CEO Jeff Thorness keynotes at this year’s CNP Expo.

Forte Payment Systems’ CEO, Jeff Thorness, was one of this year’s distinguished keynote speakers at the CNP Expo, May 19-22 in Orlando, Florida. Presented by CardNotPresent.com, the CNP Expo is a forum for groundbreaking innovations and steadfast contributions to the card-not-present industry.

In case you missed it, the keynote focused on the biggest buzzword in payments and retail: omni-channel. Titled “Omnichannel: More than a buzzword,” Thorness explored some of the finer details of the definition.

Omni-channel is typically understood as a strategy for boosting sales by adding new channels, like online stores or mobile payments, to business. However, as Thorness points out, it’s much more: “The real goal is to enable engagement with your customers through as many channels as possible, then to empower them with the same capabilities across each of these channels.”

In this way, retailers need to be ready to do more than just sell. They better be ready to provide comprehensive and seamless support functions, like customer care and returns, as well. By doing so, retailers are able to capitalize on a big benefit of omni-channel: building customer loyalty.

But there are two main challenges to omni-channel, according to Thorness. The first is synchronization of data. The second is the integration of back-office technologies across all of the channels. It’s a bit easier for larger companies with centralized data centers, but even they have their hiccups.

So what’s the answer? Successful omni-channel strategies will need to address these challenges head on with a tri-fold strategy involving centralized cloud storage, payment gateways, and RFID technologies, stated Thorness.

The keynote also featured a cameo by some drones and another friendly character (see below/click to expand). Be sure to make it to next year’s expo for the full experience!

amazon-drones-attack

For more information on the CNP Expo, go here. You can follow Jeff Thorness (@JeffThorness) on Twitter right here.

Photo credit: Ernest Duffoo

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