Augmenting your brick-and-mortar business with an eCommerce platform can propel your company toward new opportunities while still allowing you to maintain the success you have already established. By integrating the two mediums, your business can utilize the advantages of each type of platform. Keep in mind the following points as you decide how you want to make eCommerce work for your business.
Maximize Your Options
Every customer is different. Some like to shop online, others like to go into a store and see a product for themselves, while a different set like to look online and then buy in-store. A recent MIT report even cites that one-third of customers look at products online while they are in the store. As you integrate, keep these different options in mind. Consider using geo-location and mapping programs to help guide online customers to your nearest location. Make sure the contact information for your brick-and-mortar site is easily accessible online. Use social media to reach out to the growing population of consumers who do their shopping exclusively online. Think about how you can use QR codes and organization to make your online store more accessible to customers who are comparing the catalog to in-store options.
Consistent Omni-channel Strategies
The term omni-channel is often used synonymously with this fusion of brick-and-mortar with eCommerce. One of the largest concepts of omni-channel strategy is making every platform work together to provide the most comprehensive customer experience. This means keeping information consistent between in-store and online catalogs, encouraging both forms of shopping, and even keeping track of a specific consumer’s purchase history as he or she moves between platforms. Use marketing strategies like tracking, ad-targeting, and social media to create an easy flow between a consumer’s experiences with your brand. Be sure not to stress one method over another, but rather encourage customers to use the platform or combination of platforms that is most comfortable for them.
Be Aware: A Need for More and Different Resources
As advantageous as they are, eCommerce platforms do not simply grow out of thin air. As you expand your customer base to online sales, new challenges will appear. You may need extra storage space in addition to your brick-and-mortar location to handle the new orders. Evaluate your stock and make note of any products that would be easier to handle exclusively through online sales rather than on-site sales and vice versa. Additionally, your product will be visible to consumers in different regions; the wider you expand the more adaptations you may need to make, particularly for international and multilingual business. Be sure to set a plan in motion before launching your eCommerce website to ensure that you are not surprised by your new venture.
Learn From Success
One of the most cited pinnacles of omni-channel integration is Macy’s, which now defines itself as an omni-channel shopping experience whose mission is to bridge technology and in-store shopping. Macy’s has implemented many creative ways to fuse the different channels together. Their mobile app can scan products while in-store to pull up information and pricing, they have integrated Apple Pay as well as a customized Macy’s mobile wallet into their business flow, they offer a pick-up in store option for online purchases, and they are even putting tablets in their fitting rooms that can access the online store for additional sizes and colors. As you embark on your own eCommerce integration, keep in mind how similar strategies can show off your brand.
Clarity Ventures has been wildly successful with helping their clients perform this integration. Take a look at Bestway Rent to Own and how Clarity was able to build the right eCommerce platform for their long-standing brick-and-mortar business.
Clarity Can Help
To build an eCommerce platform that is right for your brick-and-mortar business, or if you need assistance with implementing a omni-channel services, contact us for a free quote today!