E-commerce keeps growing at a meteoric pace, and there is absolutely no doubt about any of it.
According to a recent study by Statista, retail e-commerce sales worldwide reached $2.4 trillion in 2017 and so are likely to reach 4.9 trillion in 2021.
Interestingly, this growth pattern isn’t solely a retail B2C phenomenon.
In fact, B2B e-commerce worldwide sales in 2017 peaked at $7.7 trillion, that is 235% greater than B2C.
Sounds pretty impressive, right?
And these figures do reveal a whole lot about major changes in consumer behavior which will continue steadily to evolve in 2018.
The shopper is more technologically advanced than previously and is empowered to operate a vehicle disruptive changes in traditional retail business.
So if consumers increasingly prefer e-commerce to brick-and-mortar shopping, why do we still need physical stores? Why do businesses still want that foot traffic?
There certainly are a number of explanations why, but let’s just focus on another very easy, yet very loud statistic.
In-store sales accounted for 91% of most retail sales in america in 2017.
This implies that brick-and-mortar continues to be the most famous way to look for most Americans.
And it comes as no real surprise.
The in-store shopping experience is incomparable to browsing items on a desktop or mobile screen. The opportunity to see, touch and try products before purchase remains the largest motivator for consumers to look offline.
And that’s not the one thing stopping consumers from buying online.
According to 2017 BigCommerce study, 58% folks consumers hate spending money on shipping, and 34% think product return process is difficult when shopping on the internet.
All of the are e-commerce pain points that may actually serve as huge growth opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailers.
But ultimately from the business perspective, you would like to provide seamless and consistent customer experience across all sales channels and reach that omnichannel zen.
You likely have heard the word omnichannel before.
Google defines it as: “ensuring retailer marketing strategies are aimed toward enabling customers to convert on any channel.”
Sounds too sophisticated.
But the primary idea behind omnichannel retail marketing would be to simply provide shoppers what they need, whenever and wherever they need.
That said, there are various methods for you to use local e-commerce insights and marketing tactics to operate a vehicle foot traffic to your store, and I’ll show you just how you can certainly do this.
But before we dive in to the realm of local e-commerce marketing tactics, you might like to have a look at Neil Patel’s 4 Local SEO Marketing Ways of Build Your OFFLINE Business.
1. Buy online, grab waiting for you (BOPIS)
Since customers hate to cover shipping, the very first thing that can be done to help ease their pain would be to offer an in-store pickup option, also referred to as BOPIS.
This is an extremely popular service provided by nearly every major retailer, in fact it is something it is simple to implement for the customers aswell.
In fact, based on the Great Omnichannel Expectations 2016-2017 Shopper Survey Report by iVend, 57% folks shoppers say they utilize the “buy online, grab in store” option.
And 65.3% of these consumers say they achieve this in order to avoid delivery costs.
Another thing it is possible to offer to operate a vehicle foot traffic may be the capability to reserve the merchandise online and collect it in-store. This options is most effective for new product releases and will help build excitement.
Think new Apple product launches. Usually, they’re sold-out even before official sales date.
Although BOPIS can be an attractive alternative for some shoppers, it still is practical to supply some extra incentives, like faster shipping as well as an in-store redeemable coupon.
An important things to take into account when implementing buy online grab waiting for you service would be to make sure the complete experience is really as smooth and convenient as you possibly can.
- Use a multichannel integration platform for connecting your store inventory to your internet site and get them to always in sync.
- Train your in-store sales staff to serve BOPIS customers with special care and in case there is immediate returns or exchanges and become prepared to offer more profitable alternatives.
- Put up proper in-store signage and ensure it is extremely possible for customers to navigate the store and discover the pickup location without getting overly frustrated.
2. Provide local inventory availability information
There is really a common myth that consumers who do some searching online is only going to visit web stores.
That isn’t entirely true.
In fact, three out of four individuals are more prone to visit physical stores should they find local information browsing results helpful.
So you will want to give your consumers what they search for?
First of most, ensure that your store locator is ready to go. Let your shoppers easily find their local store and ensure that you provide all details, like telephone numbers, email, and address.
Then go one step further and offer local inventory availability information for every item and each local store.
You may be wondering why customers even need this should they can purchase products online and grab them in the store?
Well, as it happens that the majority of shoppers usually do not desire to pay upfront, specifically for specific products, like personal hygiene and care items, which are more difficult to come back and obtain a refund for.
So informing your site visitors concerning the stock availability at your neighborhood store could be a great foot traffic driver for undecided customers.
Ikea is among the biggest retailers to possess successfully implemented this on the website.
It offers guests to find the local store and start to see the inventory of a specific product for the reason that store.
This information could be especially helpful if your visitors have a tendency to buy items in bulk.
3. Buy waiting for you and go out hands-free
This is really a relatively new method of retail marketing and comes due to shopper behavior changes aswell. It serves as a sensible way to react to consumer “showrooming.”
What is showrooming and just why does it matter?
Showrooming has turned into a common method of shopping for plenty of deal hunters and shoppers who prefer to compare prices or try products before purchasing.
Customers now will come into your store, get all information they want concerning the product, see and touch it, but buy it online from another online store. How sad, isn’t it?
25% of Americans even admitted purchasing while standing in a brick-and-mortar store.
The very good news is you certainly do not need to fight this behavior. It is possible to embrace it.
What if your visitors could try products in your store and keep these things delivered right to their preferred address?
It’s a completely new method of retail, and some brands have previously implemented it.
For instance, Bonobos, have opened “guideshops” over the US, to purchase an ideal fit and style by using a specialist guide.
When you’re done shopping, your orders are sent to your house or work cost-free.
You can perform this too.
4. Offer in-store redeemable mobile promotions
Did you understand mobile users save money than 4 hours each day on the phones?
Just understand this graph from Statista.
In 2017 mobile accounted for more than 1 / 2 of worldwide website traffic and is projected to cultivate even more this season.
Consumers rely more on the mobile devices to analyze even the tiniest decisions on the run. But they are also more vunerable to mobile communication than, for example, email.
Research implies that text message open rate in america is 82%, that is a mind-boggling number if we compare it to email open rate, hovering at around 24%.
This once more proves that SMS marketing isn’t only alive but thriving. You need to really consider implementing mobile marketing solutions, including contact number collection program.
If you need to speed things up a bit, you can choose Facebook Lead Ads to get telephone numbers fast by offering something enticing in exchange.
Here’s how it operates.
Open your Facebook Ad manager and choose your marketing objective to be “TO GENERATE LEADS.”
Next, complete all of your targeting, budget, placement and scheduling details and head straight to building the ad.
Scroll down a bit until you start to see the “Create Form” portion of your ad builder.
Create a fresh form and describe the special something your visitors will receive if they subscribe.
Then click on the “More options” in Questions portion of the proper execution creation menu and tick “Contact number.”
It’s smart to have essential information fields to boost the conversion rate of one’s form. So keep it short and attractive.
When you’re done, your form can look something similar to this:
There you own it.
This will help you to legally grow and keep maintaining a listing of your customer telephone numbers to fuel your mobile marketing initiatives.
Once you have your first batch, you can begin sending coupons and gift codes to your list via SMS and encourage customers to go to your brick-and-mortar store and redeem them.
Another smart way to get customer telephone numbers would be to incentivize them upon have a look at on your own website, by offering free shipping as well as the in-store redeemable coupon itself.
5. Optimize for near-me searches
Following the explosive growth of mobile, consumers now expect to receive specifically tailored and personalized search results whenever and wherever, using near-me queries.
So what exactly are those near-me searches anyway?
Near-me searches are location specific search queries, usually targeted at getting quick results nearby.
This is what they appear to be.
Near-me searches have already been growing steadily in past five years and so are only removing.
The tricky part is that it’s insufficient to be geographically close to the searcher to rank saturated in serp’s.
You have to really utilize local search optimization to obtain a little bit of the “near-me pie.”
Here are some quick local SEO ideas to allow you to get started.
- Make sure your site is mobile ready, as Google will undoubtedly be rolling out mobile-first indexing any time in the future.
- Perfect your Google My Business listing since it is crucial for local search engine rankings. Verify your listing and keep writing to date all the time.
- Optimize your site meta data with “near me” keywords. Usually do not overdo, but instead keep it relevant and user-friendly.
- Get geographic anchor backlinks from authority websites.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your own Google My Business listing. Luckily, Google will not prohibit direct communication with customers to solicit reviews.
Shortlist your happiest customers who use Gmail and get in touch with them with an instant connect to review your organization on Google.
6. Offer in-store exchanges and returns
Did you understand that 30% of most e-commerce purchases are returned versus 8.89% of brick-and-mortar purchases?
Sounds such as a lot. Nonetheless it isn’t surprising.
Despite all technological advancements, online shoppers still don’t have the chance to see, touch and try products before purchase.
Hence the high return rates.
There is little that you can do to reduce order returns, but if you wish to drive foot traffic to your store and in addition improve customer experience, it is possible to offer in-store returns and exchanges.
A recent study by Invesp Conversion Rate Optimization Company reveals that 9 out of 10 consumers will buy something again if returns are easy and hassle-free.
And 62% of shoppers will purchase online when there is an option to come back items in-store.
This implies that having an excellent in-store return and exchange experience can not only drive your visitors from the net to your store, nonetheless it will also provide them with another reason to look with you the next time.
And that is true not merely for UNITED STATES shoppers but Europeans aswell.
The 2017 UPS Pulse of the web Shopper study demonstrates almost 1 / 2 of consumers would like to return what to a brick-and-mortar store.
And 49% of these would prefer to utilize an in-store associate to process returns.
7. Organize in-store events and workshops
Having a physical store has some advantages of an e-commerce retailer, also it will be a wasted opportunity never to utilize those.
One of the greatest actions you can take to operate a vehicle foot traffic and for that reason, in-store sales, would be to organize various events, like new product launches, runway shows, shopping festivals, etc.
The reason that is important and just why it works so well is basically because consumers still view shopping as entertainment.
Having the proper atmosphere and mood in your physical store could work wonders.
According compared to that 2017 Mood Media study, music is really a crucial element for an excellent in-store shopping experience.
In fact, 81% of shoppers globally agreed that shopping experience is more fun in case a store is playing music. This figure rockets to 90% the type of 18-24.
The same study shows that consumers love in-store events, especially brick-and-mortar store openings of online-only brands.
So you will want to organize a shopping night with live music and cocktails? Power these events with heavy promotion on your own website and social media as well as your store will undoubtedly be jam-packed.
8. Localize your digital ads
Digital advertising is really a big section of your marketing budget, and you also want to be sure you apply it properly sufficient reason for maximum ROI.
Luckily, there are plenty of local advertising solutions of all ad networks and particularly on Google.
On average shoppers search and buy via multiple channels almost 40% of the time and nearly all these shoppers visit a search engine to start out their research.
So it truly is vital that you target and convert these consumers at the first consideration stage.
Here’s ways to take action using local advertising on Google.
If you curently have active search ads, go on and create location extensions in your Adwords account.
This will help you to show local search ads together with your address, a map to where you are, or the length to your store.
While these ads can help increase foot traffic, there’s a far more powerful ad type that’s specifically designed to create online searchers right to your neighborhood store.
I am discussing Local Inventory Ads. These ads show the stock option of something at your neighborhood store together with the typical product information that presents up in a normal Google shopping ad.
When you select an area Inventory Ad, it requires you to an electronic storefront together with your local store information, including stock availability, address, contact number, email, and hours.
9. Create unique and compelling in-store experiences
The power of in-store experiences is incomparable to online shopping at all. It’s the top reason behind consumers all over the world to select brick-and-mortar over e-commerce.
Let’s look at both sides of the coin.
What motivates consumers to get online rather than going to an area store? What really drives this huge shift to online?
The 2017 KPMG Global Online Consumer Report implies that the main benefits of online shopping are 24/7 availability, easy price comparison, and better deals.
Now let’s observe how physical stores beat these powerful facts.
As expected, over fifty percent of consumers globally still would rather start to see the product making use of their own eyes, 55% desire to check it out on before purchase, and 22% simply benefit from the experience of likely to the shops.
So how will you make your in-store experience a great time?
Start with eliminating the primary consumer pain points.
Did you understand that waiting in line may be the number 1 in-store frustration for 60% of shoppers all over the world?
Leverage the benefits of having (more) mobile POS devices to slice the lines at cash registers and accept card payments at that moment.
This will last particularly well during in-store sales.
Another thing that can be done to help ease the hectic atmosphere in your store is create an immersive brand experience with uplifting vocals, proper lighting, and smell.
Yes, the smell is in fact a lot more powerful than you imagine.
Scent travels to the human brain immediately and is closely associated with memory. This is why it is trusted by major retailers to influence consumer behavior in-store.
It works out there’s even research on which scents will drive sales.
It shows that people have a tendency to spend more if they smell warm scents, such as for example vanilla and cinnamon.
Whichever scent you select, keep it very light and ambient in order that it results in the entire in-store experience rather than vice versa.
E-commerce is increasing and will continue steadily to grow remarkably soon. It changes just how consumers shop and influences offline sales aswell.
However, traditional brick-and-mortar retail is definately not dead and is certainly going via an exciting yet transformative change.
This change will demand an omnichannel method of marketing and an audio web-to-store strategy, concentrating on the next key aspects.
Bring online and offline together by combining the major benefits of both of these channels.
Provide your visitors with the convenience to get their order at your neighborhood store. Let them see your stock availability and shop offline.
Allow shoppers to take pleasure from the knowledge of seeing, touching, trying your products before purchase, looking into and walking from the store hands-free.
Be there whenever your customer needs you.
Optimize your online presence for near-me searches. Test out local search ads and Google Inventory Ads to get visibility and drive more in-store traffic.
Consider buying mobile marketing answers to accurately and legally collect customer telephone numbers and send deals and special deals at the proper time.
Create an unmatched in-store experience.
This may be the biggest strength of one’s brick-and-mortar store.
Build excitement around real-life shopping experience by organizing one-of-a-kind fun events that each shopper would like to attend.
Take benefit of the most recent tech answers to provide exceptional customer support and encourage brand loyalty.
What e-commerce marketing tactics perhaps you have seen drive foot traffic to your store?
About the writer: Neil Patel may be the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.