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Getting Real: Bridging Online and Offline Shopping Experiences

With multiple social media platforms, online stores, brick-and-mortar locations, pop-up shops and radio and television commercials, both established and potential clients interact with your brand in more ways than ever before. Whether you’re working on your digital presence or your in-person brand and mission, continuity is key. In this article, our team at Creative Displays Now answers the common question: Why is omni-channel retailing important? We’ll help you to bridge the gap between online and offline customer experience.

Retail Displays for Omni Channel
Image credit: TheStoreStarters.com

What is an Omni-Channel?
An Omni-channel brand experience makes sure that your brand, and the general shopping journey for your customer, is consistent and intuitive across all platforms—so customers can easily find what they’re looking for. It matters because there are now more ways than ever to shop, and customers will always use whatever form is most convenient for them. If they don’t live near a brick and mortar location, they’ll shop online at their computers. If they’re not near a computer and want to shop, they’ll take their business to your mobile site. And if they can’t find what they need in one channel, they’ll try another. Be prepared to close the sale no matter what.

Find Your Market
No matter the channel, an effective omni-channel retail strategy starts with truly understanding your target market, and which channel appeals to different ages, genders and types of customer or client you’re trying to reach. You’ll need to do your research to discover which channel brings you the most customers. Streamline your other sites and stores in that same style to create a seamless shopping experience. Picture your ideal customer: which platform would engage him or her the most? Is he or she home a lot, watching television? Think about an advertisement there. Constantly on Instagram? Upload a cool photo of your products during lunch time. Also, try to create a digital marketing strategy that encourages customers who are able to engage in all your different channels: in-store, online and on social media. Using multiple platforms makes it easier for your perfect customer to find you.

Take Everything Online
Remember that customers today are used to, and often demand, instant gratification—and if your company doesn’t offer it, one of your competitors certainly will. Omni-channel retailing needs to save your customers time and offer convenience. One success story? Think of mobile banking apps. Most of them now allow customers to deposit checks directly into their account, check their balances on the go, and transfer funds between accounts, without having to head to the ATM or stand in long banking lines. Yes, a customer can get the same experience by visiting a brick and mortar location, but now having to leave their house or work is an option, not a necessity. Consider creating an app, or at the very least, a superior mobile site, for your customers who work long hours or have complicated schedules.

Don’t Forget Snail-Mail
Yes, people are still reading print magazines, newspapers and books. And they still want glossy catalogs of your products delivered to their doorsteps. Brands and companies that think the print era is over are missing out on a fabulous marketing strategy that will set your business apart. If your target audience is older or has young children, print catalogs can be a goldmine. Clients can read them at their leisure, but they’re also more likely to spend more time going through the whole catalog, as the urge to click away to another site has been eliminated.

You’re ready to tackle the exciting world of omni-channel retail marketing, gain new clients and strengthen your web and mobile presence. Keep checking back with us to pick up new tricks of the trade.

Posted in In-Store Display Tactics