There are specific advantages to running an online and offline business, so why not maximize your profit and potential by fusing the two? Continue reading for the ways that you can do this and the benefits that you can expect as a result.
Make Marketing Magic
Marketing is a key area in which you can fuse your online and offline business presence to a profitable effect by creating an effective omnichannel strategy. The key to this is designing a customer experience that is consistent in whichever way your customer or visitors decide to engage with your brand. Begin by making sure that your brand aesthetic, such as its logo, color scheme, or other motifs, are reflected in your physical store in the same way as they are on your website and social media platforms.
Next, ensure that your customers’ interactions across multiple channels are slick and snag-free; a potential customer should be able to move freely between your website, Facebook site, and app, for example – browsing and completing their transaction could be viewed as a journey during which they can move easily through multiple portals, and thinking about the visitor experience in this way can be helpful in putting together a cohesive online strategy.
When you’re developing a campaign, fusing the benefits of online and offline marketing is a powerful means of getting across your message and driving high levels of engagement with your brand. Consider how you can use your website to tempt visitors to visit your physical store; this could be through discount vouchers to use in-store, appealing photos, or details of exciting upcoming in-store events and promotions.
Similarly, think about how best to encourage visitors to your offline store to maintain engagement with your business online; introducing a loyalty scheme that offers points for customers who follow and share your Facebook page is one idea to encourage this, or printing discount codes on your in-store receipts that can only be redeemed on your website is another option that could work well.
Use Tech To Help
Tech is one of your best friends when it comes to combining your online and offline business and can help you reap the rewards of doing so. Ecommerce solutions are an effective way to access the advantages of online and offline trading, with tools becoming increasingly sophisticated and intuitive, allowing you to create a bespoke customer experience. Ecommerce apps and software can be deployed that can automate and standardize a plethora of your business processes, creating smoother in-store and website transactions for your customers.
Making sure that your website is as professional as possible and works to encourage visitors to come along to browse in-store is also vital. Using a high-quality website builder is an effective way to do this and can help you to tie the branding used in your physical premises and marketing into your virtual presence. Go now to this article to have a look at some of the best website builders available and the various tools they offer. Many builders include a range of eCommerce tools, too, to help you optimize your sales process and drive up profits. Make your website as appealing as possible by using well-chosen, attractive images throughout and checking the text carefully for typos or grammatical errors; a site that appears unprofessional or is littered with spelling mistakes can have a huge impact on visitors’ perceptions of your brand. Regularly go through every page of your site, making sure that all the links work and that the trolley and checkout processes function accurately.
Other Tips To Merge Online and Offline
There are a few other little tips and tricks you can use to have your online and offline stores work in profitable harmony. For example, you could allow your customers to return items bought online in-store, thereby creating the potential for in-store spending. You could also consider installing facilities in your physical shop that will allow your visitors to place orders for items that might only be available at stores in another city, for example, thereby ensuring that you don’t lose the sale.
Another highly effective trick is to give your online followers a chance to influence the direction of an in-store campaign, event, or new product launch. For example, if you run a restaurant, you could ask your social media followers to vote on what dish should feature on the following month’s specials board.
The future is coming fast, and it’s one in which the online and offline will increasingly merge so that the line between the two is blurred. AR (Augmented Reality) is already being used by businesses to create a cohesive virtual/physical experience and is likely to become, in time, deployed as standard across all major industries.
An example of how this is being achieved, right now, is through ‘virtual showrooms’ in which potential customers can hold up their phones and point it at a product to have details appear on their screens providing all the information they need about the item. This tech can be used to create interactive ways for visitors to engage with your website and digital means for them to connect while browsing your physical store.