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ASK YOURSELF?


ASK YOURSELF…..
Can I get ON-LINE customers to my Physical Store?

1. Do I advertise price promotinons online that are only available in-store?

2. Do I inform my online customers when I have in store events, such as book signings or food preparation demonstrations?

3. Do I offer discount coupons that can be printed at home but which are redeemable only at my store?

4. Do I inform my online shopper about my physical store’s re-fits or upgrades? Online only shoppers may be unware of such improvements.


In the early days of the commercial internet, most traditional “bricks” retailers were reluctant to join the digital revolution. Even those who understood more about the web were afraid to adopt it as part of their sales and distribution chain. The worry was that every online sale would be one lost from the physical store leading to so called’ channel conflict’. The result was, of course, that competitors who had adopted the internet gained with online sales- and the off line company lost out both ways. With online sales fast approach 20 per cent of all retail, many predict an imminent “tipping point” when all retailers will have to invest in multi-channel selling and the proportion of online sales will rise higher still.

Customers are no longer content to travel to an outlet, buy a product, and carry it home. Digital- age customers may want the flexibility to “click and collect”- pay for an item online and collect it from the store. There are three drivers for this: saving shipping expenses, convenience, and meeting can immediate need. Customer demands have increased- but so have the opportunities for the digitally aware retailer to meet those demands.

Many cross- channel customers, who use both on and offline methods to shop, not only want to be able to walk into the store after surfing the internet and purchase or pick up the perfect product, they expect the store to be aware of their order and have it ready and waiting. But the expectation doesn’t end there. If they order clothes online and discover on delivery that they don’t fit, they expect to be able to return them to a local store. The customers might even want to send a text messages to check if the right size is available before driving down to the shops.

Many commentators have suggested that the day of the single transaction is dead and the future of marketing is in developing relationships with customers, so ensuring future sales. If that is the case, have a big say in the success- or otherwise- of maintaining those relationships.

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