The convenience of online shopping is undeniable – simply click to add an item to your cart, enter a payment method, and within a few days, or even hours, a delivery is on your doorstep! With more consumers being drawn to the simplicity of making purchases online, many brick and mortar store owners are left wondering, “have traditional retail stores gone by the wayside?”
In short, the answer is no! If implemented correctly, the online shopping experience can only help to bolster your business’ in-store retail sales. By providing your customers with an unmatched omnichannel shopping experience that helps drive overall brand engagement and loyalty, it can be argued that traditional retailers with physical storefronts have an advantage over online-only models.
Increased Customer Value
A recent study from Harvard Business Review found that 73% of shoppers use multiple channels during their buying journey. This means that nearly three-quarters of buyers use a combination of online and in-store shopping throughout their buying process, also known as omnichannel retailing. As a business owner, this metric is huge – but does the sales revenue justify the additional work needed to launch an online sales platform?
For brick and mortar store owners considering adding online shopping to their offering, the good news is that the same study found customers that shopped both online and in-store spend an average of 4% more in-store and 10% more online, compared to shoppers that used only one channel to purchase.
For omnichannel customers, the ability to explore a company’s product line and conduct any research prior to visiting the store helps to drive overall engagement with the brand, and ultimately leads to increased spend, no matter where they end up making their purchase. Additionally, the added benefit to retailers is that the practice of optimizing your business across multiple channels means that you’re better able to engage customers in the channels that are most convenient to them – meeting them where they’re looking to buy.
Getting Started with Omni-Channel Retail
If the idea of building online shopping options or an online store for your customers is daunting, fear not! There are many ways to create a simple online path to purchase for your customers in a way that remains true to your brand and consistent with the experience your customers have come to expect.
1. Adding ‘Buy Now’ Buttons To Your Website
For many shoppers, the first place they’ll go to learn more about your company and its offerings is to your store’s website. While your website is a great place to learn general info about the brands or products you offer, not having an option to complete a purchase while they’re on your site is a missed opportunity!
Visitors to your website are a captive audience – they’ve already made it past the initial challenges of finding your site among the hundreds of thousands of others. So, the question is – are you making the most of their visit? By building out a way to quickly capture a sale while they’re thinking of you and your brand, you’re better able to add a new revenue stream for your business, even after normal storefront business hours!
Adding a ‘buy now’ button to your website is one simple way to allow potential customers to do all of the necessary research on your website and make a purchase right then and there, without having to leave their house! Depending on the technology partner you use, you can rest easy knowing that your customers are able to make purchases directly from your website, without ever having to worry about a disjointed brand experience.
2. eCommerce Platform Integration
While “Buy Now” buttons on your website are a quick and simple option to complement your physical store offerings, businesses that have more products or product variations may require a deeper implementation that would be better served by a more robust eCommerce platform.
eCommerce platforms are a great way for you to start selling online and allow you to open up a new stream of revenue for your business; however, there are so many different eCommerce solutions available that the options can often be overwhelming! If you are already working with a merchant services provider for your brick and mortar location, it may be worthwhile to see if they have any existing partnerships with leading eCommerce platforms. In many cases, your existing provider has already done the hard work in vetting a number of different platforms – and can help you find the best fit for your growing business!
For example, merchants processing with Fattmerchant have the option of choosing from a number of different trusted partners for their eCommerce needs – plus, our team is always here to help answer any questions you might have about adding eCommerce to your existing payments platform!
By working with a Fattmerchant partner, merchants get the same great service they’re used to with exclusive Fattmerchant pricing for award-winning eCommerce solutions! Plus, with Fattmerchant’s integrated payments platform, members get the added benefit of accessing all of their in-store and online transactions from a single dashboard. No more hunting down data from different platforms – all of your data is easily accessible at-a-glance, while customers can enjoy shopping from wherever is most convenient for them!
The Bottom Line
As the buyer’s journey continues to migrate online, retailers must be prepared to make the shift with their buyers in order to stay top of mind. In a world where consumers are using multiple devices and shopping when and where is most convenient for them, multi-channel retail is here to stay.
For business owners with physical locations, the continued shift towards online opens up a new opportunity to create brand awareness and extend their brand experience to the online space – and the rewards are there in the form of increased sales. With the right technology partners in place, creating an online shopping journey for customers also provides an opportunity to expand a brick and mortar business without the need for expensive overhead, or even heavy lifting! Ready to learn more about how your business can be taking advantage of the shift towards omnichannel retailing? Contact us!