CNP Expo: CNP Efforts Vital to Omnichannel Strategy

May 23, 2013

On the final morning of the 2013 CNP Expo, a session examined the challenges and opportunities card-not-present transactions present for merchants who sell physical goods and/or have brick-and-mortar stores. Until recently, shopping and paying have been two separate activities for these merchants, but the advent of online shopping, mobile self-pay apps, and mobile POS platforms has changed that.

Jennifer Grimm, owner of LUX Beauty Boutique, says adopting some form of these new technologies is not really optional, particularly for smaller retailers. She points out that “every moment someone is waiting in a line is a moment they are not being sold to. The sales associate who has been helping this customer has the knowledge of what she was shopping for and has been having a conversation with her that even a well-trained cashier was not part of. A mobile POS system allows the conversation to go on uninterrupted as the customer is rung out immediately by the sales associate.”

And, according to Ian Graham, vice president of brand development for OneMethod, in a world of big-box stores, smaller retailers face the same challenge in the e- and m-commerce realms that they face in the physical marketplace: visibility. However, Graham added, smaller merchants have a major advantage over their larger competitors in that they can be much more flexible and agile in a world of quickly evolving technology.

“Individual apps for a smaller retail merchant don’t stand out among the millions of apps out there,” he explained. “Ultimately, a multiple-retailer app poses a great advantage for smaller merchants, because it’s driving customer attention to your platform.”

Dan Dufault of Merchant Warehouse says that for his retail merchant clients, “the connectivity between online, mobile and brick-and-mortar shopping is critical. And the data being collected from these different sales is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Being able to push coupons, tailored marketing, and loyalty programs to that customer after the sale is the big thing—that enhances customer experience and keeps customers coming back.”