How Digital Communication Can Improve The Physical Retail Experience


According to Shopify, retailers have a much harder time selling to their current customers than selling to new customers. With a 60% to 70% chance of reengaging with existing customers compared to the stark contrast of 5% to 20% chance of making a first-time sale to a new customer, reaching new audiences is clearly a challenge for retailers. Knowing how much harder it is to make this first sale, why do these businesses continue to prioritize their marketing and advertising budgets on new customers instead of existing customers? Most organizations claim these efforts are meant to entice both sets of customers, but clearly they’re not as effective as they’d like. The truth is that the best strategy for making the money invested into these campaigns back is focusing on the existing customers that these businesses have.

Focusing on this set of customers is great, but it won’t confirm an increase in dynamic revenue growth for retailers. Strategies to improve this revenue can be found in the infographic accompanying this post, though. Most important to note, establishing these strategies starts by finding a way to combine online and in-store techniques to improve sales. These techniques are meant to provide customers with the most tailored shopping experience while simultaneously pushing a retailer’s best products. Often referred to as cross-selling and upselling.

Finding success in such a vastly populated digital landscape can be difficult. It’s going to take the willingness to fully adapt to an omnichannel marketing strategy in order to truly find success. Creating a strong enough presence online that customers are more enticed to visit physical retail locations is made much easier through an omnichannel approach. This approach also allows digital marketing tools to be integrated into physical retail locations to further enhance the customer experience and help retain customer engagement.

The omnichannel approach’s value is made immensely clear when considering just how long the average customer spends in any retail store. On average, customers will spend anywhere between fifteen minutes to an hour in a physical retail location shopping. However, plenty of customers will spend even less than fifteen minutes in a store assuming they have an idea of what they’re looking for. How is any organization supposed to continue interacting with their customers after they leave the store? There’s no guarantee as to when they’ll return, meaning a social media presence or e-mail and text message communication are imperative for driving these customers back into the physical locations of retailers.

A sophisticated enough webstore also allows for a new level of personalization to be offered to customers. Product recommendations derived from an algorithm can be much more effective than a representative’s help in a store for some shoppers. This can also allow for personalized coupon or sale deals to be sent out to specific customers who have been known to commonly shop those specific items.

Finally, and surprisingly enough, digital marketing methods finding their way into physical locations has found success. Think of the ways in which retailers guide you to different products. Years prior it was overarching signs with vague directions. Today, it’s digital signage and screens occasionally draped from the ceiling to provide sale information or product specifications when necessary. Similarly, some stores have integrated tablets that can be used by customers to search for information regarding a specific location’s stock or for a product they were unable to find online. In combination with a representative’s assistance in store, this creates the best possible shopping experience for customers.

Balancing the physical and digital landscape can be challenging. However, it opens the doors for countless possibilities for retailers across the nation. For additional information on how your organization can integrate some of these strategies, be sure to check out the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of IDL Displays.