Retailers must connect online shopping experiences with offline experiences

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
September 27, 2021, 5:50 PM UTC

To thrive in 2021 and beyond, retailers should optimise their digital customer journeys by analysing customer data.

Retailers should keep track of their audience preferences and interactions – necessary for optimising their digital customer experiences. But, while they should continue their digital transformation, companies should not ignore their brick-and-mortar operations as the bulk of purchases are still in-store. As of July this year, online sales accounted for only 26.4% of all retail purchases in the UK.

Studies indicate that in-person shopping is not going anywhere though online sales have increased since the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, while consumers conduct online research, like browsing different sites and reading reviews, they do not always complete the purchase online. So, bridging the gap between online and offline experiences can help retailers succeed in the post-pandemic world.

Retailers can use data from both online and offline stores and use them for continuous improvement. For instance, online search data can help inform decisions about stock and inventory, while web traffic insights from store locator pages can help understand regional demand and inform staffing, expansion and closure decisions.

Brands can also use data from their in-store purchases, like customers’ email addresses collected at the sale point, to boost digital penetration. They should also bring together data streams from multiple business functions to deliver a truly personalised customer experience. Studies found personalised customer experiences are more engaging and lead to more sales and higher revenue for brands.

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