are, what payment methods they prefer or what accounts they use, and whether they are already members of your loyalty program. Your eCommerce platform already knows. mPOS allows you to make shopping a little easier by providing information on the client to sales associates. Once the client is identified, your team can use mPOS to access purchase history, loyalty rewards, outstanding orders, and even online browsing history and preferences if you have integrated systems. The flipside is that mPOS also gives you the ability to continue to collect data on the customer, adding information on in-store behaviors, that can further help you develop the total view of the customer you need to make relevant offers and tailor promotions. To further make in-store shopping more convenient, consider sending digital passes, to customers’ smartphones with personalized, relevant offers, instead of paper coupons.

2. Tell Me What I Want to Know

Our2016-2017 Great Omnichannel Expectations Shopper Survey Report also confirms consumers are more informed than ever when the step into a store. Among North American consumers, 47% research an item online at least once before they buy, using PCs or laptops (54.6%), smartphones (40.4%) or tablets (21.4%). They are looking for product information, comparisons, reviews, and, of course, special offers. With this information readily available, it’s important that sales associates have this information and more when shoppers approach them with questions. mPOS provides a reliable way find the answers to questions about inventory, comparable products, sales or promotions, product specs without leaving the customer’s side. Tablets can also function as “endless aisle” solutions that enable customers to browse products available at all of your business’ locations.

3. Provide Quick Service

Fact: No one waits in a checkout line when they are shopping online. So is waiting in line still a necessary part of shopping in a store? mPOS gives sales associates the ability to finalize a purchase and complete a payment transaction on a mobile device. If an item must be ordered, mPOS allows your staff to confirm availability, enter a shipping order, and arrange for in-store pickup or delivery by a carrier to the customer’s home or office.

Online shopping offers the convenience of anytime, anywhere shopping, but in-store shopping can be characterized by relevant offers, easy access to information, and quick service. Evaluate your in-store processes for customer experiences that can be improved by making them more convenient with mPOS.

Quote: "Shoppers still need the ability to touch, feel, and see for themselves before making a purchasing decision"