Omnichannel retail: 4 best practices for navigating the new normal

April 13, 2022

To stay relevant, traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are rethinking their business models. By enhancing and meshing both digital and physical shopping experiences, your business will be prepared for whatever comes next.


It’s no surprise that there’s been a surge in online sales over the past two years as the pandemic pushed ecommerce shopping to new heights. During 2021, consumers made more than $870 billion worth of online purchases from U.S. merchants, representing a 14.2% increase over 2020 sales. Those who adopted a digital-first, omnichannel strategy during this boom were at the best advantage. Research from the McKinsey Institute found that those retailers were able to pivot during the pandemic more easily than those who prioritized physical stores and face-to-face selling.

As the marketplace shifts and changes, retailers should prepare themselves if they need to pivot again. Combining physical and online channels in new ways can help you reimagine your approach and create a distinctive, engaging customer experience. Here are four best practices to follow so business is prepared for whatever change comes next.


1. Put digital first

Consumer confidence is bringing shoppers back to brick-and-mortar locations, but a strong online presence is still key. In fact, you may even want to consider it the cornerstone of your business. 87% of consumers turn to the web first to research products before buying, with just 46% still preferring to make their purchase in a physical location.

A good digital experience is an optimized one; your best-selling products should be easy to find, and branding and marketing messages should be consistent. Your digital footprint should expand beyond your website too, specifically to the social media platforms your customers frequent. 


2. Find new ways to engage online

One of the strengths of a physical location is the ability to interact with customers face to face. However, you can also bring the in-store experience to your website by using enhanced web technology, such as 3D models on product pages, or by offering virtual services.

For example, some retailers conduct one-on-one personal shopping consultations via video conferencing platforms. Others are using livestreaming to engage with customers and increase revenue and loyalty by sharing experiential content. By bringing the experience of your store and brand online, you can increase engagement and strengthen consumer loyalty.


3. Rethink your physical location

While ecommerce has become crucial since the beginning of the pandemic, brick-and-mortar stores won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. The boundaries between online and offline shopping are starting to blur, and physical locations play a different role, creating a hybrid sales model.

Many of today’s shoppers make purchase decisions before they even reach your location. Your store is now a piece of the customer journey puzzle, not an endpoint. Use it to educate consumers on your product and reinforce your branding, and support ecommerce sales through services such as buy-online-pickup-in-store.


4. Personalize the in-store experience

One of the strengths of the digital platforms is the use of technology to personalize the customer’s visit. Replicate this in your store by arming sales associates with access to customers’ online data, such as purchase history, to customize the offline experience. With a modern POS, customer information like email addresses or past orders is captured and accessed easily through the POS system. Plus, with a cloud-based POS, all your staff will have instant access to the same information, no matter where they are.

Additionally, if a customer is shopping in your store and an item they want is out of stock, provide then with alternative ordering methods like shipping it to their home or having it held at the store for pickup later.


The next normal 

Omnichannel retail is more than having multiple touchpoints—it involves integrating a cohesive strategy for customer service, inventory, and sales across all channels to create a seamless experience. As we move towards a post-pandemic marketplace, customer expectations will continue to shift. By adopting an omnichannel strategy, you can focus on creating an experience that meets consumers where they are, responds to their needs, and moves forward together into the next normal.


Explore how modern POS services can help you achieve your omnichannel commerce goals.

Learn about U.S. Bank

Related content

Checklist: Increase lead generation with website optimization

The role of ethics in the hiring process

Business credit card 101

How does an electronic point of sale help your business keep track of every dime?

Essential marketing tools for any business

Choosing your M&A escrow partner

For today's relocating home buyers, time and money are everything

Crypto + Relo: Mobility industry impacts

How to test new business ideas

How to increase your savings

How a group fitness studio made the most of online workouts

How (and why) to get your business supplier diversity certification

Year-end financial checklist

3 ways to gain loyalty with your customers

How community gave life to lifestyle boutique Les Sol

How a travel clothing retailer is staying true to its brand values

In a digital world, Liberty Puzzles embraces true connection

The San Francisco bridal shop that’s been making memories for 30 years

Honey Luxury Beauté: growing a side project into an eye-catching beauty business

How Wenonah Canoe is making a boom in business last

Use this one simple email marketing tip to increase your reach

Webinar: Uncover the cost: International trip

Complying with changes in fund regulations

Evaluating interest rate risk creating risk management strategy

How small businesses are growing sales with online ordering

Tips for building a successful customer loyalty program

How to identify what technology is needed for your small business

High-yield bond issuance: 5 traits lawyers should look for in a service provider

3 tips to maintain flexibility in supply chain management

How to build a content team

The client-focused mindset: How to network effectively

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How much house can you afford?

Travel for less: Smart (not cheap) ways to spend less on your next trip

Tips to overcome three common savings hurdles

Helpful tips for safe and smart charitable giving

Allowance basics for parents and kids

Administrator accountability: 5 questions to evaluate outsourcing risks

Improve online presence your business

Costs to consider when starting a business

How Shampoo’ed is transforming hair and inspiring entrepreneurs

Addressing financial uncertainty in international business

Webinar: AP automation for commercial real estate

Staying organized when taking payments

The future of financial leadership: More strategy, fewer spreadsheets

5 tips for managing your business cash flow

How to get started creating your business plan

How to spot a credit repair scam

Building a business with a great product and a greater purpose

6 ways to spring clean your finances and save money year-round

How to cut mindless spending: real tips from real people

Real world advice: How parents are teaching their kids about money

Practical money tips we've learned from our dads

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck post-pay increase

Give a prepaid rewards card for employee recognition

Employee benefit plan management: trustee vs. custodian

5 unique ways to take your credit card benefits further

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

30-day adulting challenge: Financial wellness tasks to complete in a month

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

How mobile point of sale (mPOS) can benefit your side gig

Cashless business pros and cons: Should you make the switch?

Email marketing: 10 mistakes to avoid

Celebrity Cake Studio’s two decades of growth and success

How Al’s Breakfast is bringing people together

What you should know about licensing agreements

Webinar: CRE Digital Transformation – Balancing Digitization with cybersecurity risk

Webinar: CRE Digital Transformation – Balancing Digitization with cybersecurity risk

5 steps for creating an employee recognition program

Tech tools to keep your restaurant operations running smoothly

How to hire employees: Employee referral vs. external hiring

3 ways POS data analysis can help define your brand

Break free from cash flow management constraints

Service provider due diligence and selection best practices

How a bar trivia company went digital during COVID-19

4 steps that give your business an SEO boost

Gift cards can extend ROI into 2022

Prioritizing payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic

Business risk management for owners of small companies

Why retail merchandise returns will be a differentiator in 2022

How real-time inventory visibility can boost retail margins

How to start a photography business

Webinar: CSM corporation re-thinks AP

4 questions you should ask about your custodian

Refining your search for an insurance custodian

How to reward employees and teams who perform well

Evaluating interest rate risk creating risk management strategy

8 ways to increase employee engagement

Tools that can streamline staffing and employee management

Insource or outsource? 10 considerations

Payment industry trends that are the future of POS

Preparing for your custodian conversion

5 winning strategies for managing liquidity in volatile times

Easier onboarding: What to look for in an administrator

Business tips and advice for Black entrepreneurs

Empowering team members

10 tips on how to run a successful family business

Planning for restaurant startup costs and when to expect them

The growing importance of a strong corporate culture

4 restaurant models that aren’t dine-in

Strengthen your brand with modern POS technology

Putting home ownership within reach for a diverse workforce

Webinar: CRE technology trends

A simple guide to set up your online ordering restaurant

ePOS cash register training tips and tricks

Digital banking and cloud accounting software: How they work together

High-cost housing and down payment options in relocation

Checklist: What you’ll need for your first retail pop-up shop

Key considerations for online ordering systems

How iPads can help increase efficiency in your salon

Opening a business on a budget during COVID-19

5 affordable small business marketing ideas when you have no budget

Why ecommerce for small business strategy is integral

Omnichannel retail: 4 best practices for navigating the new normal

Is your restaurant Google-friendly?

3 simple brand awareness tips for your business

How a small business owner is making the workplace work for women

How increased supply chain visibility can combat disruptors

Technology strategies to complement your business plan

Meet your business credit card support team

How to apply for a business credit card

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.