The Link between Digital Advertising and In-Store Purchasing
We’ve heard the death knell ring for years. The outcry is that online shopping will replace in-store shopping. Amazon, the online shopping giant, has encouraged opponents to continue the uproar, with offers to beat in-store prices. But is the digital age really the end of in-store shopping?
Research has shown that even the younger generation—those born in and after the year 2000—actually prefer going to the store versus buying products on the web. Some are willing to forego cheaper online prices to be able to walk into a store and bring home what they want that same day. And while in-store shopping is far from dead, the digital age is now playing a role as well: According to one survey, nearly two-thirds of in-store shoppers checked online reviews before buying a product in the store.
Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of purchases that start out online end up in-store. Thus, the real secret for brick-and-mortar stores surviving in the digital age is to combine the two advertising methods and by catching the interest of online shoppers.
One big thing needed is to bring the online store in harmony with the physical store. No one is going to come into your store to buy a product if they find it to be priced higher online and don’t know what the in-store price is. Also, it’s a good idea to let online shoppers be able to check for availability at their local store so they know if they can pick the item up right away. Consider your online store as an extension of the in-store showroom.
Try different online campaigns to see what works. If you have a 50% discount coupon for an item on one site and a “buy one, get one free” coupon for the same item on another site, you may find that one coupon is used far more often than the other. It also may have nothing to do with how good the coupon is; certain sites may just create more sales for you.
Don’t be afraid to partner up with other local businesses to get people up from their easy chairs and into your store. Offering a free drink from the coffee shop next door with an in-store purchase may be all it takes to get customers away from their computer screens and into an actual physical establishment.
In the end, the physical store is not obsolete. It just needs to adapt to the digital age, especially when it comes to advertising.