In some countries there is only a poorly developed postal delivery network, or the customer simply needs the item immediately: both circumstances offer the local branch an opportunity to take advantage of!
The customer should be able to select a store in the online shop itself, or a store in his or her vicinity should be automatically suggested. As soon as the next store and its product availability are known, the available products can be displayed first or simply marked accordingly. Information such as local offers or opening hours are also relevant for the customer. For the sake of simplicity, this information, if available, should be stored on a content page and in the search index: customers may search for individual stores by city, and expect an overview of the closest stores.
Considering a long commute, the user might be grateful for services like product reservations or Click & Collect which make sure that the products are there when the customer arrives. These omnichannel services are key for customer satisfaction and additively services like repair and return can save money and costs for both sides - reseller and customer.
Should the nearest store be quite a distance, a customer will be grateful for services such as reservation or Click & Collect, which will ensure that the products are available when he or she arrives at the store. These omnichannel services are the key to greater customer satisfaction. In addition, in-store return or repair services can save costs for both sides - customer and retailer. Apart from this, the local retailer will able to suggest and sell additional products in direct consultation with the customer.
Anyone who calls the local retail trade a dying business, needs to take a closer look.
It is true, that the total number of shops is decreasing, but at the same time new stores are being opened.
There is a shift in the retail industry, from online to local and from local to online. Some online brands are now addressing end customers directly and are opening exclusive stores for their brand. This is causing large department stores such as the traditional American chain Macy's to close, while mono-brands like Adidas are opening new stores. These are usually smaller and primarily serve as showrooms for the products. They enable services such as Click&Collect or personal services such as the individual measurement of running shoes or other sporting goods, and allow customers to experience the products effectively staged up close and personal.
Brands are opening pop-up stores for short periods of time to lure customers into a store and analyse their interests. Stores offer the great advantage that camera and sensor technologies can be used to track and analyze customer behavior very precisely. Demographic information can be collected and at the same time, it is possible to analyze where customers stop, which products they look at and which ones they try on or try out.
This new omnichannel presence of brands has created two new patterns of behavior among customers: webrooming and showrooming.
Webrooming describes a customer journey that begins in an online shop with a customer who finds a product online but hesitates before making a purchase decision - therefore tries on or inspects the item on site and then buys it there. The opposite is showrooming: Here, the customer journey starts while the customer is shopping in the retail store. But for various reasons, such as prices or availability, the customer does not buy on site. Once back home, the customer then buys the item online.
Loyalty programs ensure that individual customers can be identified regardless of how they purchase the item. The program can be used to lure customers to events or to the introduction of a new collection in a store. Once the customer is inside the store, staff can provide individual advice and possibly sell additional products.
The location of your customer is important and can play a significant role in your online and offline experience.
If not properly managed, it can have a negative impact.
The location can help you to personalize the online experience and also to create potential bridges to local retail. For a superior user experience, inventory levels in each store must be transparent and displayed accordingly throughout the online store. Components such as search, navigation, filters and product sorting should also use this information to display, prioritize and highlight products.