Retailing has gone through some pretty radical changes since the internet came into widespread public use. The days of retailing being defined as selling from a store made of bricks and mortar on a piece of land anywhere in the world are long gone. More often than not, a retailer must balance his physical store and online presence carefully and wisely. How successful are most merchants at pulling off this balancing act?

Retail Systems Research published a very informative report last month entitled “Commerce Convergence: Closing the Gap Between Online and In-Store”. Authors Brian Kilcourse and Steve Rowen contend that modern retailing has moved beyond the omnichannel trend that has been a hot topic of discussion over the last 18 months. They emphasize that the goal should be to solve consumer problems and not worry about where this happens.

The best to optimize the consumer experience is to make the transitions between the digital and physical stores. Although many retailers understand the importance of bridging this gap, there are few complete technological solutions to this problem. The authors state that “there are options out there, but even better performing retailers are cautious in approaching them, fearing both the cost and the pain of making the change.”

In trying to figure out how to align bricks-and-mortar and online retailing, the report examines the issue from four different perspectives:

  • Business Challenges
  • Opportunities
  • Organizational Inhibitors
  • Technology Enablers

The Business Challenge section discusses how successful retailers provide multiple ways for consumers to connect to the brand without putting too much pressure on physical store employees.

The Opportunities section focuses on how both employees and consumers can leverage mobile technology to increase brand engagement.

In the Organizational Inhibitors section, the authors explore how retailers can overcome fears that new technologies around the POS could increase expenses and store system complexity.

The report rounds out with a discussion of how merchants should address POS shortcomings in stores with Technology Enablers.

As a company we could not agree more that the time has come to make the transition between physical and online retailing experiences as smooth as possible. When it comes to e-commerce, and acquiring in particular, full customization is crucial.

This was the essential thinking behind our brand-new ePower 2.0. Sophisticated in design and yet equally simple in operability, ePower 2.0 enables merchants to click on a single button and start processing instantly. Click here to listen to Moshe Selfin, our COO, talk about our new product at the recent Credorax UNIFY event.