Etailers And Retailers Merge Online And Offline Shopping

Etailers And Retailers: Merging On And Offline Shopping With AnalyticsThey always say that things are best in moderation, right? So when the next big trend comes out, many refrain from being the first (because they don’t want to make the mistake) and from going all in because of the potential risk. You wait it out, then make the leap when it makes sense, or keep one foot in, and one foot out. Finding that moderation and balance could be the key to success.

When it comes to online stores, etailers ride the wave of selling online and reaping the benefits beyond brick and mortar retail stores and the added responsibilities physical stores must endure – rent, being in one location, physical security threats, etc.

However, now many etailers are using their data to implement a more solid side of the etail shops and finding a happy hybrid in maintaining online and opening real-life stores to satisfy shoppers using a multi-channel approach. A little of each, in moderation.

Is it working? Good question.

Famous etailers such as Kiddicare, a British internet-based baby specialist retailer, have broadened their selling tactics by opening mutiple retail locations to supplement their online shopping experience.

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Kiddicare realized that some of their products needed to be felt, touched, and tested prior to use and that works well in a store setting. Kiddicare’s goal is to allow and invite consumers to shop online and enjoy, but to also enter a store to touch and test the products, and receive the same customized treatment that they would receive while browsing from their laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

This is possible.

The activation of loyalty programs that collect mountains of data about individual shoppers can easily transfer into offline shops, providing a unique and customized experience for shoppers and making each step of the process more relevant.

For years, online retailers have provided on-screen options such as “suggested items” and used an algorithm to pair products with behaviors. While some shoppers coined as creepy, these functions are more often classified by consumers as helpful when they are engaged in their shopping experience.

Now, this is being brought to life offline.

Imagine if you stepped into one of the stores and associates are using tablets and smartphones. An associate approaches you and “checks you in” during your visit. After checking in and based on your previous shopping trips and online behaviors, the retailer offers you an instant discount or free product that you can redeem during your trip – not after, not the next time you come, but DURING this trip. He/she also suggests some products and shows you where to find them in the store. That is relevant.

As etailers and retailers are doing what they can to collect and use data to create effective and customized experiences for shoppers, ultimately leading to a better experience, increased sales, and customer satisfaction, they are walking the line of finding that balance and moderation between the on/offline experience. Once they strike the balance, they may also strike the gold.

  Discuss This Article

Comments: 3

  • Ian Laubscher says:

    Good article. Keep me informed.

    Let people buy CASH and they will buy more over time and the retailers will make more money. CREDIT only makes money for the bankers / wankers. I say this with full protection of my rights. If this is too difficult to understand, phone me on my cell, 083 448 0533.

  • The personalisation and tailoring of products & offers to each individual user is the key here.

    Although I believe that the future is empowering the user further, by allowing them to connect to an in-store system where they will then be presented with tailored suggestions themselves on their smart phones, as opposed to interacting with a sales assistant.

    Crossing over data between online and offline is definitely on the horizon, and is doubtlessly the future for retail.

  • I’ve been in retail for over 35 years and making product suggestions was always stock and trade for brick and mortar stores. There are some products that really need that human interaction-and online customer service is most likely unable to discuss personal insight regarding the best product for the situation. Straight salary or commission-the goal was to make sure the customer was happy with their purchase. When customers began to touch, feel and get those suggestions from sales staff and then go online to save the sales tax and maybe find it a couple of bucks cheaper businesses saw savings on their online sales but still had high overhead with their offline stores. With the potential correction regarding the collection sales tax to balance online and offline conditions and online stores doing the ready for pickup in a store – we are going full circle. We are finding that brick and mortar stores are still important and necessary to the shopping experience. One other thing – shop local.

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