The evolution of the physical store
Being a retailer in the digital age is no easy feat, no longer are you up against just local area competitors. Buyer’s movements to online shopping are changing the retail economy, putting pressure on retailers to broaden their reach with an online presence to support their brick and mortar stores. Taking on the global online market place means coming up against major players the likes of; Amazon, Walmart, Temple & Webster, Apple, Groupon and The Iconic and so many more. Whether an established brand or a new arrival, retailers need to influence the purchase decision to gain exposure, build their customer base and retain customers.
Although there are certain sub-groups that prefer to shop mainly online, stores provide customers with the opportunity to interact with products, try items on, touch, feel, smell and experience tangible goods. Customers who shop in store are more likely to purchase; with greater opportunity to connect emotionally with the product, there is less access to competitive products, sales people are more easily able to interact with customers and impulse purchases are more likely. It is important that retailers leverage the online digital experience and continue the experience in store.
The real magic happens when brands provide a single, seamless shopping experience
By addressing online and in store as an integrated journey, the strengths of both channels can be leveraged and are more powerful than separate disparate channels. As retailers are building online communities and tracking buyer behaviours, they can carry online learnings through to the in store environment.
Iconic Australian department store Myer are a great example of a retailer that was able to turn around a declining sales trajectory with a multi-channel strategy that included a variety of different digital channels to focus consumer traffic towards the in store brand experience. After recent successes including the ‘Christmas Giftorium’ campaign, Myer have announced their plans for a continued overhaul to drive stronger in store customer experiences through digital.
Using digital to drive customers in store
Using digital channels such as email, social media and apps to generate awareness, brands can then entice consumers with coupons and promotions redeemable in store. Collecting path-to-purchase consumer insights through these promotions also helps retailers quantify the ROI for digital marketing campaigns across channels, providing a holistic view of how digital engagement drives in store revenue.
Taylors Wines are a great example of how multiple rewards and offerings can be communicated through digital channels to encourage customers in store to redeem.
Civic are a great example of how a mature brand can reinvigorate customers with ongoing email campaigns that include an embedded barcode. Customers redeem the barcode in store with the option to print or show on the scannable barcode on their mobile.
In store technology improves experience
In store technology allows customers to easily access information they need resulting in higher transactions. Once in store the use of technology can be continued, offering a streamlined customer experience to assist at point of sale, continuing the customer journey and tracking movement through data.
One example of successful in store technology is a large furniture manufacturer who is using an app (developed by Traction Digital) with drag and drop function to build furniture design layouts for customers. The app allows in store sales staff to easily build on the spot mock ups of floor plans, change colour schemes and automatically calculate costs to build quotes. This is used as a consulting tool between sales staff and customer and quotes can also be sent to customers via email when they leave the store. This process has the added bonus of collecting customer data that can later be used to follow up on sales and continue engagement.
Loyalty campaigns are a great way to track buyer behaviour both online and in store. The data collected provides insights into purchase habits that can be used to improve the overall customer experience. Rewarding customers creates a positive customer interaction and experience, encourages reciprocal behaviour, with customers are more likely to return for more!
Successfully integrating digital with real world experience through promotions, lifecycle emails, loyalty campaigns and building custom digital solutions such as in store apps has enabled many brands to improve the customer journey, acquire new customers, build subscribers and amplify sales online and in store.
The point of sale (POS) experience
Continue to blur the lines between offline and online for a true cross channel experience. Consult with POS experts who can advise on strategy, design and creation for in store signage, interactive media, catalogues, commercials, and how best to leverage every opportunity with in store swell times and high traffic zones.