What is Online to Offline Commerce?

Online to offline commerce — sometimes called “brick-and-click” — involves using tailored marketing techniques to persuade your website, email and social media users to visit and make purchases in your physical stores.

Why is Online to Offline Important – And Should You Invest?

REACH NEW CUSTOMERS

If your business has both e-commerce and physical (“brick-and-mortar”) stores, you should be considering an integrated O2O marketing strategy that capitalizes on both presences to drive increased sales. This can work in both directions, but online to offline allows you to reach an arguably broader audience of prospective new customers.

STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE

There is an opportunity cost to not investing in online to offline; businesses which commit to executing online to offline strategies often see significant returns, while competitors who keep their online and offline marketing strategies separate can lag behind.

E-commerce sales continue to rise year-on-year, while mobile accounts for an increasing chunk of online sales. Mobile is particularly crucial for driving offline sales, and more than three-quarters of searches on mobile with local intent result in offline purchases.

Data also indicates that 73% of customers prefer to “try before they buy” in-store – therefore implementing an effective e-reservation system provides your customers with the best of both worlds.

INCREASE OVERALL SALES

Finally, driving your online customers to visit physical stores may increase their overall spend; nearly 70% of shoppers ordering online and collecting in-store buy extra items on impulse once there, according to research by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

%

increase in online sales in the US and by 16.7% in Europe in 2016.

Source: Retail Research 2016

%

of digital sales in the US during Q3 in 2016 were through mobile commerce.

Source: Statista 2016

The Benefits of an Integrated Approach

  • Capitalize on your broader online traffic and social channels to increase in-store sales
  • Be front-of-mind with prospective customers local to your stores when they are thinking about making a purchase
  • Customers can easily browse and search your full product range online, and buy in-store
  • Increase customer satisfaction by providing a seamless buying experience across channels
  • Use personalized incentives online and reap the benefits offline
  • Use e-reservations to increase overall spend per customer

How to Drive Traffic from Online to Offline

Fundamental elements of an effective O2O marketing strategy:

Get your local SEO right

Ensure your website is mobile-optimized, build dedicated local pages for each store location, and ensure each store’s details is on search engine and directory listings.

UsE online customer data

This powerful resource will allow you to create personalized offers, sent by email and redeemable in-store.

MakE it easy for customers

Implement a store locator that automatically geolocates the customer’s location – especially if they’re browsing on mobile – and indicate if the products and services they’re browsing are available in local stores.

Do not neglect social media

Social media is a great way to broadcast local store events, support local charities and so on, to a broad audience of prospective customers.

UsE campaign codes or vouchers online

With proper tracking, you’ll be able to see which digital ad campaigns are most successful in increasing store footfall. Also make sure you use Google location extensions to add directions and click-to-call buttons to your display ads.

MaximizE email’s potential

Email is a powerful marketing tool, with evidence suggesting that open rates have actually increased over the last couple of years, email can be used to promote in-store offers to nearby customers.

 How BRIDGE Can Help Your Organization

As an SaaS (Software as a Service) marketing solution for brands and retail networks, BRIDGE helps brands capture local traffic and convert it into in-store footfall.

Read more on Leadformance about our secure online-to-offline-platform with the BRIDGE software to see how we can help your business.