The brick-and-mortar stores across the world went through a few disruptions in the past three decades. Physical stores were the most sought after places for shoppers until these changes came. The customers’ shopping habits saw a transition as ecommerce retailers, and online shopping started gaining pace.
The year 2020 deteriorated the situation further due to the global CoViD-19 pandemic impact. Most countries imposed regulations to discourage social interactions and physical exchanges of products to contain the disease. As cases surged and countries went into lockdown, retail businesses were heavily impacted due to lower footfalls. The CoViD-19 caused the retail market to decline by 5.1% in the US, twice that was experienced during the 2009 economic slowdown.
However, as normalcy is returning at a snail’s pace, the footfall in retail stores is still nowhere near the usual. On the other hand, online commerce is still going strong. Statistics show that 42% of the US population has bought groceries online in March 2020 because of CoViD-19, almost double the value since March 2018.
Other than the disruptors, some additional problems cause bringing back users to the physical stores difficult too. So, let me help you identify these issues and find a solution to improve your brick-and-mortar stores’ revenue generation.
The Need Of The Hour: Online to Offline Commerce for brick-and-mortar stores
As the line between online and offline retail is blurring by the day, physical retailers need to realign their strategy to remain competitive. Online commerce made people realize that they could buy any product and get them delivered at their doorstep, and avail massive discounts and lucrative offers. Studies say that Ecommerce had grown from 5.1% of total retail purchases more than ten years ago to almost 16% in 2019.
To remain in the fray, you need to realign your marketing strategies. Few enhancements like personalization, tracking the marketing efforts, tech-enablement, and understanding the customers’ preferences can work wonders. Besides, you can leverage the benefits of online engagement without closing down the physical store even.
The technique through which you can start online engagement for your brick-and-mortar store customer is known as Online to Offline commerce (O2O). It helps you harness online channels’ benefits and improve your communication with customers to bring them back to the store. Moreover, it can help you to enhance the intensity of your marketing message. Thus, you can optimize your marketing budgets and measure the impact you create by tracking the footfall in your store that occurs due to the campaigns you are running.
Adopting online to offline is relatively straightforward. To emphasize the ease of implementing O2O, let me show you an infographic. It shows some of the ways you can enable offline to online to improve your sales through digital engagements.
Benefits of online-to-offline shopping
Online to offline commerce has several benefits. It can help you to streamline your marketing activities and understand the performance of each campaign. It also enables you to visualize your customers’ journey through the marketing funnel, thus improving your chances of getting them converted. Besides, having online engagement channels helps you to provide a better user experience to your customers.
Some more benefits of enabling O2O are:
- Minimize contact and time spent at the brick-and-mortar store through prior appointment setup for in-store/curbside pickup
- Reduce e-commerce drop-offs by providing an alternative path to purchase
- Utilize CRM channels to run campaigns and drive repeat purchases with web and app-push, in-app, email, SMS, and retargeted advertising
- Track footfalls to measure growth and ROAS
Before we wrap up our conversation here, let me give you a summary of the blog:
- CoViD-19 was a major disruptor for physical retail businesses. But even without the pandemic, bringing back customers to the brick-and-mortar stores has been a concern.
- Liquidating the in-store inventory is necessary to avoid heavy losses.
- Lack of seamless buying experience for Generation Z and millennials affecting business
- Lack of personalization and online presence affecting marketing communications
- Retailers can bring back customers and improve revenue generation through online-to-offline engagements.
- O2O helps in enabling click and collect at stores
- Provides seamless communication to the customers to give them the latest product information
- Expose in-store inventory online to interested customers
- Improves the scope of proximity marketing
- Minimize contact and time spent at the store through prior appointment setup for in-store/curbside pickup – lesser hassles, less queue, faster sales process
- Reduce ecommerce drop-offs by providing an alternative path to purchase – omnichannel fulfillment, clienteling, reduction in cart abandonment
- Utilizing CRM channels to run campaigns and drive repeat purchases with web and app-push, in-app, email, SMS, and retargeted advertising – reduction in new user acquisition cost, upselling and cross-selling opportunities, cross-channel personalization
- Track footfall to measure growth and ROAS using in-store analytics to identify conversion rate, identification of actual revenue realization, understanding conversion bottlenecks, omnichannel growth.
Are you looking to drive more sales in-store with personalized digital engagement and online-to-offline commerce? Please write to us at [email protected], or visit our website.