5 Things Traditional Retailers Can Learn From ECommerce

Ecommerce is growing at an explosive pace. Online sales accounted for 8 percent of total consumer spending in the first quarter of 2016, and if sales continue to skyrocket, the ecommerce industry could be worth a massive $6.7 trillion by 2020.  This has put incredible strain on malls and brick and mortar stores.  While traditional retail is by no means dead in the water, there is certainly a lot to learn from their online counterparts.

 

1. Segment Your Customer Base

 

With ecommerce analytics software, brands can quickly identify the different segments of their audience they want to target, for example, millennials or baby boomers. Customer segmentation is a little trickier in a brick-and-mortar context but it's still possible.

Traditional retailers can market products and services to various sections of their demographic, just like ecommerce brands do online. With shopper card information — such as names, addresses, locations and interests — retailers can personalize customer experiences and rewards, market relevant services to different segments, and use predictive analysis to identify future purchasing trends. Customer segmentation, both online and in a conventional store, works: Marketers have generated as much as a 760 percent revenue increase from segmented campaigns.

2. Monitor Customer Behavior With Analytics

Christmas Shopping.jpgBig data is big business. Online brands often incorporate a tracking code into their e-commerce platform, which provides deep insights into customer behavior. Marketers use this data for location-based targeting, campaign optimization and risk analysis.

While in-depth customer analytics is the domain of e-commerce companies, brick-and-mortar retailers can still access data that shows how customers interact with their brand. Web-based solutions that monitor in-store trends — hourly sales, transactions, payment summaries — let business owners customize inventories and fine-tune marketing campaigns. These retail analytics lack the speed and scope of ecommerce software, but they still provide traditional stores with a better understanding of their customer base.

 

3. Personalize the Shopping Experience

 

Ecommerce platforms let shoppers see products they might be interested in based on their previous purchasing histories. A traditional retailer can't do the same but it can still personalize a shopper's in-store experience. For example, brick-and-mortar stores can bundle similar products or suggest related products at the point of purchase.

Studies show that consumers value a customized experience, both online and in a retail outlet. Eighty-six percent of customers say personalization plays a role in their decision to purchase a product, while 40 percent of consumers say they are likely to buy from a retailer that personalizes the shopping experience across multiple channels.

 

4. Let Customers Review Your Services

 

Customers can rank services on ecommerce websites to help other shoppers find the right products. Research suggests that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and customers read reviews to determine the quality and credibility of a local business. Brick-and-mortar stores can still let customers review their services with digital signage. The data helps business owners ascertain popular products and enables them to assess customer service performance.

 

5. Use Voucher Codes

 

Retailers typically provide customers with money off their purchase when they sign up to their mailing list or use a voucher code. This practice has proved successful: Thirty-three percent of consumers frequently seek out discounts before they part with their cash. Brick-and-mortar stores can take advantage of this trend, too. Business owners can collect a customer's email address at the point of purchase and deliver targeted marketing to that customer's inbox.

 

Online retailers have a number of tools at their disposal to boost sales. Brick-and-mortar stores can use many of the same techniques to encourage prospects to purchase products and services. From voucher codes to a personalized shopping experience, traditional retailers can spur business growth and attract more customers to their stores by implementing tactics often considered exclusive to ecommerce.

 

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