As online shopping continues to grow, and with consumers now feeling more comfortable to make purchases online, it’s difficult to ignore online shopping if you’re a bricks and mortar store operator.

HOWEVER, the brick-and-mortar stores are re-igniting too.

In-store experience is getting more and more attention to ensure customers want to visit the shop, just as much as they want to enjoy the convenience of shopping at home in their pyjamas.

As a business owner, you may be asking yourself “Should I be implementing e-commerce in my business?”

Well, the answer is simple and it is a big YES!

But, don’t be fooled, the challenge isn’t in going online. The real challenge lives in how to create ‘WOW’ moments through connecting with shoppers in-store and online, creating a seamless shopping experience.

Mix your online and offline tactics together for a win/win WOW!

Why it is important to take an integrated approach?

  • Online shopping is increasing each year, and the customer journey is changing. Customers don’t just shop in one place or the other: they use a mixture of both (trying something on in store, buying it online) to make their decisions
  • Technology is a game changer and is continually growing
  • Customers expect the same treatment and interaction with your brand no matter where you are. How does your brand present itself through your online presence, visual merchandising, social media and customer service and is it the same?

What are the benefits?

  • Touch your customers in more ways and reach a large volume of potential customers, no matter what the platform
  • Get the most out of your marketing budget
  • Generate leads online for your bricks and mortar stores, and offline for your e-commerce platform
  • Increase sales…everywhere!

So…how do I do it?

When building your e-commerce or in store environment, consider how you translate a sensory experience across both stores.

Sensory activities normally encourage us to play, create/design, investigate and navigate/search. Of course, we mean using as many senses as we can: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell (we may need Willy Wonka to get the last two to work online!).

One such experience is the customer journey through a store, a physical shop has been merchandised and laid out in a particular way to influence how you move around the store. What you see, can touch, hear, and sometimes taste and smell are strategically planned to give you an experience.

So, how do I go about bring the in-store shopper experience to the online presence?

Think about:

  • Your homepage or other landing pages as your window display. So think about what merchandise you show off in each section and how it’s placed.
  • In a store, you experience customer service through the shop assistant helping you, in an online environment, consider how you could take people through certain features (maybe use video), or how you can link to other recommended products or other things people have bought.
  • Did you know you are more likely to buy something if you touch it? Create the same experience online via well written product descriptions, great photos of your stock, video, and places for buyers to leave reviews and comments. Some clothing sites do this really well, asking for reviews with predetermined fields like rankings on ‘true to size’, ‘garment quality’ and ‘true to colour’.
  • Close the sale! What can you do in the store at the checkout, or online, to get that customer back into the sales funnel…pretty much anything to get their email address!

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