Effiliation offers a Web-to-Store plan for click and mortar retailers with the purpose of increasing their business with in-store customers and improving the consumer experience.
The Effiliation governing board for performance marketing announced the launch of the Web-to-Store service dedicated to creating physical signs that have a merchant website’s information. The principle of Web-to-Store is simple; it involves capturing a portion of the audience from hubs to generate web traffic and store sales.
The digital change and consumer behavior
Since the mid 90s, e-commerce has fundamentally changed consumer behavior. The physical and electronic commerce have been seen as competitors for a long time. However, the consumer has learned over the years to take advantage of both worlds.
Christophe Bosquet, Associate Director of Effiliation « Among the current consumer habits, the trend of “ROPO” (Research Online Purchase Offline) is becoming increasingly important. This trend is confirmed by the fact that 77% of users go online before going to buy in store * ».
The reasons why consumers who use this approach are numerous is because they can search product availability in each store, locate and know the business hours of a store close to their home and search for prices among other things. It is not always easy to access the internet for this vital information which can help the customer with fewer trips to the store.
Effiliation’s Web-to-Store Offers
To support its customers in their Web-to-Store Strategy, Effiliation has developed a range of tools to increase store traffic. Most web marketing used in e-commerce can be adapted to this method. The first step would be to educate the market; Effiliation relies primarily on getting good deals, geo-location and web interaction which is broken down through different media and devices (computers, tablets and smartphones). To implement a Web-to-Store strategy, signs must provide shop information (address, business hours, parking, etc.), a product and inventory list and an attractive offer valid only to customers who visit the physical shop. Web-to-Store strategies can be particularly effective when it is based on special occasions such as the opening of a new store, inventory liquidation, the release of a new collection or product and private sales.
The idea is to adapt the principle of a coupon through highly-developed electronic commerce; with downloadable or printable coupons. The user can then go to the store and get the offer. Ideally, this technique can be coupled with a “store locator” solution; referring the user to the nearest store based on their location. The coupon can also take the form of a QR code.
The different geo-location techniques can be used to connect the consumer to nearby shops, known as geo-fencing or the consumer geo-tag (with his consent) which allows their mobile device to send valid offers from stores within a 50-2,000 meter radius. In the same way except utilizing a wider area, SMSes are sent to relay an attractive offer with the possibility of integrating a coupon via SMS to target locations such as close to a town.
More typically, emails targeting zip codes or regional Facebook pages can also be an effective marketing method for relaying attractive offers.
Web Interaction / Online Shop
Effiliation also proposes to strengthen the interaction between a merchant’s website and physical shops through a Click and Collect feature. This is to allow consumers to reserve products online before going to the physical shop to collect their product. The customer experience is based on a technical solution; to geo-tag the user and then proposes a list of nearby stores while checking that there is stock available. It then records the ordered products and information and emails or SMSes the client informing them that their product is ready to be picked up.
There are two key indicators to monitor in order to control the performance of the Web-to-Store campaign. The first indicator is measuring the interest expressed by the public for the proposed offering (e.g. the number of downloads or print-outs versus the number of views). The second indicator is the rate of conversion in the store (the number of coupons used versus the number of coupons downloaded / printed). Finally, interesting information can be gathered by measuring the rate of sales; the percentage of sales and / or additional amounts that are bought from internet users compared to physical clients.
An opportunity for Click and Mortar retailers
In a growing market, Effiliation advises and assists clients who use Click and Mortar to help them fully benefit from the potential buyers supplied by the Web-to-Store campaign. These signs must have a cross-channel strategy set up with implications on several levels. In their initial organization, most businesses have separate teams to handle sales in shops and online. There is very little mutual contribution of traffic in this set up. Establishing a multi-cell structure with a broad vision makes it possible to create complementary departments which can optimize investments and improve the customer experience.
The cross channel strategy also has implications for how the brand manages its data. A company must be able to centralize and us the information to measure the impact of the cross-channel strategy.
The marketing department should also be involved by offering innovative services to optimize the complimentary offline and online sales departments to retain more customers. An example of this would be the ability to purchase online and exchange the product in a store if it is necessary.
Finally, the implementation of the Web-to-Store strategy will also have an impact on logistics as it will centralize inventory management and optimize various processes such as delivery and returns.
Today, the ROPO trend affects all sectors, especially retail or technology.
* Mediametrie, 2012