Despite low prices and digital innovations driving consumers to buy online, brick-and-mortar stores continue to be consumers’ preferred place to complete a purchase — in fact, 91% of shoppers research products online, then purchase in-store.
Even though eCommerce numbers may not look like much online retail is growing three times more than in-store sales; this high growth cannot go ignored and will be a major driver of the growth of the retail industry.
In-store retail has long been pitted against eCommerce, but if done right, eCommerce can be an ally. Traditional retail can play to it’s strengths and learn from eCommerce to improve upon it’s weaknesses.
Lesson #1 Data Driven Decisions
Online stores are built on data – and online retailers glean every piece of visitor data to make informed decisions. A website can see anything from high-level views of visitor traffic to an in-depth look into customer demographics and purchasing patterns. Once tracked, eCommerce retailers can use this data to adapt its inventory to optimize the back of house, target specific customer groups, intelligently deploy discounts, and make many other data driven decisions.
But analytics are no longer reserved for online-only. With robust retail POS software, you can track data, and see live reports of how your employees are selling, what your customers are buying, and how you can better streamline operations and increase profits. In addition, companies are building tools to track every visitor that comes through your door are retarget them once they leave.
Lesson #2 Upselling
Amazon is a great example of successfully upselling. The site promotes suggested goods that are aptly fitting to your purchase history, upsells you on subscription and service based add-ons at the cart, and reminds you when it’s time to make another purchase based off of your buying cadence.
These processes can be implemented in-store. First, train your staff to always upsell, and by tapping into your POS data you can keep your staff informed about which products are often bought together. But don’t just rely on your staff to remember to upsell, your POS terminal can alert the employee operating the terminal to upsell the customer at the point of purchase. Additionally, self-service kiosks are designed to alert the customer of suggested products to encourage a larger purchase order.
Lesson #3 Personalized Experience
A successful eCommerce website will look different to each web page visitor. By looking at past purchases and customer demographics, the retailer can aggregate a feed of goods personalized to their customers, influencing purchasing decisions. In fact, DigitasLBi’s Connected Commerce survey found that 87% of respondents claim to spend more online when met with personalized retail experiences. Online retailers have been putting the personalized touch on online shopping for years, and so can you.
Manage your customer relationships with a POS. You can deploy a customer engagement strategy right in your store, by capturing customer emails during a transaction, and employing email marketing to keep your business top of mind to your customers. Don’t forget to input your customers’ birthday into your CRM – in fact, 92 percent of consumers receiving birthday greetings from food and beverage establishments like Starbucks and Ruby Tuesday thought more positively about the company, and 96 percent reported an increase in loyalty.
One Last Word…
A holiday survey by Square Root showed 65% of shoppers turn to stores for their holiday shopping so they can feel, touch, and see products before they purchase. As a brick-and-mortar, it is important to play to your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses. Fortunately, eCommerce strategies can be seamlessly deployed in your physical store and can transform your business into a competitive, digitized in-store.