Are You Online?

Gone are the days when it sufficed to offer customers the corresponding care product when they bought a new pair of runners. If retailers today want to provide additional value to their customers at the point of sale in the form of add-ons, they need to come up with new strategies – because buyer behavior has drastically changed since the advance of digitization.

One example is the “click-and-buy”-principle which continues to grow in popularity: customers purchase online and then collect their products in-store themselves. The advantages are obvious: For customers, delivery times and postage drop to zero, and retailers can expect an increase in turnover with additional sales in their stores. eBay’s project “The Future of Retail” confirms it – one in five customers buys additional products in-store regularly when she picks up her online order. That means: retailers who combine online and offline sales generate competitive advantages in both worlds.     

Looking at last year’s retail study conducted by the German Chamber of Commerce, I am cautiously optimistic that retailers and brands are starting to see the potential of multi-channels. Of the 8,200 interviewees, one third confirmed that the combination of online and offline sales already works for them. However, I do find it problematic that the majority of retailers have been paying only little attention to this area so far. How about you: Do you offer your customers different types of electronic or digital payment methods? Does your store have an online presence or sales platform? Are your distribution channels smoothly synchronized?

The increasing price and supplier transparency online is explanation enough why customers keep expecting more from retailers. So if you want to stay in the game, my suggestion is: develop holistic business models that combine the advantages of digitization and personal customer service in your store.