Suddenly, the word “omnichannel” is everywhere, especially if you’re a local business owner.

On its surface, the meaning of omnichannel is simple: it means reaching existing and potential customers across multiple channels. Depending on your business, your omnichannel strategy might vary a bit, though. Here are some examples:

Retailers

If you own a retail store, omnichannel commerce might mean setting up an online store to compliment your brick and mortar storefront. Your existing customers can buy your signature items without visiting you in person, and you can acquire new customers by advertising online.

Getting started is easy: many point of sale systems — including, potentially, the one you already use — have integrated e-commerce solutions that can help you build an online presence pretty quickly. In most cases, these integrated online stores will also help you manage your online and offline inventories in one place, so you don’t accidentally sell the last red shirt twice.

And if you’re using a point of sale system that doesn’t offer an ecommerce solution out of the box, you have a wide variety of options to choose from that’ll fit your design preferences, function, and budget.

Fast Casual Restaurants

If you’re a fast casual restaurant, for example, you could start accepting online, phone and delivery orders. Existing customers will have a new and convenient way to patronize your business, and many times these online ordering services also serve as a discovery platform that’ll introduce your restaurant to brand new customers that otherwise might never have visited.

In most cases, it’s unlikely that your existing point of sale system will have an in-house solution for delivery, but there might be one for takeout orders, so look at your app store. It’s possible that you’ll save a little money with an integrated solution, and it saves your staff from having to have multiple apps open at once, especially if you’re using an iPad-based point of sale system.

No matter what type of business you run, developing an omnichannel strategy should help you increase your sales. And Homebase can help you with free tools for your growing business: employee scheduling, timesheets, a time clock, and much more.

(Image via Flickr.)