Boost Your Brick-and-Mortar Sales: Lessons from E-Commerce

While shopping online continues to grow and rake in big profits, many online-exclusive brands have begun to see the value of a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront. Amazon has used its online presence to bolster in-person shopping, by recently opening a bookstore in Seattle. Between that and their acquisition of Whole Foods, they have put themselves on the map – literally. Even brands like Warby Parker, which served a vibrant online-only community for years, has seen remarkable sales increases from physical storefronts, of which they now boast more than 60.

As it turns out, e-commerce has a lot to teach us when it comes to increasing in-person shopping. For example, according to market research, roughly 80% of shoppers do their own research online before in-person shopping.  This means that, if you have an outdated website or lack of inventory online for potential shoppers to browse, you may never see them walk through your door to even browse.

Other Ways that Your Online Presence Can Drive Offline Sales

Your online presence and offline store should be boosting your marketing reach. Here are a few things to do to help your digital and e-commerce strategy drive your offline sales.

Offer a click-and-collect option

This is a great example of why omnichannel options are so useful to retailers and consumers alike. When you offer the option of shopping online and the customer picking up in-store, they gain the value of not having to pay additional shipping costs but still get to see the product in person before bringing it home. Data also shows that omnichannel shoppers tend to, on average, spend almost three times more than walk-in customers and that 40% of click-and-collect shoppers spend an additional $50 or more, once in-store.

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Using brick-and-mortar locations as local delivery hubs

One way to really optimize your physical location is to do product delivery direct to local consumers. Again, this saves them additional shipping costs, particularly if delivery is free for purchases over a specified amount. Many consumers prefer shopping from the convenience of their phones, but they also value shopping locally. This is a perfect way to reel them in (if only virtually).

Tips and Tricks for Making the Switch to Brick-and-Mortar

The old adage of “Location, location, location!” is so popular mostly because it’s true. If you’re thinking of going to brick-and-mortar to augment your online sales, be sure to find a location that will be beneficial to your product and attract the right demographic. If your products attract window shoppers, for example, what kind of foot traffic the location gets will be important. On the other hand, if it’s mattresses you sell, ample storage, nearby parking, and delivery infrastructure are going to be some things to critically think about before choosing a location.

Ultimately, a bad location can break an otherwise solid business endeavor, so do your research before jumping into any location. Here are a few other considerations:

Make sure your online presence reflects your offline one

Keeping your website updated is key. If you’ve started Spring promotions in-store, for example, make sure you aren’t still running New Year’s promotions online. Likewise, as you get in new inventory, regularly updating the website will help it look and feel fresh, which in turn keeps customers clicking back more regularly. These are many of the same 75% of potential customers who do online research before shopping in person, so it’s important to show them that there is new product available and get them through that door.

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Use window displays to draw attention to your location

Having interesting window displays is one sure-fire way to draw a potential customer’s gaze, even while stopped in traffic. It will increase the potential for them to look for you online, too. Items featured in window displays can also act as great topics for social media posts or ad campaigns. If it’s apparel you sell, for example, consider using styled mannequins as part of the display and changing their attire regularly. Change is eye-catching. Maybe that person walking by last week didn’t like the billowing skirt on the mannequin but will be drawn into the store by a functional pair of pants with cargo pockets. Changing window displays regularly can help any business engage with more potential customers, both on and offline, and can also have a huge impact on people visiting your physical location.

Be attentive to local SEO

Especially with a brick-and-mortar location, it’s crucial to make sure that your website’s local SEO is on point. After all, having a local business means that local people need to see you in their searches. This includes making sure to be included in local business directories but also having updated social media business pages that reflect your actual location. Most important is making sure that the SEO content for your website and social media posts are up to date and reflect what potential searches local customers would use to find you. Driving up your local web traffic can and will drive up your foot traffic in-store.

Make Sure Your Site Is Optimized

If the isolation of this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we have a limited span for online shopping. People enjoy perusing a brick and mortar store, but not at the sacrifice of what they can find online. Fortunately, you don’t have to think of your digital strategy as separate from your live one. When you ready to get your digital presence and traditional storefront working together, talk with our team. Toledo SEO for Growth can optimize your site to boost both your marketing strategies.

Whether you already have a brick-and-mortar location, or are looking to inhabit one soon, leaning heavily on e-commerce to augment your engagement is one of the keys to success.

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