Consumer behavior has changed dramatically with the rise of e-commerce. Now, they need to inform themselves and collect opinions on a product before purchasing it. Fortunately, traditional commerce is not dead. More than a competitor, the web can also provide real support for physical commerce as part of the cross-channel strategy. How? ‘Or’ What ? By using the web-to-store.
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What is the web-to-store?
The web-to-store is a digital marketing lever intended to increase the qualified traffic of its physical business. Concretely, consumers look for information online before buying at a point of sale. The web-to-store brings together all the actions that direct the Internet user towards a physical store, such as the implementation of click and collect, the management of social networks or the geolocation of products.
What are the challenges for the web-to-store?
The web-to-store presents important issues for both the merchant and the consumer.
The main objective of the web-to-store for the merchant is to generate more traffic in the store. Thanks to this technique, it can interest Internet users and offer them an attractive in-store experience. It thus benefits from digital visibility which gives it the possibility of:
- Reach new customers.
- Offer a complete user experience.
- Retain customers through a new mode of communication.
- Generate more turnover.
As for consumers, the web-to-store allows them above all to prepare their purchase. Indeed, when he buys a product, he wants to ensure that he is not mistaken in his choice. He can then:
- Compare products.
- Look for the right deal.
- Go to a store to try the product on before buying it and for personalized advice.
The web-to-store also allows consumers to make their purchase without worrying about a possible loss of packages or the theft of their bank details.
8 examples of successful web-to-store strategies
For a web-to-store strategy to be optimal, you need to direct as many digital prospects as possible to your physical store. Here are 8 examples of strategies that have already proven their worth.
The click and collect
Thanks to click and collect, the customer finds and purchases a product online before picking it up in store. It is a real time saver for him since he avoids queues and delivery times.
The click and collect has been set up by many brands such as Sephora, McDonald’s and Fnac. Indeed, this technique also has advantages for the merchant who notices an increase in traffic both online and in store. However, this requires preparing the products well upstream and setting up a dedicated checkout to avoid waiting times.
The product locator: geolocate a product
Effective web-to-store strategy, the product locator allows the customer to verify that a product is available in the nearest store before going there to purchase it. This is notably a strategy used by Boulanger, the French brand specializing in household appliances and multimedia.
The store locator
By consulting the store locator, the customer inquires about the various accessible points of sale, their opening hours, but also their precise location. By activating his geolocation, he can thus find the store closest to his geographical position. This technique is especially useful for companies that have several points of sale.
Associated with stock locator, the store locator allows the Internet user to identify the nearest store that has the product of interest to him.
Social networks are essential to the success of a web-to-store strategy. They must be chosen according to the target to be reached, their expectations and the platforms they use.
For them to be effective, an effective communication plan must be developed. All posts must be brand positive. They should aim to create a bond with subscribers, grab their attention and encourage them to visit the store.
Promotion operations are an excellent way to bring customers to the store. This technique consists of offering consumers discounts or private sales, the latter being accessible only in stores.
They can be distributed by SMS, e-mail or through social networks, in particular on the occasion of a one-off event or as part of the release of new products.
Nothing like online contests for a successful web-to-store strategy. Indeed, contests are great vectors of traffic on the Internet. They arouse interest in a fun way and create a special bond with consumers. At the end of the game, the winners must collect their prize at the point of sale. This is an opportunity to introduce them to the brand’s products and generate store visits.
This method was, for example, used by Zadig & Voltaire during the operation “I should have been a cowboy”. The brand offered participants to win a T-shirt to collect at the point of sale. Thanks to this event, she gained more store traffic and allowed new people to discover her collection.
Many brands have digitized their loyalty cards. In other words, they allow consumers to earn points following a purchase, whether it was made in store or online.
By registering his card in his customer area, the Internet user is then able to consult his points online and to define the gifts that will make him happy. These gifts can be sent directly to the customer’s address or be picked up in store to encourage them to go there.
Online appointment booking
Especially intended for professionals who offer services (hairdressers, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, etc.), many tools allow you to make an appointment online.
When a website is equipped with a reservation module, the Internet user is tempted to make an appointment if the offer suits him. He can then go to the professional and be sure not to wait. A real time saving for him and a possibility of improving the profitability of his website for the service provider.
To go further, download this report on the digitization of SMEs to discover all the issues at work, the main challenges and examples of successful transformations.