New channels promise benefits


Multichannel selling, supported by mobility, appears likely to be the future of retail. The proliferation of mobile devices among consumers, along with the general movement toward online payment options, has made the shift seem inevitable. Consumers have gradually become more comfortable with new uses for their smartphones and tablets during the past few years, meaning that a transformation into an all-purpose shopping device is in line with their evolution. Adding specific options to help users purchase on phones could help sellers maintain leadership in their field.

Survey reveals issues

According to Retail Digital, however, a new CloudSense survey revealed that many companies are still behind the curve on mobile payments. The research singled out a third of retailers as followers rather than leaders, lacking multichannel cornerstones like social and mobile purchase options. Most of those companies are eager to change, with only 13 percent of non-connected companies content to stay that way.

There are challenges to transaction management in e-commerce, according to the source. Many firms have trouble converting interest into sales. Respondents to the CloudSense survey expressed everything from difficult communication and error reporting to a lack of codified oversight between the various sections responsible for their ecommerce.

Retail Digital's Matthew Staff explained that common problems, such as a fractured view of the customer, are alleviated when companies decide to embrace multichannel sales. He also stated that sales can increase and customer satisfaction rise. The CloudSense survey's issuers bore out his points, stating that an embrace of mobile enabled multichannel sales has become nearly requisite.

"Our findings show that many businesses are already missing out on revenue because they do not have mobile and social commerce solutions in place, and without action the gap between them and their competitors is only going to grow," warned CloudSense's Richard Britton, according to the source.

Mobile option's strength

Mobile was named one of Mashable's recently-announced trends in ecommerce. The source stated that the firms with mobile optimization for their ecommerce sites will have better luck attracting customers than those without. Online seller Punit Shah explained to the source that not only is a mobile option a way to attract customers that would otherwise fall throughh the cracks or go to other retailers, it may be a downright better option from an availability and ease-of-use perspective. Shah stated that sales from mobile devices were even greater in value than those from PCs, by an average of 12 percent.