All merchants are realizing the buzz around the omnichannel experience, and it is not going away. For merchants who started with a brick-and-mortar store and those who started with e-commerce sales, omnichannel sales may be a pressing and driving concern.
Customers want to be able to browse, shop, interact, pay, and receive their goods how and when they want. This has spawned a new retail experience that includes a range of touch points with a merchant, including websites, mobile apps, in-store experience, customer service, and delivery of the purchase. The customer doesn’t really care how this fits together, they simply want a seamless experience across all channels – the same look-and-feel and ease-of-use is required for the modern customer.
To deliver on a true omnichannel experience, merchants must think of the entire shopping and sales experience. The mobile app must have a similar design and options as the website, which must provide customers access to the same inventory as the retail store, and the customer service staff (brick-and-mortar or online chat) must be aware of all the same information. To complicate matters, the payment methods across these channels must be the same; not delivering on this can mean customers may walk away from full shopping carts (online and in-store).
The omnichannel experience cannot happen in isolation. Every aspect of the business, from the marketing, inventory, customer service, delivery, and technical support, is involved in delivering on this shopping experience.
A seamless, frictionless shopping experience is the ultimate goal for the merchant. Delivering on this while securing fraud prevention throughout is the way merchants can gain and keep customers. When done right, the omnichannel experience makes it easy for customers to buy, which encourages strong brand loyalty. As merchants know, the stronger the brand loyalty, the easier it is to retain and gain more customers.
In a Harvard Business Review study of 46,000 customers of a major U.S. retailer from June 2015 to August 2016, some important lessons were learned about omnichannel customer habits.
- High use. 73 percent of shoppers surveyed used multiple channels during a single shopping experience.
- High desire. Customers want to take advantage of multiple channels offered by the merchant. For example, they use online coupons, interactive catalogs, buy online and pick-up in store, etc.
- High value. The more channels used by the omnichannel customer, the more money that will be spent. The study shows that customers who used more than four channels spent on average 9 percent more in-store, compared to customers who used only one channel.
- High pay-off. Customers who do online research of both the merchant and competitors spend 13 percent more than those only visiting in-store.
- High brand loyalty. Six months after an initial omnichannel purchase, these customers completed 23 percent more repeat merchant visits, and were more likely to recommend the merchant and brand than those who only accessed the merchant through one channel.
So, yes, the omnichannel experience is key to all types of merchants, regardless of how the business started – online or brick-and-mortar. The question, then, becomes how best to deliver and secure the omnichannel experience.
Fraud Prevention for Omnichannel
The more channels in the omnichannel experience, the more data that is created, requiring the merchant to strengthen and diversify their data protection. What works for one channel does not work for all of the channels. Many merchants neglect this fact and assume that because the website has an effective fraud prevention solution, the same solution can be used across the board with mobile apps, customer service, emails/newsletters, and any other channels.
Fraudsters prey on merchants who take this lackadaisical approach to omnichannel fraud prevention. Using intelligent technology and fraud tactics such as card testing, fake eGift cards, counterfeit fraud, and stolen credit card data, fraudsters attack each channel looking for holes in the fraud prevention solution.
Often, by the time the security breach has reared its ugly head, the customers are long gone and the merchant is left scrambling. Customers who are burned by a merchant do not return to give this merchant a second chance. Along with providing a perfectly seamless and frictionless experience on the front-end, customers expect that the back-end of the entire omnichannel is secured against fraud and security breaches.
Multi-layered fraud prevention technology that is intelligent and invisible to the customer is the ideal solution. Merchants must use the right fraud solution for the right situation – each channel should have its own level and type of fraud prevention. The key to getting this right is in working with fraud prevention experts who have real hands-on experience with omnichannel fraud prevention.
Your customers are flipping from channel to channel – visiting you in-store, browsing your products online, downloading digital coupons and catalogs, buying online and then picking-up in-store. You must deliver on all aspects: secure data, fast and seamless online channels, knowledgeable in-store staff, and no delays in payment and delivery.
Learn more about the demands of the omnichannel experience and how you can successfully capitalize on the advantages of this new shopping paradigm. And contact us to learn more about Verifi’s solutions and omnichannel fraud prevention expertise.