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How Can Retailers Meet Customers Everywhere On The Internet?

Accessing retail through a computer

Location is everything. The classic business mantra that places importance on customer access still holds weight in the digital world. And what’s the prime location in today’s retail marketplace? Everywhere. 

An article on the E-Commerce Times website explains how retailers can successfully “be everywhere” — or in other words, have an omnichannel presence — by ensuring their multiple storefronts offer consistent services. 

These days, customers are shopping on not only the web via their computers, but also on mobile phones and tablets. And don’t forget about social media. Customers often learn about new products through their social networks. 

How can retailers satisfy consumers’ ever-growing shopping needs? Well, for the most part, only the large retailers with hundreds or thousands of stores will be able to pursue every e-commerce opportunity, such as Facebook pages and mobile storefronts. That’s a bit much to tackle all at once for smaller retailers with only 10 or 20 locations. 

However, that doesn’t mean they need to stay on the sidelines when it comes to online shopping. For smaller retailers, the key is to be consistent. They can still offer a mobile storefront, but rather than offering the ability to order directly from an app or Facebook, consumers could be funneled via their web browser to the retailer’s e-commerce site and place an order there. 

As the E-Commerce Times article explains, embedding e-commerce storefronts into websites or blogs is an easy and cost-efficient way to serve online customers. Just be sure the embedded e-commerce storefront is highly functional, secure and fast. It also should offer expected features such as easy-to-understand shipping rates and credit card integrations. 

Social storefronts are becoming just as important. A report from social commerce platform 8thBridge found 44 percent of consumers discover new products through Facebook. In addition, the report adds that more than half of consumers say they get product reviews and advice from their social networks before making a purchase. 

Retailers who successfully set up a social storefront see an average sales increase of 10 percent, with some even touting as much as a 30 to 50 percent increase, the E-Commerce Times article reports. 

As you can see, with the right strategy, retailers can cost-effectively build an omnichannel presence that allows them to “be everywhere” in an increasingly complex shopping environment.

Source: E-Commerce Times, April 2013