How to Integrate Retail and E-commerce
May 11, 2015
Once viewed as a threat to brick-and-mortar establishments, e-commerce now co-exists with retail locations that know how to create a seamless transition between online and offline customer experiences. In some cases, e-commerce platforms fail to live up to customer expectations. In other cases, customers find they don’t need to visit a brick-and-mortar location when e-commerce offers an easier alternative. But with the right technology and branding strategy, you can engage customers online and off. Here are five must-haves to provide consistency and great customer service no matter where your customers shop.
1. A branded website. Does your mobile-friendly retail website instantly remind customers of the look, feel, and awesome service they enjoy in your retail location? If not, it’s time to think about branding your site to match your space, and vice-versa. Using similar color schemes, motifs, and even music can help connect online shoppers to your retail space, creating a flawless offline to online experience.
2. In-store pickup. Let customers save on shipping, and give them a reason to browse around your brick-and-mortar location! By providing an in-store pickup option on your e-commerce website, you give customers more choices for getting their hands on that must-have item. And bringing them into your store is always a good thing, since they may notice other hot items they have to own.
3. Online customer service chat. When they shop with you in person, your customers enjoy chatting with your helpful salespeople. Let them do the same thing online by offering customer service chat. Getting validation from a professional will help customers feel better about their purchases – especially if they have questions before buying. A customer support web application should do the trick.
4. In-store only or online-only specials. By offering special promotions, online-only items, or in-store festivities, you can keep customers checking both your website and your brick-and-mortar store for the next big sale or event. Be sure to cross-promote on your website and in your store to create buzz!
5. A mobile shopping app. Offer your customers a shopping app that helps them shop more efficiently, whether they prefer your e-commerce solution or your brick-and-mortar store! A custom retail app can help customers learn more about your products as they browse in person. Or if a product isn’t available in-store, customers can easily purchase it online. That’s the beauty of offering both e-commerce and retail locations.
Today’s shoppers look for convenience, choices, and more importantly, a fun and stress-free experience. By integrating your e-commerce and retail solutions, you aren’t just giving customers two choices; you’re giving them two reasons to shop with you. Want to learn more about custom retail apps, e-commerce solutions, and other technology innovations for retail? Talk to TechArk Solutions about your retail technology needs.