Savvy retailers don’t look at the growth of online sales as a reason to turn out the lights and lock the door. On the contrary…they see opportunities to leverage online activity to improve their businesses.
In the not-so-distant past consumers had to go to a store to buy what they wanted. Even if inconvenient, time consuming or even unpleasant there was no choice. Now consumers have to WANT to go to a store before they’re willing to go on a shopping trip because the retail world is at their fingertips online. Today’s successful offline retailers embrace this and create a unique shopping experience in their store. They train sales staff to use online tools that are consistent with today’s customer buying process and take into account the fact that shoppers come to the store now very well educated on the product they need to buy.
Retailers can also use search engine diagnostics to better understand their customers. This lets them deliver the information and offers to just the right prospects at just the right time to make a sale. By using online marketing tools they also can ensure that customers know what they have in stock and the nearest store location which drives foot traffic from mobile search. Research has shown that 79% of consumers want to be able to print coupons from, or store them on, their mobile device. The offline retailer that does these things right is sure to earn good reviews posted online. This becomes good word-of-mouth on steroids!
Finally, offline retailers have learned to see the internet as an endless showroom. Products can be shown and easily searched and items/prices can be updated instantaneously.