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Cross-Channel Marketing: How the Nation’s Top Retailers Do It

December 31st, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Are you a brick-and-mortar retailer who also has a website to sell your products? Wouldn’t it be great if you could get more customers shopping at both your physical store and your website? You can. Just learn a lesson from what some of the nation’s most successful retailers are doing to market their products in multiple channels.

Internet Retailer recently examined the habits of some of the nation’s top retail chains and here are the most common tactics they found:

Promote in-store only discounts or deals on your website or via email marketing. For instance, you can email a coupon good only in your store (but include links to your website so customers can shop both ways).

Offer online ordering with in-store pickup. This appeals to customers who are in a rush to get the product or don’t want to pay for shipping. More retailers are offering shorter time frames for in-store pickup, such as Staples, which promises to have shoppers’ orders ready in two hours. If you make such a promise, be sure you have the manpower to fulfill it.

Offer online ordering and in-store payment. Some consumers still don’t feel comfortable using credit cards online or prefer to pay in person for other reasons. You can attract those users by enabling them to reserve a product online, then pick it up and pay in-store.

Do a subtle upsell. Apple, for instance, urges customers to shop online but then come into a store to pick up the product and get “personal assistance.” If your product, like Apple’s, is one where customers could benefit from additional assistance, this approach can get them to come in and spend more in-store than they might have online.

If you’re offering the pickup or pay-in-store option, make sure the area where customers go to pick up their products is merchandised attractively. For example, you could display items related to commonly ordered products (such as cords or accessories if you sell electronics) or impulse buys such as gift wrap or small-ticket items.

Make sure your website has multiple ways for users to find your physical store/s, such as a map and directions, address, and a phone number to contact you. Also make certain that information about days and hours you’re open is prominently displayed.

Increasingly, consumers expect a seamless experience that allows them to shop how and when they want, so make sure your website encourages shopping in any possible sales channel.

Image by Flickr user Jamison_Judd (Creative Commons)

 

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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