The performance and turnover of physical stores can no longer be entirely separated from that of online stores. Ecommerce is actually helping store chains attract more customers to their physical locations.
Currently, the customer journey often begins online. As a result, an increasing number of retail chains are investing in their online presence to find synergies and boost sales—both online and in physical stores. “There’s a connection. It’s not just about increasing conversion rates online; it’s also about getting customers into physical stores,” says Jonny Hansen, COO at Lipscore. “Companies’ e-commerce departments are incredibly important for the success of physical trade.”
Just a few years ago, consumers visited stores to research before making a purchase, often asking staff for advice on products and comparing prices between different stores.
Today, the situation is different. Customers primarily conduct research from the comfort of their homes, frequently using their mobiles or tablets. Jonny and his wife did just that one evening, looking for new bikes and helmets for their children. “If we had seen 100-200 reviews from other satisfied parents, we would have gone to that store straight away,” Jonny emphasizes. This example illustrates the growing significance of e-commerce in directing customers to physical stores.
Customers need access to comprehensive product information to make informed purchasing decisions. “Even if a retail chain generates 95-98% of its revenue from physical stores and only 2-5% online, it’s crucial for the online store to provide the necessary information,” Jonny states.
This is where product reviews come in handy. They offer invaluable information that customers might otherwise miss. “For me, as a father, recommendations from other dads mean a lot when making a purchase decision, much more than if the recommendations were only coming from the store itself,” Jonny adds.
Every retail chain aims to sell quality products that keep customers coming back. If customers find the information they need online and make a satisfying purchase, they are significantly more likely to return.
Retail chains usually have a diverse product portfolio, which can range from high-quality to subpar, cheaper goods. “If you sell poor-quality products, you’ll lose customers because they won’t return. It’s crucial to align customer expectations with the product quality,” Jonny advises.
According to Jonny, retail chains should update their product offerings based on not just sales figures and margins, but also customer feedback. “You could have a product that sells incredibly well but leaves customers generally dissatisfied. In that case, it’s a product that will cost you in the long run,” he explains.
Retail chains have access to a massive amount of customer data, but often it’s too vast to analyze effectively. “Omnichannel retailing isn’t new, but not all chains have a system to manage all this customer data,” Jonny says. “That’s what Lipscore aims to simplify.”
In summary, retail chains are increasingly investing in their online presence. Customer journeys now often start online, so it’s essential to offer comprehensive and reliable product information. “Customer reviews are invaluable for business management,” Jonny concludes.
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