There is a common misconception that ecommerce has done away with the traditional brick-and-mortar store (or that ecommerce is in the process of making physical shopping a thing of the past). This is not the case, but what it certainly has done is allow the kinds of people who would never have been able to afford a physical store to set up their own company. Many successful business endeavors have begun in precisely this way.
But what of the traditional brick-and-mortar store? Well, instead of destroying it, the ecommerce revolution has led to most traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to establish an online presence. This can be anything from a Facebook page for a small shop in a mid-sized town to a huge ecommerce site selling everything that can be found in-store, and much more besides.
This has led to one of the main concerns that define the internet age for business – what is the best way to integrate the two types of businesses? When it is the same company and the same products, a certain brand unity is essential.
website design services company Azola Creative advise that this can be something of a tricky balancing act. For example, you want as much continuity (aesthetic and functional) as possible between your brick-and-mortar store and your online store, but you also want to sell the unique advantages of both.
The balance doesn’t quite work the same both ways, however, and one of the major reasons for this is that brick-and-mortar businesses who set up online are much more common than online stores who set up a physical outlet. This means that this task of unifying the two normally goes in one direction. Nevertheless, continuitywhile still accentuating the benefits of bothis the goal.
This is such a ubiquitous concern within modern business that there is even a name for this type of approach – omnichannel ecommerce. Most basically, omnichannel ecommerce is defined as selling through multiple channels, physical and virtual. It can be broken down into familiar areas of business.
As you almost certainly know, marketing is all about garnering interest, generating leads, and, hopefully, turning those leads ultimately into sales. The fundamental technique for realizing this is to work out who those people are and to target them accordingly.
With omnichannel marketing, we are talking about different types of customerswith different shopping preferences. The key then becomes learning how they overlap. The marketing that is geared to appeal to both online and offline shopper is, then, essential.
The most important point here is that getting this right is the way to greater sales – significantly greater for that matter. Customersthat sell successfully both online and off- make more money.
One way of integrating the two types is to offer things like omnichannel returns, which means products are all sent back to the same place regardless of where they were purchased. Another good move for integration is to refer instore customers to the website when they cannotfind what they need instore.
Invest in Product Information Management
PIM software allows you to aggregate all sales and product data and return overall sales figures for products sold both online and off-. This will give you a much clearer idea of the overall appeal of these products, and the breakdown data will allow you to determine where they are sold more successfully.
Essentially, what you hope to overcome with omnichannel ecommerce is acceptable sales across all platforms. And when the difference becomes more pronounced, some greater integration is naturally required.