How to ‘Digitize’ Your Brick-and-Mortar Store

How to ‘Digitize’ Your Brick-and-Mortar Store

With brick and mortar stores noticing a decline in footfall, businesses need to consider ways they can digitize the shopping experience and win back customers. Embracing technology in some of the simplest ways could have a big impact.

Increasing levels of online competition is a common reason as to why traditional high-street retailers may struggle or, in the worst-case scenario, are forced to shut their doors and cease trading for good. However, Propsellers, specialists in commercial property for rent, have provided a useful guide on why retailers should instead embrace technology in order to make their physical stores more attractive and encourage more people to come through the door…

Consider the marketing benefits of email receipts

In a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of email marketing company, Bronto Software, it was found that 45 per cent of consumers would like to receive digital copies of receipts whenever they made an in-store purchase. Yet, just one third of the survey’s respondents said that they were given this opportunity.

When you consider that 64 percent of those involved in the survey would be open to receiving additional marketing messages, 34 percent product promotions and 31 percent information about loyalty programs too, you should really consider making them a part of your business’ offering.

Your email receipts can include a message asking if customers would like to opt-in to your company’s marketing emails to stay up-to-date, as well as a bounce-back offer for completing a survey online — something that will appeal to consumers as well as allow you to keep track of their actions.

It’s always a good idea to include contact details on email receipts about how someone can get in touch with your company after they have made a purchase as well. Do this by pointing them to the places online where they can ask someone at your company a question, leave a review and make an enquiry in the unfortunate event they need to make a return. Links to your social media channels will also encourage happy customers to remain engaged with your brand.

Moreover, email receipts have the added benefit of putting your brand in a positive light as it showcases that you’re thinking about the environment by trying to save paper.

Offer a ‘Click & Collect’ service

Allowing customers to purchase products online and then collect them at a physical store, is a fantastic mix of both eCommerce and high-street shopping. According to research by Macfarlane Packaging, it became the third most popular online service during 2017, just behind online banking and online shopping in general.

There are lots of reasons why you should think about introducing Click & Collect to your business — with benefits being offered to customers and retailers alike.

For consumers, Click & Collect gives them more control over their orders as they can decide where they want their items delivered to. In fact, delivery company, Shutl, conducted a survey which found that 95 percent of respondents would consider shopping with another retailer should their first choice not be able to provide a suitable delivery option for their needs.

Additionally, consumers can also curb unwanted delivery costs and be reassured that an item that they are keen to own can still be purchased even if it’s sold out at their local store.

A major benefit for retailers is that Click & Collect has considerable sales potential since customers visiting physical stores to pick up their order may be inclined to buy even more items as they work their way to a store’s collection desk. Retail Assist found this to be a case at fashion retailer, New Look, as it discovered 25 percent of Click & Collect customers make additional purchases in their stores. You can capitalize on this further by putting your most eye-catching items and best deals along the path that customers will take from a store’s entrance to the collection desk.

Consider creating more interactive points-of-sale

For years, retailers have had to make do with focusing on their static retail displays, using creative designs and bright colors to catch their customers’ attention — whether through window displays or directly promoting the season’s must-have products when someone is browsing inside a shop. Interactive window displays have now emerged and are naturally eye-catching with their hi-tech designs and excellent use of lighting effects.

For example, retail website, I Am Omnichannel, researched the benefits of enhancing stores with interactive retail displays and according to its study, found that 70% of women and 50% of men see shopping as a form of entertainment. What’s more, 70% of customers say that digital signage is entertaining.

Furthermore, your store’s conversion rates could also witness a significant boost with an interactive retail display, as 30% of customers said that they end up making a purchase after engaging with this technology. With that amount of potential extra custom, the cost for getting these displays installed could quickly be reimbursed.

Author: Lee Dover is a copywriter at Mediaworks who covers a wide range of topics across numerous business sectors.

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