While the world moves towards a more digitized society, research shows that brick and mortar retail is not going away either. According to the United States Census Bureau, 90 percent of retail’s transaction value is spent at physical stores. Additionally, a study conducted by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute found that 70 percent of consumers want to experience touching and feeling products before purchase. While digital has transformed retailed in many ways, it seems that in-person retail is here to stay.
However, while customers prefer to make the purchase in-store, there are still many functions of brand recognition and the product decision-making process that happen online. Research by SharkNinja describes the processes that occur online and offline. By understanding where processes usually occur, companies can anticipate consumer needs and draw them all the way through the pipeline to closing the sale and beyond.
What Your Customers Want to See Online
Meet your brand.
A significant portion of company branding occurs online, via social media, advertising, search engine results and mentions from other businesses, influencers or customers. Although branding may not lead to an immediate purchase, is it not a reason to discount the importance and impact that it has on consumer purchase decisions.
Engage with you.
Consumers expect to be able to ask questions, comment and receive timely responses from brands on their online platforms. Social media, websites and online chat rooms are several platforms that are customer engagement and image-building opportunities for companies.
Hear about your products.
Consumers have problems that they are looking to solve – it is the jobs of brands to identify those challenges and offer solutions. By providing customers with targeted offers based on location, age, platform or previous buying preferences, companies can ensure that they are a top choice for their audience.
Receive exclusive deals and offers.
With so many buying options available at the touch of a button, price comparisons are simpler than ever. Retailers can take advantage of this by offering discounts to consumers via targeted ads, mobile offers and push-notifications, as well as coupons online for in-store purchases.
Before making the commitment to purchase a product, consumers want to know that what they are buying has been tried by others and stood up to the test of time. Online reviews are a powerful platform to promote products, increase trust and build engagement.
What Your Customers Expect In-Store
When a consumer takes the time to make the trip to a brick and mortar store, they expect to receive personal service. Most customers would agree that it is generally faster and more convenient to shop online. However, they choose to visit a store when they want to receive a higher level of service and experience the product for themselves. Businesses can provide this level of support with adequate staffing and comprehensive staff training.
Like an online store, items should be displayed in a clean, clear and organized manner. Customers should be able to walk in and easily find what they are looking for. Additionally, using online tools and point-of-sale systems to track inventory will ensure that items are on hand when consumers come by to purchase them.
Simple and secure payments.
The customer has browsed online, came to the store, found their product preference and is now at the point of sale. The last scenario any person wants to face is long lines, lack of versatile payment acceptance or non-secure payments. Consumers have come to expect instant payments, a wide range of options and simple checkout process.
Using Fidelity ensures that merchants can close their sales process smoothly, simply and securely. All the marketing efforts, store layout, staff management and inventorying is for naught if the point of sale pushes consumers away. By providing a simple, yet effective checkout process, merchants benefit from increased sales and customer loyalty that creates ambassadors of your brand and return clients.