THE OFFLINE RETAILER: How retailers can integrate a better shopper experience online and offline
Even though a large portion of the population still prefers to shop in store — as much as 90%, in fact — retailers can still do wonders for their brand by connecting with their shoppers online. Whether you’re a retailer with an offline and online store, or you’re looking to connect with your shoppers via digital pathways, there are several ways you can craft a better shopping experience for your shoppers in the combined offline and online worlds.
Firstly, your brand has to be recognised by your shoppers, wherever it may be. There’s no point wielding an online identity if your offline presence doesn’t match your online presence. Creating an online presence means offering your shoppers the same experience online they’ve come to love offline. Whether it’s on social media, through Store Discovery Optimisation or via messaging apps, creating the same offline personality with matching logos, colours and your brand’s unique voice will ensure shoppers a unified shopping experience.
The non-human touch
In today’s fast-paced market, retailers are recognising that shoppers are less concerned about connecting on a human level when shopping for a new pair of shoes and more concerned with speed and convenience. Shoppers are in a hurry, and it’s up to retailers to counter this fact with a more advanced shopping experience.
Swifter transactions, customisable shopping options, in-store beacon technologies, and more purchasing channels to choose from are tools retailers can use to integrate a smoother shopping experience that connects the offline and online worlds. But what about human interaction? Integrating digital technologies in your offline store doesn’t necessarily mean the end of human interaction. Take Sephora for example. Earlier this year the beauty retailer launched Chatbot on the KiK messaging app in order to bond with its shoppers on a digital level. Shoppers who connect with Sephora via KiK will be treated to instant beauty tips, videos and quizzes on their mobile phone. While these shoppers are not actually chatting to a human, the connection Sephora is creating is certainly a personal one and is helping to drive more shoppers in-store or to complete a purchase online.
The freedom to browse anywhere
With today’s shoppers more consumed with their mobile phones than ever before, retailers have the opportunity to tap into one of the most useful marketing tools around. Mobile shopping-related searches have increased by 120% from 2014–2015, which means that the majority of shoppers are connecting with brands online before shopping in-store.
Retailers eager to make the most of this digital trend should ensure that they are discoverable online and can be browsed by their shoppers on any device and in any location. Along with creating a responsive site that will appeal to the masses, make sure that all shopping-related details are up-to-date such as product information, shopping hours, shopping locations, and additional social interaction tools.