Due to multiple factors (the widespread digitalization and the pandemic, to name just a few), consumer behavior has changed dramatically in recent years. Today’s consumers can shop anywhere and however they want; for instance, a person can visit a brick-and-mortar store, try on some clothes, and later purchase the desired item via the brand’s website. The same works in the opposite direction — a consumer can research products via a brand’s site and later buy them in a physical store. 

More importantly, consumers expect the same high level of customer experience (CX) across all brand channels. Only those brands that can continuously deliver quality experience across all customer touchpoints can keep the audience’s loyalty and remain competitive. According to Omnisend research, customer retention rates are 90% higher for brands that deliver omnichannel customer experience compared to those that use a single channel. 

However, establishing an omnichannel e-commerce approach is not an easy task, as brands need to provide their audiences with the convenience of online and offline shopping while maintaining consistent branding throughout the customer journey. All this means that brands have to integrate many aspects of the entire buying process; fortunately, today eCommerce developers can help brands do this by implementing such emerging concepts as omnichannel payments. 

This article will explain what omnichannel payment processing is, tell how this concept is transforming the e-commerce industry, and provide some tips on how brands can put omnichannel payments into practice.

What are omnichannel payments?

Often, multichannel payments refer to the ability of brands to offer flexible payment options to their audiences. In fact, it is more complicated — all payment channels should also be integrated into the CX strategy to become a part of the entire customer journey. 

Regardless of what payment means consumers use (checks, cash, credit cards, e-wallets or others), they expect the convenience and flexibility of payments throughout their journey. In turn, this means that companies looking to become truly omnichannel need to integrate all the payment touchpoints and components of the purchasing process. 

Leveraging a consolidated e-commerce infrastructure, brands can deliver a seamless customer experience regardless of where and how customers discover and buy products and also gain a host of additional business benefits. For example, brands can improve the overall transparency of payments and purchases. Which will help brand managers optimize operations and increase profits in the long run.

How to implement omnichannel payment processing

For brands, establishing a seamless customer experience may be challenging because many eCommerce platforms provide limited functionality for omnichannel payments. Therefore, brands should consider options beyond their standard set of tools. 

One of the ways to implement multiple payment options is to sign a contract with a third-party processor or payment gateways provider. For example, merchants can find a processing company that supports channels relevant to their brand or even choose several vendors to access the maximum variability of payment options. 

However, this approach may bring several significant disadvantages. First, managing multiple providers and accounts can be costly since each vendor demands a different fee for using its product and services. Second, it can create security risks — after all, you entrust sensitive customer data to third parties, each of which may have different security policies, regulatory compliance status, and so on. 

Sometimes developing and deploying consolidated payment software may be an easier way for brands looking to provide a seamless experience for their audiences. For example, you can build a platform that utilizes API interfaces to integrate your business system with payment processing services. 

Using such solutions, brands can better control invoice collection, tweak the UI, and continually implement customizations to improve customer experience. At the same time, you can maintain the security of sensitive customer data, develop your own secure gateways, and choose the most relevant tools to monitor suspicious activity.

Final thoughts

Omnichannel commerce is not just a buzzword but rather a new market reality. Customers use multiple channels to engage with brands and expect quality experiences throughout their journey; only those brands that are able to cope with this task can remain competitive and prosper. 

Be that as it may, establishing an omnichannel CX may be a difficult task — brands need to integrate all their marketing channels (both online and offline), customer service, and all the components of the purchasing process. Adopting omnichannel payment processing may be one of the essential steps in this direction. 

With omnichannel payments, brands can provide customers with flexible payment options and deliver a seamless high-quality CX regardless of specific audience touchpoints. All this can also help brands drive audience loyalty as well as the number of conversions and sales. 

Brands that opt for omnichannel payment processing have multiple implementation options so that each may take its unique approach here. For example, brands can utilize multiple processors and payment gateway providers to access different payment channels. To ensure continuity of customer experience and reduce security risks. Brands can also develop their own payment platforms and integrate them with internal business systems. 

Thus, brands can increase the transparency of their business operations. And enabling smarter business decision-making and further increasing audience satisfaction and loyalty.

Also Read: Learn how Set up Payments and Shipping on your Ecommerce Website