For many modern-day businesses, improving customer acquisition and retention comes down to one simple acronym — CX. CX, or customer experience, is now the backbone and driving force of many successful ecommerce websites, helping to connect the dots between consumer expectations and operational efficiency.
The foundation of a great user experience is typically made up of a combination of on and off-site improvements that address the convenience, accessibility, and mobility needs of a customer pre and post-purchase. One way to help facilitate these changes is by introducing a seamless payment solution that helps bridge the gap between online and offline purchasing convenience with branding consistency. For many organizations, this is achieved by introducing omnichannel payments into their business infrastructure.
What are omnichannel payments?
Omnichannel payments refer to a business's ability to offer multiple payment solutions across various platforms and applications for its customer base, whether online, offline, domestically, or internationally. However, omnichannel payment solutions involve much more than merely offering customers more ways to pay for their goods and services. Instead, by integrating all aspects of the purchasing process and all payment touch-points, omnichannel solutions simplify the customer purchasing journey while allowing businesses to leverage an end-to-end consolidated infrastructure.
Whether a brick-and-mortar store, ecommerce platform, or hybrid business model, the priority of meeting omnichannel demands has never been more significant for any business offering goods or services. This is supported by the fact that more than 70% of consumers are now consistently shopping on more than one channel. However, when it comes to managing both digital and physical sales and marketing channels, businesses can struggle when ensuring seamless communication across websites, physical stores, social media, and other applications. An omnichannel payment solution helps to solve these challenges in various ways.
Omnichannel payment solutions provide a single view of all customer interactions across an entire payment ecosystem. Rather than managing ecommerce payment portals, ACH transfers, mobile checkouts, recurring subscriptions, and other payment methods through different sources, omnichannel solutions bring all of these under one business umbrella. This gives businesses more in-depth insights into their customers' behaviors and enables them to provide "start here" and "end there" processing, where customers create their orders in one channel and they are seamlessly fulfilled in another.
Security of omnichannel payments
One of the things to consider when executing an omnichannel payments strategy is the importance of increased cross-channel security measures. Various industry compliance standards regulate payment processing as a whole, and organizations need to ensure that their payment processors, as well as on-site and off-site integrations, meet these requirements.
The fundamental elements of omnichannel payment security involve the cross-platform tokenization of credit card data along with point-to-point encryption (P2PE). These critical components of omnichannel security measures help to minimize fraud in both card-present and card-not-present transactions. Using a strong Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) in the web development process is another way to improve data protection across digital channels and further protects customers from malicious sources and fraudulent practices.
As businesses begin to build cross-channel payment strategies, however, the balancing act between security and the customer experience can be a challenging one to navigate. Depending on how security measures are implemented into an omnichannel solution, a certain amount of friction can occur in payment processes that directly impact the customer journey. If transactions become too burdensome, this can add to customer frustration, inevitably leading to shopping cart abandonment and obstructed revenue streams. However, without an adequate security layer, organizations risk becoming non-compliant with specific PCI DSS standards and paying hefty fines and penalties. In this case, it's vital that organizations work with qualified omnichannel solutions providers and web development teams capable of meeting all the organization's needs.
How to provide a seamless omnichannel payment solution
At the pace at which technology and commerce are moving, today's consumers have high expectations for their user and brand experiences when purchasing goods and services online and in-person. Progressive businesses are now recognizing the need to create a more unified approach to their sales and marketing efforts by using omnichannel payments to provide more convenience and accessibility during the entire customer journey. This not only helps to create a seamless brand experience for the customer regardless of where they research and purchase their products and services, but it also provides businesses with the integrations and visibility they need to streamline operations and maximize revenue streams.
However, whether you're a global brand or a smaller online presence looking to expand, creating a seamless customer journey across all channels isn't an easy task, especially when you consider the limitations typically found in today's ecommerce platforms. Commerce Layer is looking to change that perception by giving brands the tools they need to create a truly omnichannel experience for their customers.
By providing a consistent payment API, Commerce Layer acts as a unified omnichannel payment framework that lets you easily manage all kinds of transactions — authorizations, voids, captures, and refunds – so that your customers can seamlessly process their payments, in the safest way. Our out-of-the-box integration with the leading payment gateways (such as Braintree, Stripe, Adyen, PayPal, etc.) is compliant with the PSD2 European regulation so as to guarantee a payment flow implementation that supports strong customer authentication (SCA) and 3DS2. On top of that, you have the complete flexibility to connect whichever payment service provider you may need using the external payments option while remaining consistent with the approach and consuming the same payment API.
For more information on how your business can benefit from omnichannel payment solutions and a secure, scalable platform to support them, contact us today.