2017 is proving to be the year that omnichannel retailing continues to bridge the gap between home and store. Insightful retailers understand that shoppers are willing to part with their information and money if it makes the purchasing process easier and more rewarding. Here are 5 examples of how some traditional and online retailers are successfully integrating online and offline marketing strategies for a seamless buyer experience.
Augmented Reality Gets Real
Starting with their 2014 catalog, home furnishings and meatball maker extraordinaire, Ikea, began offering an augmented reality app that helps the buyer visualize how furniture will look in their home. No more imagining how that bedroom set will look, buyers and B2B furniture suppliers can see a virtual rendition of the items in their space. The roll out was small, only available with a limited number of items. However, the response has been so positive that Ikea announced a partnership with Apple to bring AR to the entire product line.
Online Ordering with In Store Pick-Up
Online ordering with a ship to the store for pickup option isn’t anything new. But it continues to be popular with shoppers. The magic is in the implementation. For example, if you order from Home Depot you are notified when your item has arrived at the store via email. Bring your email or order info to the front of the store and pick up your item. Easy. Other retailers such as Kohl’s and Wal-Mart offer this service, but with a twist. These retailers place order pickup at the back of the store. This funnels shoppers past brightly colored and inviting displays that stimulate further purchases. These additional purchases can be made at the same window as the order pickup. The online channel is strengthened with an offline sale.
In Store Kiosks
Lloyd’s Pharmacy in the U.K. and Kohl’s in the U.S. have made the most of the in-store kiosks. These touch screen kiosks allow shoppers to access your full product offering. Shoppers can self-check inventory levels, find the location of an item in the store, and place an order for out-of-stock or nonstock items. The kiosk interaction is similar to a web purchase experience, making it a great way to cross promote items, upsell, and drive ancillary spending. Savvy omnichannel marketers utilize in-store kiosks to salvage sales lost by lack of inventory. Just enter the sale into the kiosk and offer free shipping.
Beacons for Beer, Bras, and More
Bluetooth beacons can be used to send push notifications when shoppers enter a store or are in close proximity. For example, Saint Louis Brewery is installing beacons in the taps that dispense its brew. Users of the BrewFinder app get a notification when they come within about 100 feet of a beacon. The notification can provide a promotional offer, reviews, or other content. The Missouri brewery is using the beacon and app in conjunction with their CMS to determine the most effective messages.
Mall stalwarts Macy’s and American Eagle are using beacons in conjunction with the Shopkick app to notify shoppers of promotions and offers available once they enter a store. These push notifications are at the request of the shopper, so there is little risk of alienating the target with too many offers.
Sherwin Williams makes Decorating a Snap
Paint giant Sherwin-Williams is driving sales of paint with technology. The ColorSnap app is available in desktop and mobile versions. Shoppers upload a photo and use the app to paint the scene. Picking just the right color paint before the purchase decreases the time spent in the store. In addition, store associates are freed to cross sell and upsell to increase profit.
For the technologically challenged or the shopper who needs help selecting a color palette, Sherwin-Williams offers an in-home ColorSnap consultation. The charge includes a credit for paint purchase and the consultant not only help you pick the colors from the comfort of home, they place the order for paint and supplies as well. This is an example of integrating online and offline marketing to increase sales, make the best use of sales associates, and provide the highly personalized experience shoppers crave.
Integrate and Track All the Channels
In the push of integrating online and offline marketing, don’t forget to make sure all your online channels are integrated too. Your eBay sales may not happen on your website, so connecting all your sales sources is paramount. The same is true for your Amazon sales and other marketplaces such as Sears or Wal-Mart. It’s important to capture and track all sales, no matter the channel. The answer to these lies in proper eCommerce data integration. You might also want to connect your ERP, CRM, PIM, warehouse management, and other systems.
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