Making the jump from being a bricks and mortar company to a clicks and mortar company can be quite a tricky process, mainly in converting customers that may have once come to the building to using the systems online, especially if the margins of selling online pose greater opportunity than selling in a physical shop.
The financial troubles that Woolworths went through were well publicized but in recent years they have made a comeback into selling items on a website as they already had the brand name and recognition that many companies dream of having. But this is not as easy as other companies who may historically only have a local visibility.
Having a nationwide audience is an asset that cannot be overlooked, but gaining visibility of your site after someone has purchased your product and left the store can be quite hard as classic buyer behavior is to forget the company once the needs have been satisfied.
Attracting Customers Digitally
There are many tactics that a company can undertake to increase their online presence, the most obvious is the development of social platforms and the interactivity that comes with them. The two big social platforms of Facebook and Twitter are not only good for national and multinational companies, but have a distinct advantage for local businesses that want to reach a national audience.
Gaining traffic through “tweets” and “likes” is a tactic that has been readily adopted by companies, but it is becoming more and more apparent that to attract the likes and tweets the company needs to earn them by offering extra value to the customer.
Gaining a Digital Presence
One way to get people to visit your site is by printing QR codes onto receipts, promotional material, posters, even on the front of your store, but by offering the customer incentive to do so is the key aspect, especially as it is a new technology at the moment, and hasn’t made it into the realms of common knowledge as of yet.
Using a combination of all the different methods of attracting people to your online properties is the key way to increasing the presence online as different people and demographics are more receptive to different digital campaigns.
It is how these are combined that will define whether the transition from offline to online will work. Giving value to the customers in both the online and offline spaces is a challenging but ultimately necessary facet of growing a digital presence.
Andy is a digital marketer and enjoys the challenge of marketing online. He works for Solopress, an online printing company, who focus a lot on printing well designed leaflets. If you have any questions on transferring a business from offline to online, ask him on Twitter or leave a comment below.