Online businesses enjoy certain benefits that can’t be matched. However, to grow and to be relevant in the changing times, businesses must be present on all platforms including offline channels.
Adopting omnichannel retail and payments is one of the main prerequisites to acing online as well as offline sales. While this certainly poses challenges for online businesses, the benefits surpass the challenges that come along with expanding to the offline market.
In this article, we will discuss how challenging it can be for online merchants to have a physical presence.
3 Challenges of Moving to Offline Channels and Their Solutions
Creating omnichannel experience comes with its challenges as you tread new territories. If you are an established online business and are looking to have an offline presence, you might need to consider the challenges you will face. These challenges are not to deter you from making the move, but from the perspective of preparing you.
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Let’s see a few common challenges that online businesses face while going offline:
Challenge number 1: Infrastructure and capital
The first challenge that online businesses face with setting up a physical business is taking care of different infrastructure needs. You require a retail space, racks to stock products, billing counters, etc.
Capital cost of getting into physical retail is much higher than running an online business. You will need capital to pay rent for an office or shop, pay salary to employees to manage the store, and expenses for marketing and advertising.
Solution: If you are not sure if it’s worthy enough to spend a lot of money into setting up a retail infrastructure, you should consider other temporary solutions. For example, find temporary spaces in shopping malls, residential complexes, weekend markets, etc.
You will spend a fraction of money on these pop-up stores compared to renting a place to establish a shop. Pop-up stores have a lot of potential as they help you understand the psyche of customers who purchase from physical stores. You will learn whether it’s worth it to go ahead and get a proper shop on rent.
Challenge number 2: Brand awareness
As an established online brand, you must have some clout among online shoppers. Once you open a shop, you might feel that not many people know of your brand.
Having low brand awareness is one of the most common challenges online businesses face when going offline. Building brand awareness from scratch might sound daunting. Don’t worry, you will get there in no time.
Solution: Being aware of this problem is the first step towards solving this issue. Before you set up your offline shop, you should work on a comprehensive marketing plan that includes advertising, social media marketing, and community outreach.
You should partner with local businesses to cross-promote your brand and reach new customers. Also, don’t forget to do the things that you did to grow your online brand awareness. Assuming you already have followers on social media, you should leverage that to create noise about your offline presence. Give early-bird discounts to customers who shop from your physical store.
Challenge number 3: Payment integration
Online selling makes payment collection easy and transparent. When you have to accept payment in a physical store, you will face different payment related issues. Some would like to pay in cash, some would prefer using cards, UPI, etc. Adding on to these issues, reconciling different payment modes would become challenging over time.
Solution: You should consider partnering with a payment gateway that can provide a suite of comprehensive payment solutions. The solutions that your payment gateway partner provides must cater to your need of creating the omnichannel experience. After all, this was the main reason you decided to venture into physical retail in the first place.
How Paytm Can Help Create Omnichannel Experience for Your Customers
A perfect omnichannel experience begins with giving customers a safe and reliable payment experience. Customers’ omnichannel payment experience should include a mix of online and offline payment tools.
This is exactly what Paytm for Business offers to you. Let’s have a brief look at the payment tools that you will have access to once you partner with Paytm for Business:
- Paytm Payment Gateway
Paytm PG is one of the most comprehensive payment gateways out there. It provides you with unparalleled security and speed when it comes to processing digital payments.
It will be a delight for your customers to pay via Paytm Payment Gateway as they will have the freedom to pay from an array of payment options including debit and credit cards, net banking, digital wallets, UPI, and Paytm Postpaid.
For you, Paytm PG provides quick reconciliation of all payments – irrespective of online or offline payments. In addition to this, Paytm PG makes it really simple for you to process refunds to your customers.
- In-store payments
As a part of the omnichannel experience, customers want to shop from your brand based on their preference. It can be from your website or from your retail store. Few customers even want a mix of both worlds – choose a product online and place the order offline.
Paytm is adept with all digital payment tools that customers want to use in the store. Paytm Card Machine is a one-stop solution for collecting money in the store. It can process payments via debit and credit cards, net banking, digital wallets, UPI, and Paytm Postpaid.
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Paytm Soundbox and Paytm QR machine are two revolutionary products that are just the right solutions for you. While Paytm QR machine makes it easier for customers to pay by scanning from any payment apps, Paytm Soundbox is a smart audio device that announces all payments that you receive.
- Paytm Payment Links
This is a truly innovative payment solution that is becoming quite popular among merchants looking for omnichannel payment solutions. Paytm Payment Links allows you to accept money digitally from your customers even if you don’t have an online presence.
So, if you are an offline merchant and want to collect money from a large number of customers digitally, Paytm Payment Links is your friend. You simply need to create payment links from the Paytm dashboard, enter an amount (it can be one amount or different for every customer), provide details of the product, create the link, and share it with your customers via email, SMS or WhatsApp.
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For customers, it’s the easiest way to pay for their purchases. They simply have to click on the link, which will take them to the payment page. From there, they just choose the payment option and make the payment. It’s that simple.
Getting into an offline channel can be tricky. It might not work for everyone. But, if you have the right partner by your side, you can together ensure you make the right moves and solve any problems that might come on the way.
Paytm for Business has thoughtfully created the right set of solutions for merchants like you who are looking to create omnichannel experiences for your customers.