Bridging the Gap Between Storefront, E-Commerce Sales
The line between in-store and online shopping has become increasingly blurred to the point where some retail industry watchers are predicting that Cyber Monday will soon overtake Black Friday. For the past several years, an increasing number of shoppers have been “showrooming” by visiting local businesses to research sales items before going online to compare prices and make a purchase.
This year, half of online shoppers “showroomed,” a Deloitte survey found. Meanwhile two-thirds of shoppers engaged in “reverse showrooming” or “webrooming,” meaning they researched items online before making a purchase locally to avoid the wait and costs associated with shipping. Today’s retailers must be prepared to compete for both in-store and online buyers. Here are four ways you can bridge the gap between your brick-and-mortar and e-commerce sales.
Capture Customer Contact Information
In order to integrate your in-store and online marketing, it’s vital to capture your customers’ contact information. For e-commerce retailers, this is second nature since order forms typically include fields for customer addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. Meantime, brick-and-mortar retailers tend to be less proactive about capturing shopper information. However, experts suggest several different ways to encourage customers to share their contact information during the checkout process.
So how can this best be achieved? Make customers feel comfortable sharing their information by mentioning that it’s optional. You can also offer discounts to customers for sharing their information. But make sure to provide options for opting out of different types of emails or texts to make customers feel they have some control over the promotional content they receive.
Target Mobile Customers
One way to get online customers into your store is by using mobile marketing techniques targeted at customers in specific locations. Geotargeting enables you to send promotions to consumers in designated geographical areas, allowing you to make offers that better appeal to area residents. Geofencing targets mobile users in a particular area defined by a virtual perimeter, letting you reach customers walking past your store. Meantime beaconing uses Bluetooth technology to target customers at very short ranges, letting you deliver ads targeted to your in-store customers. Use these techniques to deliver personalized offers to mobile buyers in your store’s vicinity.
Make Payments Easier
You can boost in-store sales from mobile buyers by making mobile payments easier for your customers. An estimated 54 percent of consumers have used mobile wallet payment methods, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Meanwhile big-box stores like Walmart have experimented with options like Scan & Go and its successor, the Walmart app, which enables customers to link their phone to a credit or debit card and then use their smartphone at checkout stands. In conjunction with this offer, Walmart has rolled out its Savings Catcher app, which let’s shoppers scan their receipt to compare prices against rival stores. They can then receive credit if any cheaper offers are found. Adopting these types tech solutions can help you capture more business from buyers who shop with their smartphones.
Integrate In-Store and Online Customer Service
Successfully integrating your online and in-store business also requires integrating your customer service. One effective way to do this is by adopting a cloud contact center solution like Aspect Zipwire, which provides a single platform for handling customer service issues. Adopting this type of cloud-based omni-channel solution will allow your customer service team to provide smoothly-integrated support, even if a conversation begins through online chat and transitions to a live phone call.
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