In an era where online marketing is critical to business success, it is easy to overlook the importance of offline marketing. This, however, could prove to be a costly error.
Incorporating offline data into a marketing campaign can boost online marketing ROI by providing greater insights about your organization’s clients and their real-world behaviours.
Most current marketers are aware of this. They understand that clients easily switch between the physical and digital worlds as they progress through the buyer’s journey.
As a result, Online-to-Offline marketing is an effective strategy for organizations to reach customers at all touchpoints and generate engagement and sales.
This post will look at how to develop that relationship in order to boost customer experience, engagement, and brand exposure.
What Is Online-to-Offline Commerce?
Companies in Online-to-Offline commerce view their online and offline marketing platforms as complementary rather than competitive. Here are several examples:
- Click and Collect: This entails users purchasing things online and then picking them up in-store.
- While on a physical visit, you can shop online.
- Returning internet purchases to a physical store.
Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is a testament to the importance of Online-to-Offline.
Amazon spent more than $13 billion on the acquisition because they recognized an obvious consumer reality: despite the preoccupation with electronics and internet services, most sales still take place in physical storefronts.
76 percent of consumers who search for items or services in their neighborhood visit a store within a day, and many of these visits result in sales. According to Spotify, over 80% of retail purchases will take place in stores through 2022, and probably beyond.
These statistics demonstrate that a good marketing strategy cannot afford to ignore offline techniques.
What Can Marketers Do to Improve the Online-to-Offline Experience?
According to an IBM survey, today’s shoppers demand an interesting and engaging buying experience in stores, similar to the one they get online.
Despite this, nearly 90 percent of brands are not equipped to meet these standards. As a result, many brands are slipping behind, leaving customers dissatisfied with the service and experience they receive at brick-and-mortar stores.
There are several methods to improve the customer experience on-site by employing digital technologies to make shopping a more delightful experience for consumers—and a more profitable campaign for marketers.
Let’s take a look at seven ways firms may improve their online and offline marketing efforts:
1. Make the Most of Immersive Technology
Our world is fast changing as technology continues to disrupt and transform industries, opening up new opportunities for many enterprises.
Augmented reality (AR) allows customers to check and test digital products in the actual world, mixing overlapping realities in an interactive experience that provides a unique customer experience.
2. Allow Online Activities to Take Place Offline
Click-and-collect shopping is one of the most popular retail trends, with more than 70% of customers are taking advantage of the opportunity to order things online and pick them up at a nearby store.
This basic marketing tactic taps into the consumer’s demand for quick gratification, which has become the norm as a result of services like Netflix, Jumia, and Uber that make it easier to acquire what you want without having to wait. This motivates more customers to visit real retail establishments, increasing the likelihood of impulsive purchases.
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3. Data Insights Can Help Improve Personalization
According to Entrepreneur, the average buyer will not buy unless they have been exposed to a brand message seven times.
While that number can vary, the fact is clear: Before a sale can be made, businesses must connect with their target audience. That is becoming increasingly challenging in today’s crowded and competitive online world, particularly for new brands.
Companies’ offline marketing initiatives can suffer when they make poor decisions based on assumptions rather than hard data. Personalization has risen to prominence, and organizations that invest in data analytics stand to benefit greatly in the form of a more personalized, bespoke service that responds to the behaviors of their target audience.
4. Connect Online and Offline Marketing KPIs
Companies must make significant decisions on budgets, investments, and marketing strategy, all of which must provide the maximum potential ROI. It will be much more difficult to reach your marketing goals if you solely look at internet activities and ignore offline sources.
According to surveys, more businesses are recognizing the importance of integrating their KPIs for online and offline marketing.
- 47 percent of businesses are now focusing their offline marketing efforts on increasing online traffic and interaction.
- In contrast, 68 percent of businesses are using internet marketing to increase brand loyalty – a typical goal of offline marketing.
- Online marketing efforts are used by 65% of businesses to generate offline engagement.
Although e-commerce teams and in-store workers typically work in silos, businesses can align their sales and marketing operations so that everyone and everything is focused on the same goals.
5. Prioritize Mobile-First Strategies
We are all aware that mobile gadgets aren’t going away. Furthermore, they are gradually becoming the dominant force, with people preferring smart gadgets over desktop computers.
According to statistics, Americans spend up to 4.5 hours every day on their smartphones, and 80 percent of millennials sleep with their phone nearby.
Surprisingly, this infatuation with mobile does not herald the demise of traditional marketing. According to Forrester, annual mobile phone sales have surpassed $60 billion, but this figure pales in comparison to the $1 trillion in offline purchases that are directly driven by mobile phone use.
While the landscape evolves, brands can track it and grow with it, allowing them to connect with customers at numerous touchpoints, both online and offline.
TripAdvisor is an example of a company that has made their app available offline, allowing users to use their services even when internet access is unavailable.
Businesses can also capitalize on the love of mobile by implementing beacon technology in their businesses, which sends messages to customers’ mobile devices as they move around the store.
Beacons can be used by 71% of retailers to watch client purchasing patterns and then analyze and change their marketing to provide a better service.
6. Create Offline and Online SEO Strategies
Offline SEO is a bit of a mystery for many businesses. Many people make the mistake of ignoring SEO in offline marketing, believing that it has no effect on your online success.
When clients locate a firm via organic search, it is apparent that internet SEO is effective. This leads to heightened expectations for offline interactions as consumers approach physical establishments with confidence based on user ratings, social proof, and a strong online presence.
Companies must ensure that their offline services are consumer-centric, just as SEO must appeal to people rather than machines. It should reflect your online SEO, building on the value and connections established through your online marketing.
7. Be Adaptable In Your Campaign
When determining the effectiveness of any marketing effort, it is not always easy to establish the finest keywords to target or the most important KPIs to specify.
The situation of retail in the digital ecosystem is rapidly evolving, affecting both online and offline marketing.
Several factors alter, including:
- Our consumers’ needs and wishes
- The company’s expertise and experience
- Abilities to perform
- Competitors and their business strategies
- Our understanding of our own businesses
As a result, you can’t merely set and forget your KPIs. There is no such thing as the “ideal” set.
When businesses wish to optimize their online and offline campaigns, they must evaluate this and decide which KPIs to update or retire.
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Success Requires Alignment
It’s all too easy to dismiss the importance of offline activities in your online operations. With digital transformation being such a significant priority for many firms, it’s understandable that many are focusing extensively on online marketing.
Despite the push toward digitization, businesses must remember that they are still selling to humans. People are interested in connecting with brands and in having good experiences. In many cases, this entails visiting to physical stores to shop.
Marketers must seek for strategies to complement their online and offline channels so that their marketing campaigns are linked. Companies can improve personalisation efforts and engage with their client base offline by utilizing modern technology such as data analytics, store applications, and beacons.
They may also capitalize on the ubiquity of mobile consumers by working to meet the underlying desire for faster and better service.
Companies that build on conventional ideas and take a customer-centric approach will be able to develop a stronger reputation, both online and offline, which will foster the customer loyalty required for their marketing strategy to be successful.