If there’s one key takeaway from the explosive popularity of eCommerce, it’s that retail can be incredibly successful when it’s carried out on a hyper-personal level.
Shoppers love feeling like their favorite stores and brands truly understand their wants and needs. It’s a mission that’s easier to fulfill when armed with an arsenal of eCommerce data, so how can physical retail stores bring that same online experience offline?
Creating a Connected Shopping Experience
Today, retailers need to focus on bridging the gap between the online and in-store shopping experience, because their customers crave continuity. Many want to research all of their options online from the comfort of their couch before going to the store to make their final purchase, for example. According to the E-Commerce Times, “Retailers have to court these omnichannel customers, because they are not mythical beasts.” Further, customers who visit a brand’s store and website spend four times as much as customers who only visit one of the two.
If retailers can connect these two worlds they’ll have created an omnichannel customer experience that brings in profits.
Integrating online features into the brick-and-mortar experience
One of the key components to bringing more of the online shopping experience into the store is integrating online features directly into the store itself. Here are some features that retailers are already having success with:
- Mobile Self-Checkout. Customers can use apps on their smartphone that allow them to scan product QR codes without having to reach for their wallet. Apple has had success with this method, and Wal-Mart is still testing the idea out.
- Use Digital Signage. One way to easily engage with in-store customers is the use of digital posters. They can be updated quickly, they aren’t costly, and they can have a sizable impact on customer perception. E-Commerce Times offers a great suggestion: “Why not transport your customers to their holiday destination with huge life-like images on the screen? Excite them with real-time weather reports from nearby ski resorts or the beach.”
- In-store Pickup. Our last suggestion is the simplest — just allow your customers to shop online and pick their items up at your retail location. It’s a small step toward creating a seamless shopping experience, and it just might inspire you to experiment more.
The best way to merge the eCommerce experience with your physical storefronts is to simply bring some of your online tactics offline. When retailers do eCommerce they’re constantly testing, tweaking, and improving the user experience. Use that same data-minded approach to improve the in-store customer experience, and you’re far more likely to be successful.