We’re excited to reveal our first partner blog post with Lindsay Kolinsky, Partner Marketing Manager at Okendo. Read on for key takeaways in how to bridge the gap between offline and online experiences in today’s current climate.
The pandemic has forced retailers to think about how they engage with customers both online and offline - here’s how to do it justice
Covid-19 has forced a lot of retail brands to move online. Shops were closed and people were stuck at home, creating a surge of online traffic. Despite the shift to online, it’s still important for brands to drive in-store traffic since it takes the lion’s share of revenue for brands with a brick-and-mortar store. But how do you balance the two? The key is understanding the importance of brand loyalty and creating a consistent experience whatever channel the customer is using.
Instead of thinking about online and offline as two completely separate entities, the physical store should become an extension of the online experience. In fact, they work best when you leverage the benefits of each. For example, online sales give retailers important data insights they can use to increase in-store sales and improve customer experience. And remember, consumers still crave connections with the brands they buy from. In-person touch points are key in tailoring the shopping experience for each individual.
1. Location-based marketing
Location-based marketing targets people who are in the vicinity of your store. You can target nearby shoppers using geo-tracking data to determine when they’re close, and serve up personalised recommendations and content when they’re nearby.
You can use data captured from geo-tracking to improve your location-based marketing and tap into online data to create unique experiences for shoppers on the go.
2. Frictionless in-store experiences
In-store experiences are still very important, as it’s often the first impression a new customer will have of your brand, so it’s key that you make it enjoyable from the start.
Why not use tech and digital activities to create a better in-store experience? For example, you can implement tablets that let shoppers browse your product catalog, self-checkouts, and digital personal assistants. Beauty brand Sephora uses digital tech to assist shoppers in-store. Beauty lovers are able to engage with product reviews, explore the brand’s full product range, and test makeup products using facial recognition and AR.
On top of this, 82% of customers consult their smartphone when making a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store. Use this opportunity to serve them personalised recommendations to enhance the in-store experience.
3. Use data to drive in-store sales
Online retailers have access to huge amounts of consumer data. They can use this to personalise the online shopping experience by predicting when a consumer needs a new product or serving up personalised product recommendations based on past shopping behaviour. Tools like Shopify help retailers collect and organise this information into helpful dashboards like the one pictured below:
Retailers can also use this information to approach in-store activities. For example, showcasing different products based on what’s popular in a certain location.
Drive in-store sales with data by digging into online campaigns and keywords to see what activities drive the most store visits. Then, you can adjust your budgets to target the most impactful keywords that convert in-store shoppers - this goes a long way in building customer loyalty.
4. Follow up in-store visits
It’s important to remember that the shopping experience doesn’t end when a customer steps foot out of your store. This is an opportunity for you to swoop in with online campaigns to keep them warm until they’re ready to buy again.
Collect customer information in-store and continue the experience online with email marketing campaigns, product recommendations with added social proof, and exclusive offers. You can also send review request emails for products purchased in-store - Okendo supports this if you’re using Shopify POS and collecting an email address, a name, and marking in-store orders as fulfilled and paid. Here’s a sample Okendo review request sequence below:
5. Online and offline rewards programs
Reward programs work regardless of how your customers choose to shop. As well as providing online discounts to customers that come back time and time again, offer incentives to encourage customers to come in-store too. This will help build a personal relationship with customers and create a hybrid online/offline experience.
Why not take it one step further and reward customers that regularly shop in-store with a free gift, money off, or points they can spend in-store next time they visit? Building an online community can happen offline, too.
Retailers today have a difficult task on their hands. Marrying up online and offline activities isn’t easy, especially since the pandemic has increased the amount of competition. However, these tactics will help bridge the gap, creating a seamless experience both online and offline. Okendo can help you collect reviews and social proof to serve potential customers who visit you in-store as well as those who interact with your brand online.
Author: Lindsay Kolinsky, Partner Marketing Manager, Okendo
Okendo is THE customer review platform for fast growing Shopify brands. An Official Google Reviews partner and trusted by 3,500+ high-growth consumer brands such Netflix, SKIMS and Bite, Okendo has all the tools brands need to capture and showcase high-impact social proof through the online buying journey. Learn more about our unique review capture process, blazing fast display widgets and extensive Klaviyo integration at www.okendo.io.