Too many cooks in the kitchen is a cliché you may hear applied to different situations, but it is not one that you’ll hear much in terms of payment processing. These days, it is clear that online payment processing is one of the most popular methods of taking payments, favored by merchants and customers alike. However, whether you are a business that operates brick-and-mortar, online, or mobile, it is the general consensus that you need to have more than one sales channel. This is where the buzzword omnichannel comes in. Not sure what that phrase means? Allow us to explain.

According to BigCommerce, there are different definitions for omnichannel in retail marketing. Hubspot calls it a seamless and consistent experience across channels, also factoring in the devices customers are using. It can be defined many ways, but in its complete definition, omnichannel retail creates an experience of continuity through a cross-channel business model which, in turn, enhances the customer experience through shopping outlets like in-store, mobile, social media and online.

What does this mean for your business and your online payment processing? While online payment processing will definitely remain a popular and long-lasting shopping method for your customers, it won’t be beneficial to your business by being the only payment method you offer. Customers are almost always using multiple channels to research and complete a purchase, and your business needs to be prepared to meet those needs, according to Entrepreneur.

Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers. They are looking for something, and it is a something that your business offers, so you want to make sure they find it with you. They might start somewhere like Facebook, notice an advertisement for something they were previously browsing while scrolling through a feed, and a few clicks later be at your business website. Then maybe their computer freezes, so they switch over to your mobile app and complete the purchase. That’s omnichannel retail marketing in action.

Beyond a hypothetical scenario though, MultiChannel Merchant gives some real-life business examples to follow:

Starbucks. One of the best omnichannel business examples is Starbucks. Customers are able to check balances, load card money, use rewards, and order ahead via mobile, in-store, and online, offering a seamless multichannel experience. Online payment processing, customer service and marketing the brand are all benefits of the Starbucks omnichannel experience.

Crate & Barrel. Crate & Barrel creates a connection via their online site and mobile app that not all retailers do. Customers have the ability to sync their carts and searches between both eCommerce outlets so that progress is not lost during a purchase.

If your business is already holding steady, you may be wondering why it is worth pursuing omnichannel in retail. There are multiple reasons that could answer this question, but the most important one is the customer. An omnichannel experience creates customer engagement and gives them a bit of control in delivering a seamless experience that will ensure repeat sales. Online payment processing is a tried and true method, and a lucrative one considering the booming scope of online retail, but website eCommerce is not the end-all-be-all of retail, and this is where omnichannel makes its mark.

Omnichannel provides choices, and customers like choices. Having a hand in controlling the process gives the customer a sense of empowerment, and a positive reaction to doing business with you. Different channels will appeal to different customers, and in an instant gratification inclined-world, 24/7 availability to your brand is essential. Some may be mobile-inclined through store apps or social media, and others may enjoy the feeling of walking into a store, but offering all of these channels as opposed to just one or a few will greatly benefit your business.

Your business could be as successful as Starbucks or Crate & Barrel with the right omnichannel strategy, and with the right online payment processing. Payline Connect is a great processing option for businesses who are breaking into the omnichannel ecosystem and looking to expand their online efforts. Beyond that, Payline can help you with other channel efforts as well. From in-store and online to mobile, we have your back. Taking advantage of omnichannel in retail will have your company’s back as well, keeping it well supported by satisfied customers for a long time to come.

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Payline can bring benefits to your business with payment processing products to fit your omnichannel needs. 

This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.