Technology and digital marketing have radically changed eCommerce. So much, that we can talk about “Everywhere Commerce”, which means available both online and offline.
When entering a shop as a customer, we always have expectations: to satisfy our needs, to receive adequate answers to our doubts, to have the possibility to be updated on news and latest arrivals, but also to have access to a WiFi connection, order online with the ability to pick up in the store or pay via smartphone app.
So, as eCommerce owner, how can you meet the audience expectations? Read the following suggestions to increase sales by integrating online and offline strategies.
From Digital to Physical Store and from Retail to eCommerce
According to the latest research conducted by BigCommerce:
- 51% of Americans prefer to shop online in 2018;
- 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone;
- 56% of Gen Xers & 67% of Millennials prefer to shop on online rather than in-store.
- 51% of Americans think shopping online is the best way to shop, with 49% preferring shopping in-store.
Following the research data, we can find out how to make customers shopping experience unique, using digital tools to get in touch, build loyalty and increase sales.
1. Multi-channel: Reach Your Audience With Different Channels
The use of multiple communication channels is a widespread strategy, most of all thanks to the habit of using marketing techniques such as emails, social media or even text messages.
Email remains the most popular channel (68% of companies), followed by social media (42%) and text messages (14%).
In general, it is a good strategy to communicate with customers in diverse ways, to reach them through different channels and to be able to capture their attention at the right time and with the right message.
2. Use Social Networks and Provide Useful Information
Companies have learned that social channels can be a powerful weapon to acquire customers and promote brand and products.
According to the research, approximately 30% of online shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase from a social media network like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Snapchat.
Although it is rarer to find pages and accounts dedicated to individual outlets – while corporate ones are customary, social media has become one of the favorite channels for brands, which use it interactively, providing information and encouraging product evaluation by users. Basically a true customer care tool.
3. Communicate, Play and Reward: From Digital to Physical Store
The top three factors that are very or extremely influential in determining where Americans shop are price (87%), shipping cost and speed (80%) and discount offers (71%).
SEM campaigns, contest and gamification have entered into normal customer acquisition strategies and companies can use them to bring customers from digital to the physical store.
For example, rewarding users by taking actions on eCommerce to get discounts or pick up gadgets in offline stores.
4. From Offline Store to eCommerce
The reverse operation, which aims to direct the customer from the physical to the online store is not yet equally incentivized. Brands can use marketing actions within the stores, for example, channeling promotions to the eCommerce site.
Even though more and more digital information tools, like totems and tablets, are present in the stores, they are not yet a generalized habit.
Approximately 60% of companies have an eCommerce or make sales on the Internet, but only 45% say that the offline channel is integrated online, while only 29% companies have adopted different payment systems from the cash desk. The possibility to accept credit cards in-store, on the go, and everywhere in between will increase your changes to make more sales.
Studying dedicated promotions and providing customers with support tools to complete purchases within stores can be a great way to strategically integrate sales online and offline.
5. Customers Segmentation to Keep in Touch
Many companies collect users information in-store by filling forms, while also web applications can be used. 57% of respondents said they send personalized communications, also thanks to customers segmentation after the first purchase, with promotions or suggestions, based on the user’s profile or preferred products.
Collecting emails, building a newsletter and sending personalized offers can become a powerful weapon to increase eCommerce sales.
Erik is a freelance writer and social media marketer. He’s making a living online working on NoPassiveIncome.