What is omnichannel selling?
If you’re unfamiliar with omnichannel selling, it may sound like business jargon. But it’s not just a buzzword—it’s a comprehensive selling strategy that can boost your business and dramatically increase sales and customer retention.
Omnichannel selling is a holistic, integrated approach to selling that incorporates every touchpoint a prospect or customer encounters. This might include brick and mortar stores, the company website, mobile apps, social media, and more. Instead of creating siloed sales and marketing channels, an omnichannel approach takes a high-level view of the customer journey and attempts to reach every prospect where they’re already spending time, engaging them on several different platforms with relevant content and offers.
When a business successfully implements an omnichannel strategy, they will appear omnipresent to customers, with cohesive, targeted messaging and offers across multiple channels.
The benefits of a well-planned omnichannel strategy are clear.
According to a study from Aberdeen Group Inc., businesses with successful omnichannel customer engagement strategies retained an average of 89% of their customers and saw an average 9.5% increase in annual revenue year over year. What’s more, omnichannel customers spend 208% more than customers who only shop in stores and 93% more than those who shop direct or online.
If your business hasn’t developed an omnichannel strategy yet, you may want to consider it. The numbers speak for themselves.
How it’s changing accounts receivable
But if you’re going to adopt an omnichannel strategy, then you need the technology to support it. Omnichannel selling relies on up-to-date information across all your systems and platforms, from your eCommerce store to your inventory to your accounting software. If even one of these pieces is not functioning well, then your omnichannel strategy will falter.
And because omnichannel selling is all about, well, sales, having an efficient and seamless accounts receivable is vital to the overall strategy. Businesses need a simple, convenient way to collect payments from all channels and track those sales back in AR.
To address the specific and pressing needs of omnichannel selling, accounts receivable is transforming in four important ways.
1. Flexible, adaptable payment acceptance
Businesses employing an omnichannel selling strategy need to be able to accept payments of all types quickly and easily. Whether they’re equipping salespeople with tablets in their brick and mortar stores, advertising an online sale on social media, or taking orders over the phone, omnichannel businesses need a flexible payment acceptance system to handle their unique and ever-changing needs.
In addition to all the different payment acceptance methods, businesses must also be able to accept multiple payment types, including credit and debit cards, ACH payments, and EMV payments, or they could lose out on sales.
Businesses can achieve these goals by using an integrated payment solution, which plugs directly into their accounting software and provides omnichannel businesses with an all-in-one payment acceptance platform. When a single solution supports all your payment acceptance needs, you cut down on unnecessary friction and wasted time, and all your sales are visible in one place.
Omnichannel sellers move fast. They don’t have time to spend hours and hours on manually reconciling payments in their AR. Instead, their AR needs to move as rapidly as they do.
Automating their AR allows businesses to eliminate double data entry, cut down on time-wasting human errors, and keep their AR right on track throughout the day. An integrated payment solution streamlines payment collections and AR and gives businesses more time in the day to focus on omnichannel strategy.
3. Real-time communication between systems
A true omnichannel strategy uses technology to leverage real-time data across systems. For example, say a customer wants to buy a pair of shoes in a store, but the store is out of their size. An omnichannel business will have customer reps on the floor with tablets, ready to access inventory in real time and see that they can order and ship the desired pair of shoes to the customer’s house.
If the customer rep doesn’t have instantaneous access to the correct information, then the omnichannel strategy won’t work, and the business will lose sales.
Similarly, businesses that want to use an omnichannel strategy need up-to-date accounts receivable data to provide an accurate view of their transactions and overall cash flow.
For example, an eCommerce retailer can use an integrated payment solution to automate their payment reconciliation, instantly update their AR and GL, and eliminate the time wasted on manual reconciliation. This means businesses don’t have to wait until the end of the day, after payments have been reconciled, to see their sales—instead, the transactions are updated in real time throughout the day, giving businesses a clearer, more accurate picture of overall sales.
4. Better reporting
Businesses wanting to implement omnichannel selling have to be able to see both the big picture and the small details. One of the ways they can achieve that balance is through accurate reporting.
Accounts receivable specialists can provide their businesses with valuable transaction data that can help businesses hone their omnichannel strategy. Through a payment gateway like EBizCharge, AR clerks can both track larger trends—like average transaction volume per month—and drill down to the individual transaction level to see exactly how and when a certain customer made a payment. All of this information is valuable when building a viable omnichannel strategy.
The omnichannel approach is a comprehensive and all-encompassing strategy that focuses on creating cohesive experiences for customers at every stage of their buying journey. The rise of omnichannel selling models has transformed accounts receivable technology in order to support this ambitious goal. By using an integrated payment solution like EBizCharge as part of a wider omnichannel strategy, you can grow your business and boost your sales.