Offline to Online Retail Marketing

Many of us know what O2O (online to offline) is; basically converting your customer from an online purchase to an offline service. But what exactly is offline to online?

It happens everyday. Heck you probably experienced it yourself the last time you were at a store. Did you see something you liked? Something you haven’t researched before? Did you look it up online to check prices? Check reviews? That is an offline to online consumer experience.

Some retailers are already installing quick online price comparisons at their b and m sites. Maybe to ensure you don’t stay to far from the conversion funnel. Remember, these shops don’t want to end up being showrooms and you later make your purchase online. No, on the contrary, once you’re in the shop their job is to convert you to a purchase and not lose you to an online retailer or to a competing product they don’t carry.

So how can you make your offline to online experience one that drives conversion?

Think about your consumer experience at the shop or FMOT. What do you want them thinking? Feeling? How can you ensure conversion? When they look at your product, are they they confused with all the specs? Having second thoughts? Your job would be to clarify the ambiguity, reassure them that they are making the right decision. Simple prompts leading them to third party online resources can help, web based explainer videos they can view on their phones, even reputable comparison websites that lead to the happy ending of conversion you are looking for all are good ideas.

How about more commoditized products where the differences aren’t obvious yet the price difference is – how do you push a more expensive product with little difference from the neighbouring cheaper product? In this instance you may want to focus on a more emotional approach by leading them to an online resource cascading the feeling they will have upon purchasing your brand over the other. Or, a better approach will be complementing your product with value through a members only online resource that will be provided with the product. Think about cooking oil for example. If you were to offer with the purchase access to video based dining tips as an extra with the purchase – and providing a quick preview at the point of purchase, this may be enough to drive conversion.

Ultimately, these are exciting times and there is a lot to do at the point of purchase for driving conversion and offline to online is a great new way of pushing your customers through the funnel.

Do you have any ideas of your own? Our readers would love to hear them in the comment section.

Sameh Saeb

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