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Latest news and insights on consumer behavior in the offline world

Online and Offline Retail: Finding The Balance

Posted by Rolando Kahn on 4/21/15 12:05 PM

bigstock-Detail-of-woman-scanning-bottl-39500473Today’s world is swiftly morphing from a simple physical realm to one in which the digital and physical spaces come together. Depending on the circumstances, the digital and the physical worlds play a game of tug-of-war, both intent on becoming the main tool for connecting with customers. Companies who were mainly offline are quickly adopting online strategies, and companies such as Amazon are unfolding their plans for the first ever physical presence for their brand.

With all the noise about which strategy is “better” or more useful in today’s market, it’s hard to be convinced one way or the other. Each side has their own argument to demonstrate whether online or offline is superior, and why businesses should prioritize their channel. Offline stores offer the advantage of interacting with the product, social interactivity, and the immediate satisfaction of taking a product home with you. While you’ll have to wait for the ecommerce order to arrive, online’s advantage is purchasing in the privacy of your own home, convenience, and lower pricing.

The reality is, online and offline are closely intertwined with one another. As technology continues to expand, it will be easier for consumers to make purchases online as it becomes more common and accessible. However, businesses should understand that just because online is faster, it doesn’t come close to canceling out the offline world. It’s important to recognize that it is necessary to integrate the two into a single entity, one that can provide convenient access and fulfillment to customers across all lifestyles and wavelengths.

Because technology has evolved so rapidly over the last decade, customers are discovering new ways to interact and share the brands they love. They are tying in the brick-and-mortar and ecommerce experience with omni channel platforms and are discovering new paths-to-purchase. Whether it’s doing their own research before entering the store, or interacting with a touch-screen kiosk by a product display for more deals, consumers are becoming more shop-savvy as their knowledge of technology grows. Companies must understand how to work with both digital and physical messaging to optimize their interaction with their target market.

To connect the dots, as consumer access to technology becomes more common, it is important for businesses to evolve along with their customers. This doesn’t mean going completely digital or completely physical, it’s about finding the balance that works for your brand and it’s customers. Whether it’s strategic digital messaging while a customer is in the store, creating a strong social media presence, or sending email promos and coupons on a regular basis, businesses need to find the harmony between the online and offline branches of their work.

About Scanalytics
Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing “Internet of Things” companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.

With over 10 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com.

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Topics: Industry News, Technology