Marketing both online and offline
Having an online shop is essential for basically anyone who also boasts a storefront. It is fairly easy to track metrics online, i.e. how long someone stayed on a website or how many Euros or Dollars a customer spent on a website. However, when someone sees something online and proceeds to buy it offline (and vice versa), tracking gets a bit harder. Let’s take a look at some of the options available and what a good omnichannel strategy might entail.
Ask and you shall receive
One easy way to find out where customers learned about your products is to ask them. In your store, you can easily strike up a conversation and just learn if a customer found your store/products online or how he/she heard about your store. Online, you could also integrate a survey and ask customers post purchase. Maybe you can provide them with an extra discount if they decide to complete the survey. That way, they do have a reason to participate in it.
Look at the numbers
If you have an online shop, you probably look at some KPIs pretty frequently (if not, you should definitely start doing so). At times, you might notice that you spent more on PPC or had a higher amount of people finding the way to your website though organic measures. Yet, those numbers might not be reflected by your sales. It would thus be a good idea to compare those numbers with the sales in your store. Chances are that you might have sold more products offline. It is definitely worth the extra effort to check.
Interacting in person can help
Humans are social creatures. We like interacting with other people. It can thus also make sense for (potential) customers to visit your store. That way, they can get to know you and your employees better. If you manage to be nice to visitors and show them how much you know about your products, chances are they will be impressed by you and like you. How do you get people to visit your store personally? One reason could be providing an incentive, such as a coupon that promises a discount if someone buys in-store. Or you could provide a discount if someone picks their goods up in person. In addition you could conduct events in your store that help, inform or entertain people. There are quite a few ways to get people into your store. It’s definitely a good idea to try doing so, as it might help you with building long-term relations.
Give people a reason to leave their screen
Many people seem to be glued to their screens. Our daily lives tend to revolve so much around our smartphone and computers that those devices seem to be an extension of our body. It will therefore make sense to give customers an incentive to leave their screens. Try thinking of reasons that would help them doing so. Events are certainly a great reason! Yes, given the current pandemic, large events might be tricky. But let’s hope COVID will not be around forever. People love interacting and learning something new. Visiting an event, they can do both. In addition, you can also do a raffle; who doesn’t love winning something?
Also, depending on what you sell, you can offer certain services that makes customers visit your shop. Let’s say you’re the owner of a bike store. As such, you could offer free bike checks. Do the brakes still work properly? Is the bike well oiled? This way, you get to interact with people and can also show them how much you truly know about bikes. Given that you’re doing so free of charge, it will likely attract more people. This allows you to conduct branding for yourself and all you need to invest is your time.
Bring an expert or someone famous to the table
Humans want to be fascinated! How do you manage doing just that? By providing them something they can’t get anywhere else. Depending on what industry you’re operating in, you can find one or more people you could invite as a guest. If you invite multiple experts you could do a roundtable or panel of sorts. With one person it could be a fireside chat followed by a Q&A. If you decide to work with a famous person, you could also offer that they sign certain products. The person doesn’t have to be super famous; maybe it’s also just a subject matter expert in the niche you’re active in. There are quite a few options to work with guest speakers. Try it a few times and don’t expect the first one to be a home run already.
Social media can also be used to advertise offline events
Social media can be helpful with a lot of endeavors. Don’t just think of social media platforms as a way to sell goods right away. Instead, you can also use it to advertise events that take place offline. When you are planning an event do give yourself some time to advertise it properly. If you also manage to take some pictures and videos ahead of time, you can use those assets to advertise the upcoming event in an attractive way. Essentially, you will have to find different words to always advertise the same event. Your task when advertising the event is to make it look as attractive as possible.
You got news? Write a newsletter!
In every company, new things happen. How are your customers supposed to find out about those novelties? You have to let them know. One way of doing so is a newsletter. These days, it is fairly easy to set up and send out a newsletter. If you do so once or twice a month, that should suffice. It is very important that your newsletter isn’t to spammy, but provides readers a good reason to read and engage with it. If you include good advice or a free giveaway, people might be more inclined to open up your newsletter and read it as well as click on the links inside.
Don’t forget mobile
Mobile is an important channel and here to stay. So you should definitely make it a part of your strategy. You can use WhatsApp for support and customer acquisition. In addition, you can also create a group where people interested in your industry can learn from you and one another. If you’re within the European Union, you should also make sure to adhere to the GDRP. Also, if you do have an app for your store, you could work with push notifications. But please don’t overdo it; this might lead people to perceive you as spammy. Rather, give them a good reason to read your push notification.
Work with Pickware
Pickware has been around since 2011 and is a German company. It started out as a software agency, but found its calling with e-commerce. The company has grown steadily since then and boasts more than 50 employees to date. In addition, Pickware also has their own cloud. Pickware itself was launched in 2015.
Pickware boasts different modules. One of them is an ERP system that integrates with Shopware. This makes the process of having all relevant data at your fingertip much easier. Pickware also features different modules that help you with numerous aspects such as optimising your business processes or conducting sales at the point of sale. If you would like to integrate Pickware, you will need a Professional Edition of Shopware. For some modules, like the POS modul, you will also need additional hardware and an iOS device. Depending on how many stores you have, you can also create different branches within Pickware. Doing so enables you to get a stores numbers within seconds. In addition, you can also accept different payments, such as debit and credit cards, cash and many more.
Another great service Pickware offers is the actual connection between your store and the online shop in terms of stock. When you sell something in your store, Pickware also registers the sale in Shopware and thus know to deduct the quantity sold from the quantity of goods still available. This makes logistics so much easier.
Let people know if a product is available at a particular store
If you have more than one physical store, it might make sense if you help customers out. They would probably love to visit your store but want to know in advance, if their desired product(s) will be available at the desired branch. If you offer them the option to check online, if the product will be available there, you provide them with an incentive to visit your store. In addition, they will not be disappointed, if they visit the particular store and the product currently isn’t in stock.
Offer click and collect
Quite a few stores offer click and collect. That means that goods will be bought online and picked up in person. This makes sense, if you want the payment part already out of the way. Or if there are only a few items in stock and a customer wants to make sure that he/she definitely gets one before they are sold out.
Work with AR and VR
New technologies come and go. But some are here to stay. Among them are augmented reality and virtual reality. Both help people to visualise and engage in virtual environments. How do they differ? Augmented reality always lays an artificial layer over reality. Virtual reality happens entirely virtual. Both technologies can be used for many simulations. If you’re selling experiences you can use virtual reality to let customers immerse in one of your experiences. Augmented reality can help with goods, such as furniture. It can help customers visualise what a certain object would look like in their living room or kitchen.
QR codes can be a great way to get users to a certain website or subsite. By just scanning the code, they will get redirected to the desired site. It can also be used as surprises, since users don’t really know what might await them when scanning the QR code. You can also use QR codes to gamify the experience a bit.
Understand your data
When you have an online store, chances are you have quite some data at your disposal. Look at it and try your best to understand it. What does that entail? Look at your data over a longer period. You will likely find some trends. Maybe you will discover if there is a certain time people buy online. Or certain months with higher sales, as well as other months with very low sales numbers. Also, take a look at which subpages work well and try to understand why they do so. If you want to understand your customers and improve you shop performance, it is very important that you look at your numbers.
Segment your different target audiences
Most companies have different target audiences. It thus makes a lot of sense to segment your target audiences and talk to them accordingly. Even within the social media realm, there are different target audiences you can address. Younger people around 20 years of age are more likely to be on TikTok. Mid 20s to mid 30s are more likely to spend their free time on Instagram. Of course, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are also around. In addition, do not just rely on digital channels. Depending on the size of your company, it might also make sense to advertise via print, TV, out of home or via radio. Older target audiences are less likely to be found online. You likely have better chances of reaching them through traditional marketing methods.
There are quite a few ways to connect online and offline in a useful manner. The most important question you should ask is how the customer will benefit from it. Also, depending on your target audience, one of the two ways might be more useful to employ. Overall, there are quite a few options to choose from. Finding the right one for you probably requires some experimenting. Patience will definitely help you.