Although it’s apparent that the pandemic has made online marketing a priority for businesses, it doesn’t mean offline marketing is dead.
Today’s consumers are hyper-connected and empowered. They want to consume and engage with a brand via online and offline channels. Thus, businesses need to prioritize both mediums to nurture consumers and move them along the journey to conversion.
Integrating your online and offline marketing strategies also helps you deliver a consistent message, thus building a trusted and cohesive brand.
Let’s dive deeper and understand how changing consumer behavior requires brands to integrate online-offline strategies to drive better conversions.
Ready? Let’s go!
How Have Customer Expectations Taken a Turn?
Even though people were compelled to shop online out of necessity during the pandemic, they are now accustomed to the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their homes.
So much so that by 2022, eCommerce revenue is estimated to grow to $6.54 trillion (up from $3.53 trillion in 2019).[i]
Since the eCommerce landscape has shown tremendous growth since the pandemic, customer behavior and preferences have also taken a turn.
Let’s have a look at three major changes that have happened in the customer behavior:
A Decline in Customer Loyalty
Brand loyalty has been declining for quite some time now. According to a study, a whopping 75 percent of consumers showed new shopping behaviors, with many of them choosing convenience and value over factors.[ii]
One of the reasons for this decline is the rise in direct-to-consumer (D2C) commerce. During the pandemic, numerous D2C brands have surfaced, trying to carve out a unique position within the market. This means consumers have been and will be shopping directly with brands instead of distributors.
Presently, 55% of consumers prefer to buy directly from manufacturers rather than multi-brand retailers. [iii]
As there are no middlemen involved in D2C, for customers it means:
- Lower shopping prices for customers
- More comprehensive information and guides about their products
A study revealed that 70% of customers would willingly share data with brands to gain a more personalized experience, and 72% only engage with personalized messaging. [iv]
With such huge numbers, personalization is undoubtedly a top priority for customers. Personalization is a way for brands to go beyond advertising and build a genuine relationship with each customer.
Earlier, personalization was limited to segmenting audiences based on behavior or other data to deliver a relevant message in email. However, now with the advent of technology, brands can personalize everything from nurturing prospects to remarketing ads and website looks to post-purchase experiences.
Quality Over Everything
Back in the days when eCommerce was a thing of novelty, brands offered products at low prices as a marketing strategy to increase sales. However, now that eCommerce has become more mainstream, consumers have started to appreciate quality over prices.
Customers these days expect better experiences including personalized remarketing, 24/7 customer service, and quick deliveries.
How Can eCommerce Brands Adapt to These Changes?
The first step is to win customers’ trust.
While offering good quality products is the ultimate way to win over your customers, marketing activities play a pivotal role in determining if a user will choose to engage with your brand or not.
Therefore, brands need to adopt customer-centric omnichannel marketing to provide a seamless experience across all touchpoints. And touchpoints here mean online (website, social media, ads) and offline (physical stores, brochures, flyers) touchpoints.
Ways to Integrate Online and Offline Marketing Strategies
Here are some effective ways to integrate your online and offline marketing strategies to increase conversions:
Increase Event Engagement
Instead of using your online and offline marketing channels separately, it is wise to use them in synergy. One of the ways to do this is to use online media to promote offline events.
For example, you can create hype for the release of a huge TV campaign by sharing teasers and snippets on social media or creating a countdown on your website.
Besides creating excitement, it will also mean that the consumers are more likely to notice the ad when it airs.
Or you can run TV and radio ads to push offline consumers to your website for an online event or promotion. When you spread a message on both offline and online media, you can reach a larger audience and effectively use your marketing budget.
Integrate Online and Offline Data
When you sell through both online and offline channels, you collect data from both mediums.
And since offline and online marketing and sales activities are managed by separate departments, they tend to store their information in separate locations, resulting in data silos.
Data silos not only create barriers to information sharing but also diminishes collaboration across departments. The outcome – is disjointed messages that confuse the consumer, reduce marketing efficiency, and dilute brand equity.
Thus, it’s crucial to eliminate data silos and store customer data in one centralized place to get a holistic view of your customers and better understand their needs.
When all the data is stored in one place, you can
- Understand which online interactions resulted in offline sales and vice versa
- Discover the activities that drive revenue
- Ensure a consistent customer experience
Maintain Brand Consistency
You need to ensure that your physical marketing campaigns are in sync with the digital equivalent and should reflect similar brand messaging and language.
Ideally, your website should be an extension of your physical presence. This familiarity between online and offline marketing will inculcate a feeling of trust in your audience and encourage them to use both channels for purchasing.
Use Social Media for Offline Events
You can use social media to promote and increase interaction at offline events. Customers can use your social media handle to participate in contests, and polls, and share photographs during an event.
This will help you increase engagement, grow your online presence, and make your audience feel like they are a part of your brand. Hashtags are one of the effective ways to achieve this.
Eye-catching hashtags become a part of your brand property and make it easy for customers to find and join online conversations about events and campaigns they attend offline.
Encourage Your Offline Customers to Go Online
Similar to encouraging your online customers to participate in offline events, you should motivate your offline customers to connect with your brand online.
You can do this by including your social media handles and website URL on receipts and banners. You can also offer in-store discounts to users who have shared your posts or downloaded your app.
Integrating online and offline marketing strategies results in a smoother customer experience, expanded market reach, and higher engagement, which will ultimately create more leads.
Besides, it also increases brand familiarity and awareness and helps you stand apart from the competition.
Want to Create an Omnichannel Customer Experience? Contact Us!
Our eCommerce experts will help you build a comprehensive omnichannel marketing strategy to increase your conversions and revenue.
To know more, drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.
[i] Statista: Retail e-commerce sales worldwide from 2014 to 2025
[ii] McKinsey&Company: Emerging consumer trends in a post COVID 19 world
[iii] Invesp: The Rise Of Direct To Consumer (D2C) Brands – Statistics and Trends
[iv] Digital Commerce 360: Two-thirds of consumers have increased online shopping because of the coronavirus
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