E-Commerce Integration With Your Point of Sale: 4 Benefits
Online shopping will account for 24 percent of retail sales by 2026.
To put it another way, a quarter of your store’s sales could come from online shoppers. But only if you’re set up to serve them well.
Imagine the scenario: You have a small boutique you manage with a simple point of sale (POS) system. You also have an online store. As your business grows, you struggle with managing both. Inventory numbers are off. Customers buy sold out products online, forcing apologies and refunds. Reporting becomes a headache.
Before this nightmare becomes a reality, you could invest in an e-commerce integration! By connecting your in-store and online channels, integration provides the unified commerce experience modern customers expect.
But what does that look like? How does it work? And what are the benefits?
This article will answer your questions, highlight what to look for in e-commerce integration, and the benefits you can expect. With the right platform, you can save hours wasted on redundant tasks, eliminate frustrations for customers, and gain data-driven insights to grow your business.
What Is E-Commerce Integration?
How much easier would your life be if you could manage your brick-and-mortar sales and online sales from one platform?
If you had real-time information and data like inventory availability, orders, customer details, and transactions at your fingertips? E-commerce integration makes it all possible.
It’s a must-have in today’s retail landscape. It’s predicted that online retail sales will total $7 trillion worldwide in 2025, double the amount from 2019.
That’s not to say you should focus solely on your online store — customers are still streaming back into physical stores post-pandemic — but it does mean you need to pay equal attention to your brick-and-mortar location and your e-commerce store.
Related Read: Brick-and-Mortar vs. E-Commerce: Which Is Best?
You risk losing sales and disappointing customers who expect an omnichannel experience without e-commerce integration. Lack of integration means you don't know when a customer orders a product that's already sold out in your store.
Having separate systems also means juggling manual inventory counts between your website and your warehouse, as well as reconciling online and offline sales reports. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time working on your business?
Linking your in-store POS and webstore is the way forward. Let’s get into what you should look for in an e-commerce integration, and the benefits you’ll see from your investment.
What To Look For in an E-commerce Integration
A few things are non-negotiable if you want your customers and staff to enjoy your e-commerce integration.
- A mobile-friendly, responsive design that lets customers shop wherever they are.
- A single product catalog shared between your website and in-store POS to avoid inconsistencies and duplicate data entry.
- Online and offline channels sharing customer information like order history, preferences, and more, to help provide a personalized experience.
- An intuitive website builder that lets you create your online store.
- Options to buy online, pick up in-store, or ship-to-store to add flexibility for shoppers.
- Shipping rates that adjust based on cart contents and destination to simplify online checkout.
- Capabilities to quickly handle returns, exchanges, and other issues.
Your store is unique, so it’s important to think about what you need from an omnichannel POS. Now, let’s dig into the benefits!
1. Cut Inventory Headaches With Real-Time Visibility
Effective inventory management is the backbone of your operations. When you integrate your in-store POS with your e-commerce store, you can sync stock across channels. You’ll have real-time access to everything you need.
For example, if you sell a product in-store, it’s instantly reflected across all channels. You can also keep pricing up to date no matter where products are purchased. You can eliminate guesswork, manual counts, and disjointed data that lead to human error and inaccurate inventory.
Instead, your staff has an accurate picture of product availability and pricing. Warehouse management is easier. Your customers also benefit when shopping online or in-store. Product listings always show correct pricing and up-to-date availability — no more out-of-stock orders.
2. Turn Data Into Powerful Insights for Growth
Making decisions like what stock to order, how to price your products, and how to manage your store is difficult. Bring e-commerce integration into play, and you’ve got double the work. But when you can rely on detailed data and reporting, you take some of the load off.
With unified reporting, you’ll have access to robust analytics, customer behavior, inventory movement, and more. Imagine a clean, intuitive dashboard that shows customer purchasing patterns across all your sales channels; it’s possible with the right POS software!
You can identify top-selling items and always keep them in stock. Likewise, you can identify slow movers to mark down or discontinue. Want to know if a certain product sells better online? With access to granular data, you can find out. You can even dig deeper to analyze performance by region, season, or demographic to tailor merchandising and marketing.
With a customer relationship management (CRM) integration, you can track each customer’s lifetime journey with your business. With purchase history, preferences, and how each customer engages with your store, you can provide personalized experiences that drive loyalty. Remember, the play with e-commerce integration is to provide a seamless omnichannel experience — the more data you have, the easier that becomes.
Related Read: POS vs. CRM: Which Is Best for a Retail Store?
To increase profit margins and your store's financial health, you need to find ways to save on costs without sacrificing quality. With access to unified POS data, you can do just that.
Think about the costs you save when inventory management is automated — no more long hours of counting stock and entering product data across different systems. Pricing is synced, and you free up staff to provide a better customer experience and work on initiatives that drive sales.
With real-time and historical sales reports, you can forecast inventory needs. Do specific products sell better in different seasons? What other sales trends will you notice? With access to this data, you can optimize stock levels and reduce carrying costs, markdowns, and overstocking. You could also negotiate bulk discounts with vendors on high-volume items.
4. Deliver 5-Star Service Across Every Channel
We’ve briefly mentioned customer experience throughout this post, but let’s dig deeper. Many customers now expect the same service online as they do in your store. But some prefer shopping online. You can help buyers with different needs with both a physical and an online store.
Online, customers still get product displays — they’re just virtual. They can’t physically interact with your products, but with detailed product descriptions and images, you can help customers make purchasing decisions. You can also offer multiple customer service channels, such as email, live chat, and phone.
While you can collect customer data in physical stores, it might slow down checkout. Also, customers may be reluctant to provide information in a live setting. Online, however, you can access a wealth of customer information — from website analytics and purchase histories to browsing habits and demographics.
You can use this information to create customer profiles and provide personalized promotions and recommendations across all touchpoints.
Last, you can provide order status updates as purchases move through fulfillment. Keep your customers informed, whether their order is in your warehouse, ready for shipping, or on its way to them.
Get These Benefits and More With Your Own Webstore
If you want to simplify inventory management, lower costs, and provide a unified customer experience, there’s never been a better time to explore e-commerce integration.
Comcash makes linking your physical and online stores easy. The Comcash webstore:
- Connects with your POS system, so stock levels and sales are always up to date
- Looks and feels like other sales outlets, so fulfillment and financial reporting are always on point
- Tracks customer contact information and buying behavior to make outbound marketing more effective
An integrated webstore is the future of retail. To see our point of sale solution in action, schedule a demo with our retail experts today.