The technological revolution heralded the rise of the Internet and the ability for businesses of any size to operate virtually, thereby increasing competition for everyone in the same industry. In 2016, global e-commerce sales totalled $22.049 trillion and are only expected to increase in 2017. While these numbers are incredible and compelling, it is the relationship formed when both the online and offline communities are streamlined; becoming clicks-and-mortar, that holds the most promise. One key factor to consider is the ability to master the customer/client relationship in a way that integrates and maximizes the power of these channels. When these elements are implemented, brands often see the benefits in their bottom lines.
Halo Effect and Experience Economy
This effect describes the positive interaction between the physical channel and online channel. How does it work? Because customers like to touch, feel and see products, this experience can build more trust in a brand. Combining a physical space with an online presence shows your customers you aren’t going anywhere and they can speak to someone in person if they have questions, or to buy more.
E-commerce also creates the opportunity for add-on purchases. Recommending products like the one they are purchasing or something complimentary (a.k.a. upselling) is the key to boosting the bottom line.
A Foundation of Trust
A brick-and-mortar location creates trust for online purchasing. Buying confidence is greatly improved because customers know they can browse and touch products in real life. Following a storefront visit, customers can then make a purchase online at a later time.
Another factor affecting shoppers’ trust while purchasing items online is the fear that the items they receive will not reflect the product description or are poorly manufactured. A physical location means consumers will be less hesitant while shopping if they know they can walk into a showroom to ask questions, measure and review an item.
Sensory experience is one of the most persuasive aspects of a product and buying experience. It is the look of the store or showroom, the sounds and music a customer hears, the feel of a quality product and the authenticity of the experience. All of these combine to develop your brand and the image customers have when they think of you.