Of late, both ‘traditional economy’ (eg. CPG) and ‘new economy’ industries (eg. Online marketplaces), have begun to recognize that customers flirt online and offline, with their brands. ‘O2O’ (‘offline to online’/ vice versa) the buzzword is fast turning into a market reality.
To begin with, lets understand what is possibly driving this phenomenon:
Online/ offline shifts that customers make, affect businesses in multiple ways. Some brick-mortar retailers are being reduced to ‘showrooming’ products available online; thus facing dramatic decline in sales. Similarly, certain pureplay-online retailers are experiencing mediocre sales; as customers find their online shopping experience impersonal, non-tangible.
If you are a product/ service organization, such an environment signals the need for integrating your online and offline channels; to offer a seamless customer experience.
Which brings us to understanding what online-to-offline (O2O) commerce really means. As the name suggests, it is a business strategy designed to bring online customers to brick-mortar locations. Doing so helps businesses arrest ‘leakage’ of prospective customers (typically browsing multiple brands). Adopting O2O helps businesses retain such customers, foster brand loyalty, encourage positive word-of-mouth. Considering that conducting online research before taking big-ticket purchase decisions is the reality, channeling even a small percentage of their online research to your offline store could represent a massive potential for sales.
A seamless experience before, during and post-purchase benefits customers as well. It enables customers to enjoy advantages of Real-time information, convenience, lower prices etc. plus Offline physical experience and service.
O2O commerce enables businesses to treat online and offline channels as complementary, rather than competitive means of customer acquisition & servicing. For instance:
There are other ways as well, for businesses to leverage O2O commerce:
ThinkBumblebee partners businesses to map brick-mortar customers to their digital identity, aggregate and organize such data and analyze it; to address core business issues like:
Reach us at ThinkBumblebee to understand how.