The holidays are quickly approaching, which means you have to start considering the things you want to purchase and gift to your loved ones. If you’re anything like me, you tend to wait until the last minute on too many of these purchases.
How we go about making our purchases has changed over the years. The eCommerce space has allowed small businesses to enter the fray of shopping, Amazon is a go-to online marketplace for purchase at any time, but retail can still experience success with shoppers flocking to malls and superstores to get their last-minute gifts quickly.
Is there really a right approach to being a presence during the holiday shopping season? There is such a large number of people using the internet to make their purchases, so if you are not in the eCommerce space and selling online, you probably are falling behind. That’s why people turn to us at Genius eCommerce for help. We know eCommerce. It’s what we do! And we are focused on helping people stay in the know so they can achieve success in the eCommerce space.
That said, some eCommerce merchants also own a brick-and-mortar retail store, and there can be benefits to combining your efforts both online and offline.
Today, I’m going to look at the ways you can bring online and offline retail together and have success in both spaces.
Whether you are shopping online or in a retail store, experience is everything. It is in the most mundane activities. If you go to the movies and don’t have a good experience, you’ll probably tell somebody about it. That’s important to remember in the customer experience. A good experience may get you a recommendation from a customer to a friend and bring in one new customer. A bad experience will likely spread like wildfire and stop 10 people from choosing you without even taking the time to try.
Always consider the customer experience in both spaces. You want your in-store experience to be about customer service and efficiency, because, after all, this involves dealing with the customer directly in the flesh. But your online experience matters just as much. You need a design that is both pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate. Your website should provide minimal to no frustration for potential customers.
Your online store and retail store shouldn’t be separate entities either. Take the features that you have online and bring them into retail and vice versa. Allow customers who purchase online in your area to pick up in-store. You can offer customers who do purchase in store the option for home delivery. Bringing a few small features from online to retail can make a big difference in how your customers view your service.
If you are strictly an online retailer, that doesn’t mean you should shut the door on the possibility of selling in a physical space. Pop-up stores are becoming more and more popular for merchants who want to test out the retail experience. The cool part is that pop-ups are temporary, so there isn’t a long-term commitment and customers get a chance to see a tangible product and try it out before making a purchase. It creates a new way to connect with customers and get to know your customer base better. Knowledge is power. The more you know about your customer, the better prepared you are to take the correct steps in your marketing in the future.
Combining your efforts in both the online and offline space creates new opportunities. That’s a big part of running a business. There are always new things on the horizon and discovering them is part of the adventure.
There is also an expectation from customers. Business owners need to consider the times when they are in the customer’s shoes. What kind of experience do you expect? You want the best; you want to feel like the business cares about you. Just because you operate in both eCommerce and retail doesn’t mean you can neglect one for the other. Time needs to be dedicated to both to show that all customers matter and are cared for.
Bringing these two worlds together is a way to increase customer engagement and add value to the customer. So start considering these ideas today and see the results!
For more tips, tricks, trends and news in eCommerce, stay with Genius eCommerce. We are experts in all things eCommerce so you stay up to date and informed. We are here to help you because eCommerce is what we do and it’s who we are. Check out more in the Genius eCommerce blog.