Boost your business by combining digital with humanity

February 23, 2016 | Customer Service

Combining digital and human assistance is the key to increasing your revenue according to a new survey. Customers double the amount of time they spend in the store and spend twice as much money when they have been assisted by engaged staff. Those numbers go even higher if they also can access brand websites while in the store.

The debate of ‘Digital versus Brick-and-Mortar’ is over according to a survey from InMoment. With so much focus on the retail industry’s shift to digital, it is easy to forget that consumers are still making purchases in-store, and do so often. The digital era is not a threat to stores. Nowadays the web gives retailers the opportunity to create one more shopping arena by offering further options on products, pricing, pick-up services and stock saldo.

A combination of the human and the digital

Eight of ten customers do their research online before the go to the actual store to buy the product. The new thing though, is that customers want both digital and personal service while they are in the store and the more assistance a consumer receives –digital or human – the more time he or she spends in the store. Also, customers who use a brand’s site while in the store, spend 2,2 times more money than those who do not.

“For brands, it is not about choosing one channel over the other, but rather leveraging each for their unique strengths. Online storefronts can showcase selection, while your people can provide personalised care. It is this combination of the human and the digital that increases conversions as well as overall brand loyalty,” said Paul Warner, vice president, consumer and employee insights at InMoment.

Brick-and-mortar still in favour

Another study, by AT Kearney, found that the physical store still was in favour over the internet for 61% of consumers across all ages and income levels. As a retailer, you should therefore build strategies that combine the strengths of digital with brick-and-mortar to draw customers and to build loyalty. The clue is the combination of holding on to the traditional effective sales strategies in store and being in the front row on the web. It is all about providing first class service – both in stores and online.

Sales staff is more important than ever

Just as important as having a professional and modern website is it to have dedicated employees. The sales staff in your store still plays a key role in the buyer process and can encourage shoppers to purchase.To ensure your employees will succeed in this role, you should provide them with both initial and ongoing training and education.

The store and the web must correlate

The crucial point is that the store experience and the online experience correlate. Your staff must be up to date with what is being said or happening online. Confusions or inconsistencies between personal and digital can discourage the most motivated shopper.

If you fail to meet the needs of today’s well-researched brick-and-mortar shopper, you risk losing the customers to the competitors. The sales staff is the face of your brand, and more than ever they are your most valuable asset for a healthy bottom line

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Sources:

http://info.inmoment.com/rs/463-JAW-587/images/InMoment_Retail_Industry_Report_2016.pdf
http://www.inc.com/peter-roesler/omnichannel-marketing-and-helpful-staff-essential-for-great-in-store-holiday
http://www.wipro.com/blogs/digital-versus-bricks-and-mortar/
http://www.innovativeretailtechnologies.com/doc/study-finds-combination-of-digital-and-human-interactions-key-to-brick-and-mortar-success-0001
http://www.atkearney.com/consumer-products-retail/e-commerce-index