E-commerce has been the force that’s driving brick-and-mortar stores down. The closure of a couple of the well-known brands is not helping disprove this idea either. It has been a solution for some other retail giants to also implement e-commerce in their strategies so that they can stay relevant.
Aside from just offering online channels to your customers, there is another step for which surviving brands can learn from e-commerce so that they won’t go out of business: marketing.
There’s a bit of difference in how e-commerce businesses do their marketing and applying this for physical stores can also bring about a lot of benefits.
Here are 5 lessons from retail e-commerce that can help you grow your business:
Improve Your Customer Experience
E-commerce businesses do not have the ability to serve their customers upfront. What they must do is to make sure that customers have a great experience with the site, and that they also have a great after-sales experience. If the site is bad, customers won’t even spend more than sixty seconds online on your site, and you will lose a lot of potential customers with that.
You should also have a similar mindset even if you are in a physical store. You have sixty seconds or less to try to convince your customers to buy from your store. The moment they enter, you should be able to win their attention. But not to the point that you will drive them away. Make your store appear nice, and make sure you display your products well. Entice them visually, then go for the kill with outstanding products that are reasonably priced.
Segmentation is the process of categorizing your customers into subsets of the market. When you do this, you will be able to study individual categories and come up with promotions and other marketing strategies that fit their preferences. It’s not just about promotions too, it’s also about what products would be best to recommend to them.
Segmentation is all about knowing your customers and knowing what they want. Grouping together those with the same wants, you’ll be able to come up with offers that would address these wants so that you will be able to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns instead of targeting everyone with the same campaign each time.
Segmenting is very important for e-commerce. This is with the understanding that there’s no one-size-fits-all marketing technique that works. Instead, you should put forth the effort to understanding your different customer segments and come up with tailored-fit approaches for each of them. Doing this will make each campaign successful.
According to this email marketing guide, segmenting your email marketing campaign is very important. You should be able to segment your email list based on the categories that you established to properly measure the effectiveness and efficiency of your email marketing campaign.
E-commerce businesses are known for rewarding loyalty. This is something that you should implement as well for your physical store. What you should do is to come up with a program for which the purchases of your customers are tracked so that when they reach a goal relating to the total number of accumulated purchases, they can be rewarded.
If you do this, you may just foster loyalty from your customers. This is especially true if your rewards are good enough to entice them to make repeat purchases. Again, make sure that your products are great so that it would not be difficult to encourage your customers to be loyal.
Venture into a Subscription Model Business
There are big names who are trying to advocate for a subscription model business. This business model gives customers who subscribe priority on scheduled repeat purchases. This ensures that products are available for them even at times when the supply is usually scarce.
For your business, having this makes you aware of actual product demand so that you would be able to prepare ahead of time. It’s also very easy to set up such an arrangement and manage inventory better because your customers would enjoy the convenience and the fact that they would not run out of products.
Timing is Key
The fifth lesson that you should learn from e-commerce businesses is that time is always of the essence. The success of a lot of marketing strategies is largely dependent on how perfect your timing is.
For example, a lot of e-commerce business practice sending “we miss you” emails from customers who have not made purchases in a while. There’s also email retargeting for those who abandon their online shopping cards. Promos are also very much in time for special occasions.
While some of these strategies cannot be applied for in-person retail, the value is in understanding the essence of being on time. Come up with in-store marketing strategies that are fit for the season, address issues immediately, be in-the-know for what’s trending, and the like.
When you reach the perfect customer at the perfect time, that’s when you make a great transaction..
For traditional retailers to stay relevant at this point in time, they should learn from e-commerce businesses and try to redefine how they do their business, especially when it comes to marketing.
The five tips above are some of the biggest lessons from e-commerce that traditional retailers should take to heart and apply to their own strategies. There is still a future for brick-and-mortar retail, but only when it learns to innovate itself.