How to converge online and offline worlds to engage and retain your customers

The key challenge in every retail scenario is to make customers buy more & buy again. Marketing trends, techniques, strategies and sales campaigns are all designed to achieve this one goal. While advancement in technology has made things extremely simple and achievable online commerce is being seen as a threat by the traditional retailers. Online shopping through smart handhelds, especially while inside an offline store, is a massive challenge that seemed impossible to overcome. They try to develop and implement aggressive marketing techniques to compete with the world of internet and often, sadly, fail.

What these retailers fail to recognize is the immense opportunity and reach available to them, if only they learn to strike a fine balance between the online and offline world of trade. Convergence of these two markets is the key to survival in today’s world where few businesses survive without a proper online presence. Things have advanced so much that it is not only necessary to have an online presence, it is also necessary to seamlessly integrate & synchronize the online to offline shopping (and vice versa) in order to have an upper hand in the market.

The “threat” can be converted into a glorious opportunity simply by catering to what exactly the customer expects. The only reason why customers prefer online shopping is due to the convenience factor. Offer them that very same convenience in your store and voila! Watch your profits soar!

Here are a few pointers as to how to ensure a smooth and easy synchronization which helps you gain the best from both the worlds:

Smart Sales Associates for enhanced engagement

Sales associates can be given smart handhelds with login & access to view the purchase history of customers and thus provide a more personalized service. This impresses customers and goes a long way in boosting customer service & satisfaction. It also becomes a means to track the performance of associates.

Analytics & Reports

The success of every business decision relies heavily upon customer preferences. Collecting and analyzing data can ensure intelligent and result oriented business decisions if the reports generated through analytics are utilized the right way, like creating personalized offers, etc.

Geo Fencing

Staying ahead of your local competitors can help you stay relevant in your local customers’ decision making process. Keep reminding them to visit your store by offering irresistible deals and discounts. Sending push notifications to their smart handhelds especially when they are within the proximity of your store can ensure that your store stays on top of their mind, whenever they go shopping in your locality.

iBeacons, Smart Carts, Mobile POS

In-store location based push notifications through strategically placed iBeacons can make customers want to look at products you want to promote. Smart Carts suggest products to customers based on what is already in their cart. Portable POSs can eliminate the need of waiting in queues at billing counters, while also offering a superior and unique customer experience & service. These are just a few example of the smart technology available for the convergence between the two worlds.

Loyalty & Reward Programs

The odds in favor of customers re-visiting your store can be increased if the customers feel that they are getting something “extra” from visiting your store. Using the data from analytics, coining special offers for products that are bought most often, discounts on repeat purchases, enabling engaging loyalty programs like an annual reward for most loyalty points collected, etc will keep them coming back for more.

Merchant Mobile apps

Merchant mobile apps can be used for sending & redeeming coupons/special discounts and can also serve as a tool for improved data collection, on a more individual level. Customers would obviously find it more convenient, especially if the app can double up as a portable POS. The app can also serve as a central platform for coupon distribution, redemption & commission tracking.

Abandoned purchase Re-marketing

“Unsuccessful sales” can be a thing of the past, if you incorporate proper remarketing strategies into your business decisions. If a customer expresses interest in a product but abandons it and leaves the store, use personalized offers and discounts to lure them back into making the purchase. These can be sent as emails, push notifications, text messages, etc.

See how simple it is? The technology is available and ready for you to use. All you need to do is incorporate this effectively into your business & marketing strategies. Oh, and sit back to watch your profit graph climb.