- By Carla Bragagnolo
The past week was a big week for brick and mortar. Ikea announced they are doubling their physical stores in Canada over the next ten years despite soaring web sales. Amazon also made waves this week when they opened their first physical bookstore after 20 years of effectively putting physical bookstores out of business. We’re talking about a company that has complete visibility into their customer’s path to purchase, as the entire process takes place online. From the moment someone conducts a search, to all the browsing actions in-between, and finally to the sale: Amazon.com is the closest thing to the holy grail of online to offline attribution that the industry is after. Opening a physical location is not inexpensive. The actions of these two mega-brands this week go to show that brick-and-mortar is just as important as an online presence.
There are of course obvious benefits to having a physical location: no one can deny the appeal of being able to physically touch merchandise and bring it home the day you purchased it. Amazon’s move to open a physical location when they have complete coverage into their customer’s purchasing path demonstrates clear benefits to having reach into both the digital and physical world. Your strategies can become much more sophisticated when you can properly integrate the two.
Shoppers are using different mediums at different points in their journey. 85% of people like to begin searching online but 93% of sales still happen offline. How can you ensure you are capturing intent on both fronts?
- Attract their attention when they search: Don’t miss out on that 85%! Offer promotions through your local platforms to drive people browsing online to your physical locations. Use beacons and offer incentives for customers to download your app so that if they are in the vicinity of your store you can send them mobile notifications.
- Create a seamless O2O experience: Use In-store analytics apps to see what your customers are browsing in store and to offer further information on them. Tie these tools to your local campaigns so you understand how they found your store.
- Track the entire journey from search to sale: Ensure you’ve got an online to offline attribution model set up to track your campaigns and to better understand how your customers are finding your stores. Read more about building an o2o attribution model here.
Despite the importance of digital, brick-and-mortar is here to stay. The solution for brands is creating a seamless online to offline experience for your customers.