[Dossier] 7 top challenges for huge web-to-store sales
Published on 26 January 2017
While e-commerce and online shopping may be experiencing a meteoric rise, there is still a huge need for physical stores. Brands continuously have to reinvent themselves as well as discover new ways of ensuring that their stores are as attractive to consumers as their online presence is. Online shopping brings its own benefits, such as speed, efficiency, and ease, but there are certain elements to shopping in a traditional store that cannot be replaced, in particular, direct contact with knowledgeable sales staff. It is therefore in a company’s best interest to use their presence on the web to attract more customers into the store. The idea is to grab an internet user’s attention so that they are attracted to the experience they will receive in-store. Here are the 7 main challenges that all businesses face when aiming to create the ultimate web-to-store experience for their customers.
Determining the appropriate customer experiences in order to attract consumers to stores
The main plan here is to determine what prompts customers to finalize their purchases in the store rather than on the web and from that, to create a sound, working strategy. This could involve specific store pick-up services, booking an item, picking up a catalog, or even the opportunity to receive expert advice in-store.
Establishing a complementary digital/store approach to avoid internal competition
Here, the point is to ensure that the web and physical store work side-by-side rather than against each other. A business should look to create one unified experience centered around their brand, rather than two separate ones, and for that the digital and physical must complement each other.
Managing the transition to ensure full acceptance of the in-store teams
Businesses should set up pertinent training processes and provide the assistance required to ensure that sales teams fully understand and recreate the ultimate web-to-store process. Internal communication should be clear and effective, and provide the knowledge that all staff requires to maintain a successful transition.
Controlling the customers experience by synchronizing sales, communication, and logistics channels
As stated earlier, the web and physical store must work together seamlessly, ensuring that the brand controls the entire customer lifecycle in order to provide the best customer experience possible. This means that there must be interconnection between all key information systems, for example, sales and loyalty tools as well as supply chain tools, so that the customer experiences the same optimal service wherever he or she shops. This also includes the ability to manage and mitigate risks on all levels.
Preventing the creation of an additional technical and organizational silo
Another challenge to avoid is the creation of additional information silos that are not shared across the business seamlessly. It is important to centralize all information, operational and organizational, across the brand, and use a platform that allows for this centralization to take place. Businesses must strive to create consistent customer experiences, whether they are entirely online, in store, or both.
Ensuring the consistency of the purchasing experience and preventing service and benefit discrepancies
The coherence of the customer experience must therefore be a main objective, and while this does not necessarily mean a uniform experience, it does mean that a customer needs to experience the same services, loyalty programs, and promotions, for example, whether they shop online or in store. This experience should also be customer-targeted, creating the impression of a personalized shopping journey.
Measuring and attributing sales and additional sales
A business should have the ability to review the efficiency of their web-to-store process through effective data capture, measure all sales, highlight them in order to validate their impact, and reward sales staff who generate additional sales.
A cross-channel, centralized approach between a digital and a physical store will allow for a fluid and beneficial web-to-store process, for both business and consumer.