Making EPoS Integration Easy: OpSuite Fusion from RMS

In previous blogs, we’ve written about how vital it is for retailers in this extraordinarily challenging business environment to move towards an omnichannel business model. Industry trends were already making this critical, but with the massive increase in online shopping due to Covid-19, it has become essential. Becoming a true omnichannel retailer means integrating your online and offline systems and operations to provide a truly seamless, unified service to your customer, no matter how they wish to purchase from you.

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Getting online: things to consider when setting up your e-commerce site

Over the past 20 years, the continuing trend has been for online sales to grow steadily year on year. 2020 not only continued this trend but, for obvious reasons, accelerated it significantly. It was predicted that online sales would increase by 11% in 2020. Thanks to COVID-19, shoppers had to do much of their purchasing online, and it is now thought that online shopping increased by 19% during 2020. We can’t know what 2021 will bring, but we can be reasonably sure that online sales will continue to grow and grow even as the pandemic abates.

This trend means that it is becoming even more critical for retailers to have a robust and effective e-commerce website to cater to the increasing number of online customers. Easy to say, but what do you need to think about when selecting the right e-commerce platform for your business?

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Omnichannel Retail: The Basics

Online sales have been growing steadily, year-on-year for the last twenty years. Everybody assumed that 2020 would be no different and that this trend would simply continue. Of course, none of us had any idea what 2020 would have in store, or how it would affect the wider economy and how individuals and organisations can interact with each other and do business. It was predicted that online sales would grow by 11% in 2020. Instead, thanks to COVID-19, shoppers have had little choice but to do much of their purchasing online, and it is now thought that online shopping will have increased by 19% during 2020. We can’t know what next year will bring, but we can be sure that online sales will continue to grow and grow.

What does this mean for retailers? The massive increase in the amount and proportion of online shopping means that becoming an omnichannel retailer is more important than ever before. But what does ‘omnichannel’ actually mean? For this blog, we thought it would be a good idea to take a step back and revisit some of the basics, cut through the industry jargon, and help you see why ‘omnichannel’ isn’t just another buzzword that will soon fade away.

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The future is bright for Omni-channel retailers

As we begin a new decade, retailers simply cannot afford to stand still – to survive they must deliver the experience that customers demand if they are going to have a successful future.

It goes without saying that 2019 was not a good year for all high street retailers. While challenging retail conditions and high business rates have played their part, there is no denying that shopping habits have changed and many retailers have simply not kept up.

One of the biggest areas of change for retail has been the usage of bricks and mortar stores. In the past, most retail stores measured success through sales made from in-person transactions. As a result, price became the key driver for retailers to attract customers and this has led to a growth in big sale events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, while these events may have delivered some short-term gains, for many it also signalled the start of the race to the bottom. With some retailers focusing on offering products as cheaply as possible, the long-term health of many businesses was severely jeopardised. Research has also shown that sale events have even been seen to devalue products and brands in the minds of consumers, the knock-on effect of this is that consumers become less likely to shop during non-discounted periods.

To break this cycle, retailers need to look at how they can improve the customer experience. Indeed, research clearly shows that if retailers are to survive over the next 10 years then they will need to focus on customer experience. With customers shifting their shopping habits and buying more and more products online, retailers need to ensure their customer experience matches these habits.

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