A beginner’s guide for retailers on how to seamlessly connect your in-store and e-commerce experiences.
Competing online can be intimidating for a physical retailer making up to 95% of his/her revenue in-store. It’s overwhelming to think about shifting focus away from the interminable responsibilities of running a brick-and-mortar to creating and nurturing an online presence that will be worthy of your time and resources. But what if there was a seamless way to integrate e-commerce without interrupting your traditional business? Here’s how to do it.
You may have heard of omni-channel before,which is usually defined as “one view of the customer no matter where or how he/she shops.” An omni-channel strategy eliminates the online vs. offline customer perception and focuses on the shopping experience as a whole. Once you’ve adopted this mindset, you can take your business to the next level with omni-commerce.
Omni-commerce for retailers provides a tangible way that physical retailers can leverage their store to differentiate themselves beyond online-only businesses and increase sales across all of their channels.
To be omni-commerce, a business needs two things:
- Accurate in-store inventory visible online at all times
- Calls to Action such as reserve in-store or click & collect
More often than not, potential customers begin their shopping experience by searching on the internet. Having 100% of your in-store inventory available online will not only make your business visible to them, but it will allow local customers to search your stock, enticing them to visit your physical location. (Here’s how to take your retail store to Amazon.) This is where your Call to Action will prove its importance.
Key Terms: Reserve, In-Store Pickup, and Return Anywhere
By implementing features such as Reserve, In-Store Pickup and Return Anywhere, you will be eliminating a number of barriers that will prevent the customer from purchasing. For example, adding a Reserve button to your product pages will allow the customer to see your product in person. It will also give you advanced notice as to when they plan to visit the store, creating an opportunity for cross-sells and up-sells while minimizing the risk of returns.
In-store Pickup and Return Anywhere add a much appreciated convenience for local customers and eliminate costly shipping fees that might otherwise deter them from completing the sale. You can even go above and beyond by partnering with a local courier and offering Same Day Delivery as an option at checkout.
You can’t game omni-commerce; it can only be practiced if you have a physical store. By embracing all it has to offer, brick-and-mortar retailers can create an invaluable opportunity for a fantastic customer experience which will build customer loyalty, compete with the rise of online shopping and better yet, leap ahead of it.
Looking to develop relationships with vendors and find the right wholesale products for your online business? Register here for the next ASD Market Week in Las Vegas. It’s a general merchandise trade show and retail education conference in one, and it’s free for retailers and online sellers to attend!
By Emily Rogan
Emily Rogan is the Marketing Manager at SKUIQ, a company that powers real-time inventory for physical retailers, syncing in-store POS systems with eCommerce. Rogan was also a featured speaker at The Independent Retailer Conference inside ASD Market Week this past August!