Report • 02.04.2013

Multichannel Marketing: Offline Needs to Go Online

The ROPO shopper researches and reserves the desired product on the Internet...
The ROPO shopper researches and reserves the desired product on the Internet and afterwards handles the remaining purchase transaction offline at the local retail store.
Source: panthermedia.net / Nataliya Yakovleva

Many channels lead to sales and Rome was not built in a day. The retail market knows this, too. Thanks to increasing online consumption and the rise of mobile devices, sales also need to increasingly move on to new pastures.

Consumers are all individuals. Consumers are particular. That is also, why sales approaches are as varied as the range of products: newsletters, banner ads, online shops, Facebook pages, telephone hotlines, catalogs or – very traditional – a local store. The fact that Smartphones have long since advanced to becoming every day shopping companions is one of the many trends that need to be considered in the development of a well-thought-out multichannel marketing strategy.

The customer is king and the agony of channel choice

It is important in multichannel sales to give the customer a sense of being well taken care of and being holistically advised. For retailers this also means to follow trends and to make sure that customers can also combine different channels depending on their taste. mcommerce and combining online and offline consumption are just two trends in the agony of channel choice.

Edel Optics – A retail store/online shop hybrid

Another example of a successful connection between online and offline consumption is Edel Optics optometry in Hamburg. In November of 2012, the business mix made up of retail store and online shop was nominated to be the “Store of the Month” by the professional trade magazine TM and the Stores+Shops publication. The store has several panels with iPads, giving the customer the chance to browse the different available eyeglasses online. Once he/she has identified the fitting models using the special search functions, he/she can pick them up from an associate at the counter, try them on and consult with the specialists.

Making your online presence Smartphone capable

Retail and consumers have long accepted Mobile Commerce, since the number of Smartphones in Germany has already broken the 27 million mark. The use of tablet PCs is also widespread. According to a study by the E-Commerce Center Handel (ECC) in Cologne, the use of Smartphones and tablets will vastly affect retail over the next three years. Today already, every sixth Smartphone user looks for information on local retail stores several times per week. Another 21.5 percent use their cell phone for this multiple times per month.“The numbers clearly show that information search with mobile devices has already become an integral part of the buying process for many consumers“, explains Aline Eckstein, Divisional Director of the ECC Handel at the IFH Cologne. She says that in the future the presentation of online sales offers have to be optimized for Smartphones, since an incorrect web page scares mCommerce customers away.

mCommerce and ROPO shoppers (Research Online & Purchase Offline)

payleven and pepperbill for instance are favorably accepted and have arrived in the NOW of the right mCommerce. As of late, the tech startup pepperbill has an easy to handle, mobile point of sale system for iPod touch and iPad for the hospitality industry in its product line. This way, 90 percent of acquisition costs are being saved compared to conventional checkout systems. The payleven system on the other hand uses the store’s own Smartphone as a mobile checkout. Thanks to the connection of the payleven app using a secure interface and the free of charge payleven solution for cash and credit cards, for the first time ever Germany has a complete mobile checkout system that is also suited for paying by credit card. The times when associates had to painstakingly sort the loose change a customer proudly dug up from his/her pockets into the cash register, are over. The mobile payment option gives the consumer a safe and cashless payment method as well as provides a convenient and space-saving POS system for the hospitality industry, which certainly amazes the trend-conscious customer.

Another service with a promising future is online reservation with subsequent local pickup. After all, the so-called ROPO shopper (Research Online & Purchase Offline) researches and reserves the desired product on the Internet and afterwards handles the remaining purchase transaction offline at the local retail store. According to Alastair Bruce, Director Retail of Google Germany, this offer represents a sustainable multichannel strategy for the brick and mortar business. For more on Google‘s multichannel strategies, read our interview.

Back to the roots – The revival of direct sales

Despite increasing online activities, today’s and tomorrow’s customer would not want to miss face-to-face contact. Surprising, but plausible in this connection is also the revival that direct sales is going to experience in the future according to a current study by the Federal Direct Selling Association of Germany (BDD) and the marketing research and consulting firm TNS Infratest. 17 to 21 percent of consumers anticipate this growing importance of direct sales through contact with the seller in their own home or at sales events at a friend’s place. “These numbers do not surprise me“, says Jens Krüger, Managing Director for TNS Infratest. “Despite the further decrease of retail sales in the future particularly in rural areas, the yearning for adventure, service and exchange continues to remain. Direct sales fulfill this need.“ Whereas the Internet is perceived as timesaving, convenient and functional, direct sales is accredited with attributes such as communicative, face-to-face and real. In the future, a well-balanced multichannel marketing strategy could definitely be taken into consideration, because the terms customer and contact still belong together – both on the retail as well as on the consumer side.

Elisabeth Henning, first published on EuroCIS.com

Supplier
Logo: E-Commerce-Center Köln (ECC Köln)

E-Commerce-Center Köln (ECC Köln)

Dürener Str. 401 b
50858 Köln
Germany

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Retailers say credit insurance plan could increase liquidity during...
15.07.2020   #retail #coronavirus

Retailers say credit insurance plan could increase liquidity during pandemic downturn

Backstop for trade credit insurance

The National Retail Federation welcomed a report released this week calling for a federal backstop for trade credit insurance, saying the proposal could help provide liquidity badly needed by retailers as they recover from the recession brought on ...

Thumbnail-Photo: AfterPay: Survey on the shopping behaviour of Germans...
20.07.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

AfterPay: Survey on the shopping behaviour of Germans

German consumers will make a larger share of their purchases online in July

AfterPay Insights’ end of June research – now covering more 7.400 interviews with German online shoppers – indicates that German consumers will reduce their overall purchases in July. But at the same time, German consumers say ...

Thumbnail-Photo: How to help urban street commerce thrive
10.09.2020   #brick and mortar retail #city centre

How to help urban street commerce thrive

The science of stores, streets, and public space

It turns out the amount of urban street commerce is strikingly related to population size. The biggest metro areas in the U.S. have one retail, food, or service establishment for roughly every 120 people, while the smallest metro areas have roughly ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Event: E-commerce Berlin Expo 2021
28.08.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

Event: E-commerce Berlin Expo 2021

E-commerce Berlin Expo is the biggest pure-play e-commerce event in the (tech) capital city of Germany. Over 9,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors are expected every year.

E-commerce Expo views itself as a community and a meeting point for all major decision-makers in the e-commerce sector. We bring together leaders in the e-commerce industry to offer online sellers and retailers the opportunity to develop their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Better customer care on Twitter leads to increase in customer...
18.09.2020   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

Better customer care on Twitter leads to increase in customer satisfaction

Responses to queries on social media impact service quality perception

Social media has forever changed our society and how people do business. A 2013 report by J.D. Power found nearly two-thirds of customers have used a company's social media site to connect with customer service. New research in the INFORMS ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Video marketing in times of Corona
09.07.2020   #digital marketing #online marketing

Video marketing in times of Corona

The potential of video content for retailers

The spread of the coronavirus has had a particularly severe impact on the stationary retail industry. Many companies are now increasingly focusing on their online presence to cushion declining in-store sales and to virtually stay in touch with their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Labor Day ads up, consumers’ planned spend down...
04.09.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

Labor Day ads up, consumers’ planned spend down

Half of consumers plan to purchase items for Labor Day

Numerator has launched a consumer sentiment survey to understand how people plan to celebrate, shop, and spend for Labor Day. Overall, almost two-thirds of consumers expect to celebrate and shop for Labor Day differently this year and 49% expect to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: William Davidson Award for publication in the field of retail research...
25.06.2020   #digitization #shopping habits

William Davidson Award for publication in the field of retail research

Award-winning article identifying five different customer journey segments

Oliver Emrich, Professor of Management and Social Media at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), has been awarded the prestigious William R. Davidson Award for a publication in the field of retail research.Entitled "Loyalty Formation for ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Grocery consumers increasingly anxious about rising food prices...
31.08.2020   #customer satisfaction #customer analysis

Grocery consumers increasingly anxious about rising food prices

U.S. had the largest increase of any country in the dunnhumby Worry Index, corresponding to strong uptick in U.S. COVID-19 cases

dunnhumby, the global leader in customer data science, today released findings from a multi-phased, worldwide study of the impact of COVID-19 on customer attitudes and behavior. The dunnhumby Consumer Pulse Survey found that the U.S. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020 (ABRE 2020)...
06.07.2020   #digital marketing #marketing research

The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020 (ABRE 2020)

The spotlight is on the emerging trends in the retail industry at The Virtual Africa Big Retail Expo 2020, set to take place on 6th August 2020

The event is scheduled to begin from 0900 EAT till 1400 EAT. This exhibition is the first annual event which is dedicated to discussing the following:How do retailers keep up as the world tries to deal with the enormous pressure to adapt to ...