Online shopping has become household name now these days due availability of mobile internet facility around the globe. A handful of retailers have tried and succeeded in achieving a smooth transition from online to in-store shopping by offering customers a seamless, omni-channel experience. Companies such as Apple have managed to blend the ease and convenience of online electronic payment with the reassuring comfort of in-store shopping by eliminating the cash register in their stores and having salespeople handle the sales transaction on smartphones before sending customer receipts via email. iPhone owners can even complete the sales process themselves using the Apple Store app on their own devices.
Modernity of Shopping Experience among middle class buyers
Customers only need to scan the barcodes of the products they wish to buy with their iPhone’s camera and pay for the purchases in-store through the EasyPay option in the Apple Store app—no sales clerk required. Another option available to iPhone owners is the ability to select and buy the items online before heading to their local Apple Store to pick them up. Some where , you can easily get the Paypal option.
By understanding the changing needs and expectations of shoppers, Apple stores have adopted a differentiated checkout experience that blends the best of in-store with the best of online. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is moving in the same direction by testing a “Scan & Go” app that lets customers scan their items as they shop. The retail giant is already giving its customers the option to buy products online and pick them up in-store or buy online and return in-store. In doing so, Walmart is trying to stay ahead of other stores where self-checkout areas that enable customers to scan and bag their own merchandise have become
In the same vein, a variety of mid-sized chains such as J.C. Penney, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie are either currently planning or have already equipped their stores with mobile devices—iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch—to allow for credit or debit card purchases in-store. While it may seem like such enhancements to the in-store customer experience is the exclusive privilege of big companies, emerging technology solutions such as LightSpeed are making it easier for smaller retailers to offer more unified shopping solutions. Thousands of small to mid-sized stores in the world have adopted the LightSpeed platform to sell everything from clothing to cameras, to musical instruments and, yes, even running shoes.
The Montreal-based LightSpeed offers retailers a complete omni-channel solution to seamlessly integrate e-commerce functions and in-store operations at an affordable price. As with Apple’s EasyPay option, shoppers can use the LightSpeed solution to pay with their handheld devices. The platform also gives a retailer the opportunity to allow its customers to view merchandise that is not on the sales floor and order it on the spot. By eliminating the time spent hunting through the stock room for merchandise, looking up information on products or ringing up purchases at the cash register, this type of solution gives the retailers the chance to spend more time engaging with customers and selling products.
Personalize the web experience for a first time visitor:
It may seem difficult to know what a first time visitor is interested as there isn’t any clickstream behavior to track yet, but there are some things you can do here. In real-time, you can identify what site they came from (referring site), what their search terms were, you can start to understand their likely interests.
Tip 1: You can simply serve new visitors a Welcome Message on your website – and this message can be used as an email acquisition tool.
Gardener’s Supply Company saw a 3x increase in revenue and a 6x boost in leads after launching a welcome message on their website, targeted at visitors who came from Pinterest. The message included a discount and email address capture to help increase engagement and drive conversions.
This one is easier. Anonymous visitors can be identified as a return visitor. The instant they visit your site, in real time, you can recognize this “Anonymous visitor ABC”. Last time they were here they clicked on “XYZ”, so let’s present them personalized language, content, and offers focused on “XYZ” right away. You are now dramatically improving your chances of having this visitor make it past the 20-second danger zone, because right off the bat you are showing them what they want.
Tip 2: Serve them a Welcome Back message – this can include a variety of messages based of their past behavior: You left items in your cart, you looked at these specific items, you never left your email address for offers and promotions etc.
Tip 3: You notice that an anonymous visitor is returning to view a specific item. They have never added it the shopping cart, but it is obvious there is high interest. Upon their return visit, you can swap out the content and language to be focused on that specific item, as well as similar and complementary items to assist in increasing the purchase order. You can even offer them a personalized coupon for this specific item, as well as discounts on related items.
With lengthy shopping lists, last-minute shopping runs, and returns & exchanges – you can help create a better customer experience by making your site a customer service representative. There several ways to do this and it will be impactful if it’s done right.
Tip 4: Target your visitors based off of geolocation. Help guide them with a banner or popover with the nearest store location. You can also promote new store openings, sales and store events.
Tip 5: Tailor messages to visitors based off of the time spent on your website. If they are on your site with no action, you can ask them is they need assistance, ask them for their email, live chat, or offer them an incentive to purchase.
Creating a sense of urgency with discounts or free shipping messages can drive sales with already engaged visitors.
Tip 6: Whether a visitor has returned to your website several times to view a product or if they have items in their shopping cart, you can help move them through the sales process quickly by offering a deep discount or free shipping message while they are engaged on your website. This tactic will increase shopping cart conversions and decrease abandonment.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that visit one page on your website and then leave. According to Google, the average for most sites is between 40% and 60%. The lower your bounce rate is, the longer your potential customer will be on your site making the decision to buy.
Tip 7: Are they bouncing without a purchase? Offer them a coupon or discount right away – an incentive for them to stick around.
Tip 8: Do they have items in their shopping cart? Show them those items within a message to remind them of these items! These two tips can be used together as a double whammy to get them to convert.
SGRC Review reduced their bounce rate by 10x on their website when they added real-time dynamic, personalized content to their site to help engage visitors, keep them on their website, and prevent bounces.
Don’t let your customers have a mediocre shopping experience this holiday season. Help them find what they are looking for, when they are looking for it, and guide them through the buying process. While you have been planning your Q4 since this summer, it’s not too late to add real-time behavior-based web personalization into your marketing mix which is win2win bonanza.