‘Tis the season to shop! But as a retailer without a way to sell your products or services online, how can you continue to drive consumers into your brick and mortar in a world dominated by online shopping? Over the last few years the buzz around online shopping has significantly grown and according to Statista, online sales are now the fourth largest sector overall, bringing in about $59.8 billion in adjusted sales. This may be the case; however physical retail is far from dead. Here are some of the most festive ways you can drive traffic and sales to your store front.
First, let’s get a better understanding of what makes online shopping so appealing in today’s world because let’s face it, it’s hard to imagine the world without it. Retail e-commerce sales worldwide are forecasted to more than double between 2018 and 2023, surpassing 6.5 trillion U. S. dollars in 2023, (Statista). This large volume of online sales shows not only optimistic projections, but also the influence of web and mobile sales that will continue to rise in the coming years. What’s so appealing about this method of shopping is that internet buyers can quickly research products online and even interact with other shoppers about products through reviews before making a purchasing decision. U.S. shoppers can easily choose from a variety of brand sites, retail platforms and online marketplaces to purchase their products from.
Search engines make comparison shopping even easier by collecting product information like specifications, pricing and shipping so that consumers can compare retailers and make a well-informed purchasing decision. Search engines ensure that the product offerings are identical at each retailer so that information can be compared against one another fairly.
Another comparison-shopping platform is Amazon. Amazon, the largest player in the e-commerce game, allows shoppers to easily research and comparison shop.
The retailer also has efforts such as offering free 2-day shipping for prime members, options for same day shipping and free returns, shoppers have the ability to access products quickly without having to leave their home. Amazon has in the past open the free 2-day shipping to all shoppers during the holiday which lead to a spike in online shopping sales to roughly 50% of the online market according to Bloomberg in February of this year. Their reports also show that the retail giant’s online market is subject a 11% cut this year as the industry begins to examine their market power. Great news for the physical retail demographic.
Even as online shopping continues to grow, shoppers haven’t given up on in-store shopping. According to the U.S. Census, nearly 90% of transactions still happen offline. The holiday shopping season traditionally kicks-off on Black Friday and this year, The International Council of Shopping Centers reports about 63% of holiday shoppers will began shopping before Thanksgiving, and 49% of shoppers plan to complete their holiday shopping within the last ten days before Christmas. This means there is still time to gear up and begin implementing efforts to get more foot traffic through your store.
A great way to encourage shoppers to come in store is simply inviting them. This can be done through email marketing or an online invitation sent to a consumer, making them feel personally chosen for a unique shopping experience in store. Getting people through the door is only half the battle, creating a unique and memorable experience can turn a consumer into a customer.
One way to accomplish this is by investing in an in-store experience for consumers. Forbes found that more than 80% named “quick checkout” as the top factor in creating a great customer experience. Long, slow check outs are among one of the most dreaded experiences that comes with physical retail shopping and finding a way to eliminate those crazy lines will certainly aid in the overall experience. Hosting in-store events like sip-n-shops, which invite customers to enjoy a drink while they are shopping. Serving apple cider or hot chocolate can give this experience a more seasonal touch. Live music and in-store raffles can also enhance a shopper’s experience and encourage them to shop for longer amounts of time.
Adding to the overall in-store experience also includes ensuring your store has easy to navigate landscaping with sprinkle of holiday decorations with a dash of holiday aromas because who doesn’t love the holidays.
In-store giveaways, promotions, and discounts are also a great way to incentivize shoppers. Consumers expect to receive savings when shopping during the holiday season. An interesting approach to this is offering shoppers door busters for specialty or seasonal products or services or a mystery gift for spending a specific dollar amount.
PMC Media Group’s experiential marketing services can assist you with promoting your business year-round. We bring your conceptual ideas to life with the support collateral you need to create a unique shopping experience for consumers, allowing you to compete with online retailers.
Our approach to experiential marketing combines our in-depth knowledge of consumer behavior with great creative execution. Contact us today to learn more about PMC Media Group’s experiential marketing services!