Omnichannel platforms aren’t just for online businesses. Brick and mortar locations can also use omnichannel marketing platforms to drive new business. Consumers today do their research online before they head to a store. Therefore companies that utilize a digital storefront in tandem with their physical retail stores see an increase in their sales and customer loyalty.
When we studied the connection between online and brick-and-mortar stores, there are a lot of supporting facts that benefit a business with an online presence:
- A study that included 46,000 shoppers revealed that “only 7% were online-only shoppers and 20% were store-only shoppers.
- Omnichannel customers showed more value than their counterparts. Their spend was 4% at stores and 10% more on websites and mobile apps.
- It gets better for DTC online brands, as omnichannel customers spent 13% more at physical outlets than store-only shoppers.
- Also, omnichannel customers displayed higher customer loyalty, a whopping 23% more than a single channel customer.
Hence an omnichannel presence for primarily brick-and-mortar brands could be a massive enabler towards improving sales and customer loyalty. In an omnichannel environment, customers use multiple channels to shop during their retail journey and retail locations that include apps, websites, chat apps, and more.
Today we will look into the top ways to leverage omnichannel platforms to drive brick and mortar sales.
1. Expose your Local Inventory Digitally
With Omnichannel platforms such as Vizury, retail brands with brick and mortar operations can create digital storefronts on various digital channels such as web, mobile, and popular chat apps.
You can integrate Vizury Feedbus with your local inventory and connect it with your storefront app or website. This allows your customers to check out your product catalogs via their preferred digital channel before they even step into your store.
Additionally, this opens up various opportunities for your brands. Your potential customers can check out your product, book a store appointment, reserve it or order it online and pick it up at the store.
2. Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store
Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store(BOPIS) is one of the unique examples of omnichannel customer engagement. As the term suggests, brands can offer customers the option to make online purchases and collect them from a nearby store. This is a win-win strategy for both the brand and the customer as —
- The customer doesn’t need to pay for shipping.
- The product is readily available in hours rather than days
- Store visits and engagement improve as customers visit the store to collect their order
- Average order value and revenue generated from each store increases,
You can also check out our detailed blog on Buy Online, Pick-up In Store.
3. Taking the In-Store Experience Virtual
Logistics and availability aside, another major challenge faced by brick and mortar retailers face is maintaining that store experience alive in a virtual setting.
Before the pandemic, many retailers would host flash sales, in-store events, and workshops to encourage customers and foster specific experiences to define their store experiences. For example, Apple is known for its store seminars and workshops. Aimed at enabling creators and customers to utilize their Apple devices in the best way possible to create some of the most spectacular works of art, or take marvelous photographs, create new iOS and Mac apps, and more.
This is the space where Omnichannel marketing could be beneficial for innovative brands looking to virtualize store experiences. For example, one of the world’s leading watch brands has incorporated virtual clienteling via WhatsApp using omnichannel platforms to enable its customers’ shop with a store assistant through video calls in their nearby store. This helps the customers get a look and feel for the product in real life before deciding.
4. Connecting Experts with Consumers
One reason to visit retail stores has been meeting the store experts to guide us to buy the products best suited for our requirements and use-case.
On the other hand, while shopping online, customers rely on 3rd party sources to make an informed decision. For instance, if I am interested in buying a new MacBook — I have three options to choose from — a Macbook Air, a 13-inch MacBook Pro, or a 16-inch MacBook Pro. We need to factor in what matters more, whether it is long battery life, tons of storage space, fast graphical performance, and more.
And so begins the research — endless reading and asking on discussion forums, watching YouTube videos, asking your friends and colleagues.
Whereas if I can visit a nearby Apple Store, someone at their Genius Bar can help me decide in a few moments.
With Omnichannel marketing, we can stitch this experience together in a digital space. Omnichannel marketing allows brands to utilize WhatsApp, Messenger, email, and other conversational media to directly connect customers with product experts. So the next time you have a customer in a dilemma, you can just send them a push notification for a virtual 1:1 guidance session or an email to book a shopping session with an expert.
5. Putting the Product in Customers’ Hand Faster
Isn’t it annoying to see that the product you ordered will take five days to arrive at your home when you buy it online? Thankfully by integrating omnichannel retail with brick-and-mortar and mortar stores, leading brands have started offering customers the option to get their products delivered at a much shorter time.
With omnichannel integrations leading brands can —
- Offer convenient services such as try and buy during delivery.
- Offer customers the option to get the product delivered from their nearest store rather than wait for days to get it delivered.
- Offer virtual product trials and in-store experiences from the comfort of your couch.
These things are easy to implement. All a business requires is an online presence, like a website, a mobile app, or even a chat-based business account to enable their customers to interact with them via online channels.
You can learn more about it here.
Brick and Mortar Retail is Alive and Well
Retailers have always been engaged in the battle to find common ground between physical and online retail for years while balancing the increasing cost of maintaining their stores, especially during the pandemic. But they also understand that not all customers want just to shop online.
Today, modern consumers are looking for experiences that bridge both worlds, a mix of online and offline retail. The advantages for Omnichannel platforms that we just discussed are proven examples of why retailers need to focus on converging online and offline activities into a single approach to reap the benefits.