We are living in a time when the line between online and offline retail is slowly blurring away. Till some time earlier, for traditional retail store owners, online retail was only an experiment. They built an online store only hoping and praying that it might increase their sales. But, eventually, time has brought us to a situation where offline without online sounds like an incomplete circle in a retail scenario.
Today, things have become even more interesting and it looks like we are traversing back on the path that we were earlier on. Online retailers today, are seen building offline stores for themselves in order to take advantage of both channels of sale. What’s making them do this? Nothing but the fact that customers are not ready to give up the touch-and-feel experience before they finally decide to sink money into something.
Are you thinking of ways to make your store more inviting than the others? Here are a few ways you can adopt to drive in more customers to your stores.
BOPS (Buy Online Pick up in-Store) functionality
This concept is being adapted very quickly by stores these days. Many online stores are travelling the opposite path and setting up brick-and-mortar shops for their online counterparts. This is because, although customers look for reasonable prices for products, they always want to have the touch-and-feel experience before making a purchase.
BOPS has actually led to an increase in footfall at stores as well as an increase in offline revenue. With gradual increase of stores that have an online and offline presence, people are more excited about choosing to buy online along with getting to experience the product offline.
For example, popular US retailer, Walmart, began this process of making the transaction online and picking up your goods at the nearest Walmart store. They started this initiative when they saw a drop in footfall to their stores. This online-offline integration has succeeded in improving business since then.
Webrooming is a phenomenon lately developed in shopping. It is the opposite of showrooming. It is the practice of researching items online and purchasing them in-store, as opposed to showrooming where people browse for items in a store and buy them online.
According to a survey done, nearly 75% of the people said that they would like to buy an item they researched online as they don’t want to pay for shipping or wait for the delivery. 37% of them said that they liked the idea of returning the item in-store rather than having to ship it back.
Stores used for showrooming alone
Customers are loving this concept. The reason being they don’t have to carry what they purchased along with them from the store. They get free shipping to their doorstep. Customers research the product online and come to the stores only to try them out.
This phenomenon is succeeding gradually in enticing people to buy from B&M stores.
Two good examples of successful stores that implemented this are US fashion brand Bonobos, and Hong Kong fashion retailer Zalora.
At Bonobos, only showrooming happens. The customer tries out what they want to buy and gets it shipped home. Zalora also implements the same practice.
Exploit the smartphone obsession
mCommerce is on the rise and in a big way! According to research, 75% of people use smartphones while in-store and 25% make a purchase from their mobiles while in-store. 3 out of 4 shoppers visit a nearby store after searching online about them. To the seller, this means, be online and have an inviting website.
There are various ways how smart phones can come as a rescue to omnichannel retailers.
The aforementioned example of the Hong Kong retailer Zalora is a good example of efficient utilization of smartphones. One will not find cash registers in Zalora. Customers are encouraged to scan a QR code to download the Zalora app to their Android or IOS device using the store’s WiFi. So, as and when a customer makes a purchase, he/she can comfortably make the transaction through their smartphone.
Another example is Bloomingadale’s, that places iPADs in “smart” changing rooms, enabling customers to request for different sizes and colors from within the room itself.
The Apple Store has also completely eliminated checkout counters and sales personnel with handheld smartphone devices help people with the billing.
Make local inventory ads
Create local ads online stating what all the customer can expect from the nearest of your physical stores.
Also, make sure to give maximum information about your store on your website, so that people get all the information they are looking for.
The infographic shown below shows the percentage of people that get motivated to come to a store based on the mentioned reasons. So, make sure you include all of these on your website.
Generate digital receipts
Research says that 45% of UK shoppers prefer to get digital receipts.
From the seller’s point of view, you get the opportunity to get more personal with your customers by obtaining their email IDs. This will help you understand customer purchase behavior, and hence, appropriately send them targeted advertising mailers and promotional mails.
64% of customers said that they are open to receiving more marketing content via their e-receipts.
Whenever there occurs any channel inconsistency, customers immediately recognize that. Shoppers are keen on browsing online even while in-store. So, no internet signal or poor WiFi strength can be a turn off for them. Similarly, easy checkout through smart phones and great service can all drive traffic into your stores.
Primaseller helps retailers have seamless integration between their online and offline channels of sale. Since today’s customer demands integration of both, we help sellers have an efficient inventory sync of both. We also process orders and have many relevant features which will help sellers have an easy time managing stores.