With the holiday shopping season almost over it’s important to take note of an important shopping trend.
In a recent survey, 47 percent of shoppers list the Internet as their favorite shopping destination. This is a significant mindset change that small business owners must make. The shopper has switched from the location being the shopping destination to the location being a shopping tool. The Internet is where all the shopping is taking place and the physical location is merely a place to pick it up.
Get used to the term “omni-channel” where the shopper compares all retail channels – online, in-store and mobile – browsing online before making in-store purchases, and browsing the offline shelves before making an online purchase. It is more important now than ever before that the shopping experience between online and offline be seamless.
For the small business owner to respond to this trend, it is important to manage the entire shopping experience by integrating point of sale system technology with an up-to-date functional website and real-time inventory that can easily be shopped by a customer using a mobile device.
Eighty-nine percent of shoppers said they wouldn’t return to a store if the inventory they confirmed was there online — was not available in-store. Integrating your online and offline data is crucial to capturing sales.
Forty-three percent of shoppers said that they were more likely to frequent a store that offered discounts or a rewards program. This is a statistic easily tracked with a point of sale system.
This point of sale technology for concise inventory management, customer loyalty tracking and communication is no longer optional. Today’s shoppers have the technology to be walking down the aisles in one store, while comparing and shopping via their smart phone at another store. Retail locations that refuse to upgrade cash register to technology that manages the entire shopping experience may be out of business before the next holiday season.