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Digital or Die: Bridging the gap between online and offline channels

By April 13, 2021No Comments

Electronic Shelf Labels Pet Food

Digital or Die: Bridging the gap between online and offline channels

There’s no doubt that e-commerce is on the rise. According to a recent Forbes article titled 3 E-Commerce Trends to Watch in 2021, “E-commerce sales grew by over 30 percent in 2020, driven by unprecedented consumer demand during the global financial pandemic.”

However, as convenient as online shopping may be, it will never replace the visceral experience of shopping in-store. This means that for most of us, there’s room for both kinds of shopping in our lives. And for retailers, ensuring a consistent omnichannel experience is important now more than ever.

Digital Smart Labels™ can help bridge the gap between online and offline selling channels by ensuring consistent product information, price accuracy and a more cohesive brand experience—modernizing the retail experience and building consumer trust along the way.

Retail is very much alive. 

For years analysts have been predicting the retail apocalypse. But contrary to popular belief, in-store shopping isn’t going away any time soon. According to research commissioned by Coldwell Banker Commercial® and conducted online by The Harris Poll in September 2019, “99% of consumers shopped in a physical store in the past 12 months.” The survey also revealed that the main reasons consumers opted to shop in-store were for ease, immediacy, and experience.

While going to a store is convenient, the overall experience is what keeps customers coming back—especially for non-essential goods. Automation solutions like Digital Smart Labels™ allow retailers to enhance the customer experience by seamlessly connecting their online presence to their brick-and-mortar presence. For example, a QR code displayed on a label can take the consumer to the retailer’s website to learn more about a product, read customer reviews, or even see inventory levels at other locations. 

Obviously less people are frequenting stores due to COVID-19 restrictions, but in the grand scheme of things, buying items online (even if the merchant offers same-day delivery) will never replace the immediacy of going inside of a store to get what you need, or touching, seeing, or feeling a product before you buy it. 

Back to basics 

Think of all the once-online-only players that have been opening brick-and-mortar stores over the years—some that come to mind include Glossier, Casper, and Frank and Oak. There’s a reason these brands have also developed an offline presence, and more often than not, it’s to build consumer trust.

A research paper by Wharton and Harvard Business Schools  titled Customer Supercharging in Experience-centric Channels  explores this notion, most notably finding that “customers who visit a physical store—after that visit—they return fewer products…they buy more, and not only are they spending more dollars, but they are also purchasing more expensive products.” 

Consumers are more aware than ever regarding pricing, be it online or in-store, and especially with items they shop frequently or that are of higher value. Implementing a tool like Digital Smart Labels™ can help ensure price accuracy across all selling channels, which in turn builds trust with consumers. It also eliminates the time-consuming task of manually changing prices at the shelf. And in a time when people can easily check prices on their phones while in-store, having this capability is crucial to beating the competition and leveling up your marketing strategy.

Conclusion 

E-commerce is here to stay— but with automation tools like Digital Smart Labels, retailers can create a seamless omnichannel experience that allows them to stay ahead of the game. Contact Danavation to learn more today.