For years now, omnichannel has become a buzzword in the retail industry and has been somewhat synonymous with digital transformation. Now, there is more urgency as traditional merchants need to place more emphasis on technology, e-commerce and integrated online and offline during COVID-19.

Shopify has launched  an update point-of-sale (POS) system for the post-COVID retail landscape. Also, Yelp introduced some new features that will help local business owners compete in a new, more virtual economy.

Among the long list of Yelp updates discussed in its blog post were:

  • Virtual Service Offerings: an icon that appears in search results to help businesses providing online services such as classes, tutorials, consultations to be more easily identified. There’s also a filter
  • Surfacing takeout, curbside pickup: Yelp is prompting users on the homepage to discover restaurants that offer takeout and now has additional filters for restaurant takeout and delivery options. It will soon be doing the same for curbside pickup.
  • Yelp Collections will offer lists of open, relevant businesses (curated by Yelp’s community team).
  • Yelp Connect is available as a free tool to communicate updates to customers of individual businesses
  • Better COVID banners (available for free and in any category) for business pages to communicate critical information
  • New Business Highlights with COVID-friendly categories such as curbside pickup, giftcards, remote services. These are icons that appear on the business profile.
  • Yelp for Business improved: The company also introduced a new version of Yelp for Business, with a better UI and more data for business owners.

Yelp is trying to enable restaurants and service businesses to effectively move into omnichannel fulfillment, and Shopify is trying out a similar tactic for SMB retailers who are desperate for help right now.

Shopify released an updated point-of-sale (POS) system integrates both online and offline sales capabilities, orders and payments into “one unified customer experience.” This new POS is full of useful features, which can enable merchants to serve online, in-store or curbside customers in a flexible way.

These features includes:

  1. App integration
  2. More “actionable insights on store performance
  3. “Reporting” and mobile checkout for in-store or curbside usage.

Shopify said that “merchants who connected their online and in-store sales with Shopify POS saw revenue increase by 30% year over year.” It added that the company has recently seen a “10-fold increase in retail stores on Shopify adapting to social-distance selling by offering local delivery or buy-online-pickup-in-store.”

SourceGreg Sterling