Going from Brick and Mortar to Omnichannel
In the past, brick and mortar stores were faced with how to convert shoppers to buyers and increase their conversion rates. With traffic counters at the door, converting browsers into buyers was the number one goal. Now retailers are challenged with shifting to omnichannel, providing localized and customized information to the savvy shopper.
We sat down with Mark Pierandozzi who, in his 30 years experience in retail, has been a multi-unit manager four times and responsible for billion dollar revenues twice (Target and Best Buy), to get insight on how he is dealing with the shift to omnichannel.
How are you using digital to get people in the store? (e.g. local inventory ads, maps showing which store carries the item being searched for, location of closest store with item in stock, etc.)
Apps…Retail applications allow customers to see who sells what, where. Currently, the physical stores can be utilized as “hubs” to ship product globally, versus a distribution center. We can ship it directly to your house or you can pick it up at your neighborhood store.
According to Google, 71% of in-store shoppers use smartphones for research. How is digital transforming the in-store experience for you? (e.g. searches on mobile by consumers while in-store)
Many customers utilize search engines to educate themselves about products and pricing. It’s ALWAYS about the ability to say “Yes”, we can get that for you! The beauty of digital is people can research a product while they are in your store right in front of you. Sometimes they’ll pull up an image of what they want and ask you if you have it.
You’re now able to apply for a credit card on a store app now. There’s going to come a point where 25% of all sales is going to come through digital for brick and mortar stores. Black Friday is going to be a history lesson one day. It’s going to go back to being a same day sale, doorbusters for a specific time. Digital is literally impacting shopping behaviors.
How does email play a part in your omnichannel strategy? (e.g. do you send customer surveys out afterward, do you send them exclusive offers that are available in-store only, do you send birthday discounts, etc.)
Typically, customers get signed up for “loyalty” cards, and from there, receive “rewards.” The emails are personalized based on prior purchases. Customer surveys, on the other hand, are executed via receipts. We also offer incentives for people to take a survey, such as a coupon for future shopping. Customers make driveway decisions every day! For example, you can leave your home and decide to make a left to go to Target or a right to go to Walmart. You base your decision on value or brand standards/shopping experience. Our job is to make sure they are satisfied and that they’ll return to purchase from us again and again.
Consumers have a higher expectation of retailers more than ever before, what are some ways you are customizing the experience for them when they come into the store?
Certainly email blasts, via customer loyalty accounts work. At the end of the day, the biggest impact is to “engage, invite, enable” our customers by giving them a voice. Having a sales rep on the floor greeting people and inviting them into a conversation about what brought them in today or relating to something they are wearing (say a football jersey) makes the shopping experience more personal. As we strike up a conversation and ask questions about what they’re looking for and who it’s for, we can help them find what they are looking for. Then it becomes much more natural to make a recommendation of add-on items they may not have even thought of because you are being helpful.
Have you figured out how you’re measuring how much local business sales comes from digital search? Or are digital and in-store sales teams aligned with corporate goals and all that matters is the bottom line?
Brick and mortar and omnichannel dictate total revenue for a store. It’s important to realize that every interaction counts…every customer counts. For example, the ability to order a product that you don’t have in stock from your virtual inventory to satisfy a customer and offer them free shipping to their house if they order it right there, as opposed to them going home and ordering it and having to pay shipping, is a big win for the retailer.
Going to Etail West? Stop by and see us at booth 604 to find out how we can help you sell more stuff with email.