As consumers re-enter their old routines, they're looking forward to shopping in person. In fact, according to international research data and analytics group YouGov, 57% of American adults say they're excited to get back into brick-and-mortar stores. But as you cater to your in-store shoppers, it's also important that you keep a strong online presence.

Here's what consumers are looking forward to as they return to in-store shopping and how omnichannel solutions can be used to support those needs.

Understanding your customers' needs.

Your customers aren't just re-entering stores—they're also entering new seasons they may have missed altogether during 2020: summer, back-to-school, and holiday shopping. People are ready for a fresh wardrobe, comfier homes, and social celebrations like baby showers and housewarming parties. In other words, they're ready to part ways with some of their pandemic savings. In fact, the National Retail Federation has predicted up to 8.2% growth in retail sales during 2021 as people continue to receive vaccinations and the economy reopens.

While many consumers can't wait to start strolling through stores in person, they don't plan on kicking their online shopping habit any time soon. In fact, YouGov's report also shows that 78% plan to shop online as much as (or more than) they did during the pandemic. So, you'll need to support their shopping preferences whether they shop in-store, online, or a combination of the two.

3 ways omnichannel solutions strengthen retail businesses.

It's possible to deliver an in-store experience that keeps customers coming back while also providing sustainable online customer support. And, you don't have to learn or implement a foot-long list of tools to do so. Instead, turn to an omnichannel solution.

1. Help meet your customers where they are.

Most of your customers today don't just engage with you in one way. Whether they get introduced to your business while driving by, hearing about it from a friend, seeing a digital ad, or reading a social media post, your customers will continue to interact with you across various in-person and online channels. So, engage with customers on every channel. Make sure your customers can shop however they want, whenever they want.

Using an omnichannel solution gives your business the ability to meet, serve, and sell to customers wherever they are. By connecting your physical and digital channels, you allow your customers to reach you online, in-store, or even via on-the-go shopping platforms. You can also harness your data, saving it from the chaos of multiple disparate systems. This means your customers will only see updated inventory, you won't miss out on valuable insights, and you'll be empowered to improve customer loyalty with intelligent programs and promotions.

2. Keep customers coming back with loyalty and rewards programs.

Using an omnichannel solution gives you flexibility, as well. You can mold this type of platform to your current business needs, evolve as your customers' preferences change, and reward them for staying engaged with your business. For instance, the right omnichannel platform for you and your business may include a customizable loyalty program that allows customers to enroll, earn points, and redeem their rewards. Omnichannel solutions seamlessly collect information about your customers' purchases and interests. And these insights are then used to help you deliver rewards your customers care about and personalized marketing emails, driving more interactions and increasing loyalty.

As loyalty and engagement go up, so do new sales and repeat purchases. Plus, the same omnichannel solution you used to manage your loyalty program can also manage your marketing campaigns. In fact, the two can be integrated and mutually supportive. This gives you the full picture when it comes to customer and sales insights, so you can constantly learn about your customers' preferences and make informed decisions based on real-time data.

3. Use one tool that supports customers at every stage.

Omnichannel solutions offer an all-in-one platform that you can integrate with a POS system and ecommerce so that you can manage payments, loyalty, and data with one system. Whether your customers shop in-store, online, or both, you won't find your business in a situation where you can't meet their needs. Move beyond ordinary POS with a customizable omnichannel solution that can also handle your marketing campaigns, deliver data insights, and enable you to deliver excellent service throughout your entire customer experience. When you do, you'll benefit from streamlined operations, stronger customer connections, and higher revenue.

Be ready for anything that comes your way, including unexpected challenges or exciting new opportunities. You can customize the right tools for your current business model while also being prepared to make changes on a dime without researching new partners or vendors. With the right tools and the right mindset, chaos can yield opportunity.

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