For years, experienced retailers have been groaning under the competitive pressure of online shops, trying to establish a presence on the Internet, or often failing entirely. But how does the opposite trend come about? Why are successful online companies or technology providers looking to go offline? Why, for example, do telecom companies keep and strengthen their sometimes extensive chain stores, even though all offers and services would be just as good and cheaper to provide online?
This thenextweb article offers some exciting examples of this, showing the latest retail activities from companies such as Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Intel and even ebay & co. What are the motives for these companies to get involved in the expensive undertaking?
1. Customer Experience
A very important part of many purchase decisions is getting information. This not only includes hard facts and prices – they can also be found online. Essential components are seeing and experiencing both the actual goods / service and the brand world. Social interaction with human representatives of precisely those brands is an equally important aspect. Ultimately, not only is a functional technical device purchased, but also a promise of quality and a certain lifestyle element. The touch, look and feel continues to play an important role. As Arthur D. Little’s experts sum up for the telecom industry:
Over 60% of customers still expect personal interaction when buying telecommunications services or mobile devices. And over 80% of buyers in the telecom shops also visit the websites of the respective provider (and undoubtedly also of the competition). A good reason to offer these customers good cross-channel advice and offer services. Because it’s worth it:
- Multi-channel customers have a 20% higher completion rate than pure shop visitors
- Multi-channel customers have a 93% larger shopping basket than pure online customers (see the Deloitte study cited here )
- Multi-channel customers have a 208% larger shopping cart than pure shop customers
Not really surprising. Because if you want to spend a lot of money, you usually get extensive information. But who wants to do without the top-selling customers?
2. Customer loyalty
Who doesn’t know the old wisdom that retaining existing customers is far more cost-effective and promising than winning new customers? However, it is not necessarily easier. Due to the increased use of the Internet, the customer is almost always exposed to highly effective online marketing activities. One more reason to keep in touch with these customers far more than was previously the norm. However, not through intrusive advertising and offers, but through appropriate information, service and support for its products. And of course the opportunity to experience personal advice in the shops or the latest products of the selected brand in their brand world. Still the best opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the customer … especially if their products.
3. Customer data
A not insignificant advantage of such a multi-channel contact strategy is the treasure trove of data gained about purchase and usage behavior. As is clearly described in this article, there are plenty of opportunities for active and passive marketing measures, even with very specific monetary benefits. Appropriately offered additional items, new product generations or usage-specific services & advice offer clear opportunities to further develop the customer and integrate them into their own product world.
As usual, a consistent omni-channel strategy is the key component for success. This starts with the consolidation of the data obtained in different channels, continues through the linkage of the business processes and ultimately enables an effective cross-channel marketing and contact strategy. A simple step-by-step approach is shown here.