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As you might’ve already realized, brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going anywhere. And let’s face it; it’s been a roller coaster ride. Back in 2016-2017, when online retail was skyrocketing, everyone predicted that offline retail would soon be dead. But brick-and-mortar stores survived.
Then COVID-19 displayed its wrath, and it was almost certain that now brick-and-mortar stores won’t make it through. And yet, offline stores are standing tall.
This series of events makes it clear that in-store retail won’t disappear. Therefore, retail businesses will need to adapt and sell both online and offline.
Here’s why every retail business should adopt eCommerce integration with offline stores.
Improved Customer Perception
While many think GenZ and millennials tend to shop online from the best shopping store, research shows different results. Studies suggest that younger customers are shopping from brick-and-mortar stores more frequently than older adults. Although the reason for this change may vary, one thing is crystal clear – perception.
Consumers don’t want to buy from a vendor that has no physical presence. When a retailer has a presence, it enhances the credibility of the business. Similarly, customers don’t want to shop from vendors who only sell offline. With the COVID-19 pandemic in hindsight, customers want the luxury to shop online.
All in all, customers prefer shopping both online and offline as per their requirements. Therefore, brands need to adapt. One of the fully integrated eCommerce platforms benefits is that you can provide an omnichannel experience to your customers. This will help you create a positive perception and provide greater customer satisfaction.
Cross Channel Insights
Some retailers might look at the downside that more channels mean more data to process. But on the positive side, it means more information about your customers. And the more information you have, the more likely you’ll be able to satisfy your customers’ demands.
Integration with eCommerce platforms allows you to get accurate customer data from both channels. Let’s say you want to determine which products customers prefer to purchase online and offline. With online-offline integration, you can get real-time insights into both your online and offline retail channels.
Besides, you can also derive operational reports, like:
- Product report
- Inventory report
- Warehouse report
- Order status
- Payment method
- Shipping method
- Customer reports
Personalized Customer Experience
Personalization has been an unremitting trend in e-commerce, and it’ll continue to stay. Close to 70% of real customers believe personalization is a major influence on their purchase decision. Customers want individualized experiences. People tend to shop online when they see clothes like jackets as reference with matching t-shirt.
Integrating eCommerce into websites helps you provide a personalized experience. Let’s say a customer purchased a pair of Adidas Superstar sneakers from your offline store. You can collect that information and store it in your system.
You can then check if the customer also uses your app or e-commerce site. If he does, you can send him personalized recommendations based on his in-store purchase.
Online store integration allows you to give your customers multiple shopping options. They can shop from the app, website, or they can walk in the store. Therefore, you don’t have to limit your selling abilities to one channel only.
This way, you can target both customer segments – online buyers and offline shoppers. Not only does this provide more visibility, but it opens more selling opportunities. As a result, you’ll be able to make more sales and generate greater profits.
Enhanced Customer Retention
Retail businesses often make this mistake. They put all their focus on acquiring new customers and overlook their existing customers.
Of course, new customers are essential, but existing customers tend to bring more revenue. Research suggests that 20% of customers account for more than 80% of revenue for a retail business. Therefore, every retail business needs to focus on retaining its customers.
Integrating online and offline retail provides you with a dive into your customers’ journey. Therefore, you can identify your customers’ problems, requirements, and preferences and fulfill them accordingly. As a result, you’ll be able to offer a seamless customer experience and retain more customers. Online shopping websites with a lot more products and integration with offline retail will evern over.
Marketing and Advertising Content
Retail brands that sell on multiple channels fail to send out a consistent marketing message. This leads to discrepancies and can hurt your overall brand reputation. eCommerce website integration with offline stores, on the other hand, ensures your marketing message remains consistent across all channels.
Let’s understand this with a quick example. Let’s say you’re launching a new marketing campaign for your all-new range of athleisure clothing. Your e-commerce site sends out a message that the products are mainly for young adults looking to get a reap body. But your store sends a message that you’re targeting middle-aged adults looking to lose fat.
Since you’re trying to target two different markets, customers will get confused if the product is for them or not. As a result, you’ll lose customers, and your sales will plunge. But when you adopt an omnichannel approach, you’ll be able to keep your message consistent across all channels.
Most retail businesses are stuck in the loop of customers, sales, and profits. Rarely do these businesses find themselves looking into their operations. Though the retail business is mostly automated and customer-centric, efficient operations are equally crucial. Integrated eCommerce websites with offline stores enhance business productivity in several ways.
Let’s say you have a telemarketing team trying to close deals online. With an omnichannel dashboard, your agents will be able to access customer interactions on multiple channels. Thus, they’ll be able to understand customer preferences, which will help facilitate cross-selling and upselling.
Lastly, offline-online integration helps increase your revenue. As discussed, omnichannel selling helps you sell both in-store and online. You can attract customers who shop online as well as those who shop offline. So, it helps you make more sales. Besides, it also increases customer retention. As a result, your revenue grows.
Online-offline retail integration has many benefits, both for retailers and customers. It helps you create a unified business ecosystem where your customers can shop from wherever they want. At the same time, it helps you make your business operations more efficient and productive.