Hand in Hand/Seamless Shopping
The digital revolution has turned our everyday lives completely upside down, thoroughly changing our patterns of behaviour along with it. One example of this is our shopping habits. It has become commonplace for consumers to carry out initial research on the high street, before later making their purchase online. This is known as cross-channel behaviour.
Today’s consumer is in no way content to be tied to just one form of shopping. Instead, it is becoming much more common to combine different shopping channels according to desire. According to a representative survey of around 2,500 consumers carried out by Cisco and the German Retail Association (HDE), 70% of respondents would like to see stronger integration of online platforms into bricks and mortar retail. Another interesting finding from the study is that, despite the increasing number of purely online retailers, more than 50% of customers retain loyalty to physical shops.
The reasons for this are clear to see, because when it comes to offering a shopping experience, retail shops have the edge. Customers want a haptic experience and to experience products on an emotional level, to try them out, to receive personal advice, as well as being able to take the product home immediately, provided it is in stock.
On the other hand, as a result of online retailing, consumers have become much more demanding: The unrestricted range, lack of fixed opening hours and queues, tailored offers and campaigns all appeal to consumers, to name just a few examples.
Retailers are therefore well advised to react to this cross-channel shopping behaviour by combining physical shops with e-commerce methods, in order to redefine the shopping experience and customer experience and to pick up customers through the different channels.
For example, many consumers like to check the availability of goods in their local branch online in real time before making the journey to the shop. Or reserve a product online and collect it from the shop later. In this respect, an additional online shop could for example be a sensible addition. Different channels can also be interwoven on smartphones, which are increasingly being used for shopping. For example, this can include sending personal incentives such as tailored offers or product information. And in physical shops too, it also makes complete sense to implement digital innovations that improve the shopping experience.
One solution for cross-platform and cross-channel trade is offered by the digital marketplace wee.com, for example, wee.com currently links around a thousand online shops, physical retailers and service providers in 18 countries, with new ones joining on a daily basis.
wee.com’s marketplace enables retailers to have an online presence in addition to their physical shop, and to be able to present customers with all relevant information, such as range, opening hours and contact details etc. The weeApp additionally smooths the retailer’s way to mobile commerce, as it shows customers which bricks and mortar shops and online shops offer discounts, and helps them search for particular offers or products, to name just a few examples.
Last but not least, retailers benefit from the latest methods of building customer loyalty, in the form of a bonus system in which the customer can collect cash instead of loyalty points. Because the credit built up in this way can be credited against their next purchase in physical shops, this creates an additional incentive for consumers to shop locally.