2 min read
With the transition to digital retail experiences, the way we shop has changed. Rather than simply walking into a brick-and-mortar location and browsing the aisles, shoppers visit a company’s website to research products first. It’s more important than ever for businesses to consider a smooth transition between online and offline sales, and this extends to the payment methods offered. Multichannel payment gives a seamless experience in different settings – here’s how it works.
What are multichannel payments?
Multichannel payment methods ensure that customers have a selection of different payment channels to choose from depending on the setting. For example, if your business has a brick-and-mortar location as well as an ecommerce store and online marketplaces, this means you’re providing multiple channels for payments. A customer can choose to pay at any point. To facilitate a smooth experience across these various platforms, it’s a good idea to use a multichannel payment gateway with the same payment methods offered at each touchpoint.
What are omnichannel payments?
Omnichannel payments are closely related to multichannel payments, but the two terms have a key difference. While multichannel solutions focus on the technicalities of accepting payment, omnichannel payments focus more on the customer experience itself.
For example, imagine that a customer enters an electronics store to make a purchase after researching the product using the store’s social media. The customer sales assistant can connect to a customer database to make personalised recommendations based on the customer’s buying history online. This fuses a number of different customer touchpoints, for a full spectrum omnichannel payment experience. Multichannel focuses on payment alone, while omnichannel brings payments together with a wider brand experience.
What are the benefits of omnichannel payments?
There are plentiful benefits to both customer and merchant. Embracing an omnichannel payment experience boosts brand awareness and loyalty. Customers can research products and find out the information they need online and using social media, without any sales pressure. At the same time, brands can access detailed customer data across multiple touchpoints to provide a better shopping experience. They can cater to customer preferences, not only when it comes to product recommendations but also types of payment on offer.
Getting started with omnichannel and multichannel payments
The benefits of establishing a multichannel payment strategy are clear, so how can you get started? To begin with, you need to look at the typical touchpoints that a customer uses on their journey. From first contact to final purchase, which devices and platforms can they use to learn more about your brand? It doesn’t hurt to ask for feedback and use this as a guide to choose the best channels for payment.
Once you’ve determined the best channels to use, the next step is to use omnichannel payment solutions to connect each aspect of the buyer experience. Your mobile app should integrate seamlessly with social media profiles, marketplaces, ecommerce stores, and brick-and-mortar locations. No matter where the customer logs in, they should see their shopping cart clearly displayed for continuity.
Many ecommerce platforms offer multichannel payment processing as a standard feature. For example, Shopify offers an integrated website builder, payment processor, and POS system so that businesses can manage all aspects of running the business from a single platform. Multichannel payment gateways like Square and PayPal are also good options, presenting customers with a range of payment methods to suit their preferences.
Finally, it’s worth considering GoCardless for managing your payments across multiple platforms. We allow businesses to collect instant, one-off payments in real time, along with direct debit payment processing. Our flexible API integrates easily with existing ecommerce platforms, allowing you to customise your checkout page for easy management. Providing a frictionless, convenient payment experience improves your online conversion rates – essential for any omnichannel commerce strategy.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.