Bridging the Online/Offline Gap With Shopify POS


From Shop Pay's availability on external checkouts to numerous investments in B2B and POS, Shopify is no longer zeroing in on e-commerce but looking at the entire customer journey and how they can play a role in creating an integrated commerce experience. So, I'm not surprised we're seeing an uptick in interest from our clients in Shopify's B2B and POS offerings. They're eager to simplify and integrate channels, and Shopify is working to make it easy.

In a recent informal interview with a product manager from Nosto, an e-commerce personalization engine, they asked me about trends we're seeing with our clients, and I mentioned POS. Naturally, we went on to talk about the future of personalization, and I started thinking about where POS could play a role.

While the ideas are simple by e-commerce standards, it's exciting to think about how, when applied to POS, they could level up the in-person experience for customers and drive results for brands.

Here are some scenarios for a clothing or accessories brand.

Online to Offline

I find myself increasingly more interested in shopping online because of the ease of discovering new products, filtering through collections, and so on. Sometimes, I'll research before I head into a store or even pull up the website while shopping. I love the idea of more connectivity between my activity online and my experience in-store.

  • Imagine when a store attendant asks you if you need assistance, and they pull up your account (if you have one). They can proactively help you with styling advice and sizing information through past online purchases, recently viewed products and any other preferences you've shared.
  • Upon checkout, the cashier can identify an abandoned e-commerce cart and let you know the items are available in the store to try on. Maybe they offer a discount for completing checkout, depending on what's holding you back.
  • Or the cashier can see your wish list. When they scan your items, they can suggest complementary products you have saved and offer a discount to add them to your purchase.

Offline to Online

There are also opportunities to use the offline experience to drive online behavior and improve that experience. If you've ever been to NYC, you know how much foot traffic the pop-ups downtown get. I can imagine many of these are new customers. Getting their email at checkout is a start, but there's more potential.

  • If you ask a store attendant for help, they pull up your customer account if you have one, and if not, they get your email to create one. They take note of items you're interested in or trying on, much like viewing them online.
  • At checkout, the cashier can see the items you were interested in but didn't buy. Let's assume you've been there for a while, so they ask if you'd like to review them before you checkout, a potential AOV booster.
  • One of the strategies I love for driving repeat purchases is offering a discounted post-purchase gift card via Rebuy. After checkout, the cashier could do the same but encourage you to shop online. Perhaps you're prompted to answer a few post-purchase questions to receive the gift card. These responses are attached to your customer profile which sits in Klaviyo and can be used for future personalized experiences.
  • A day or so later, you receive an email showing you some of the items you didn't purchase in-store but were interested in, along with some similar items.

It's no secret there's a lot of innovation happening in this space. I remember the first time I went to my local Amazon Fresh, pulled up my shopping list on the Alexa app, could see where items were in the store, checked out via my cart, and walked out. Unbelievable, but believable. However, I like the simplicity of these ideas and think about them more as thought starters for what's possible and accessible. For brands leveraging Shopify for e-commerce and POS, they feel like a natural way to level up the omnichannel experience.


This post originally appeared in #60 of The E-Commerce Corner. Subscribe here.

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