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Brick & Mortar to E-commerce store – Replicating Customer Experience..

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Taking your store online?

Here are 5 learnings from your brick and mortar store that you should take forward.

brick mortar to ecommerce

What store layout is to offline, navigation is to online!

How many times have we seen customers lost in a store trying to figure out the right section for the product they are looking for? Signage, layout planning etc. were introduced to modern retail to solve this problem.

On your e-commerce site, this translates to User Interface design and Navigation. Plan your site structure properly. Ensure that your customer finds links where they are supposed to be. A/B testing helps to a great extent in figuring out this riddle.

Product Experience

In your offline store, shoppers have the advantage to touch and feel the product. They can take trials as well. But in online shopping, customers can only virtually experience the product.

Ensure that this experience is as complete as possible. Detailed product description (size chart, color options, wash care, material used, component specifications etc.), 360 degree & magnified product view etc. should all form an integral part of your content.

Cross selling / Up-selling

It is a well- established fact that retailers try to maximize ‘basket size’ or the ‘average transaction value’ per customer. The onus of this job rests primarily with the sales staff in an offline store. However on a website there is no person to person contact.

So how do you maximize the revenue you can generate per customer? Include ‘Recommendations’, ‘People who bought this also bought’, ‘People who viewed this also viewed’. An important caveat: Do not try to cross sell / upsell on the payment page. This may distract the shopper leading to abandonment of the shopping cart.

After Sales Service

This is an area where the online and the offline somewhat merge. While you can continue with some of your customer relationship management policies like Follow up with your customer regarding the performance of the product, send promotional mailers offering special discounts on birthdays, anniversaries, etc., you have to pamper your online customer a little more.

Benefits like Cash on Delivery, Replacement guarantee, On-time delivery, etc. help in strengthening the bond with the shopper.

Finding You!

This is very crucial. Thousands are competing with you for a share of the consumer’s wallet. Make sure you are able to break through the clutter and get noticed. Research on what your customers are searching for, optimize the metadata to rank for relevant keywords and last but not the least if you are venturing into digital, think digital. SEO, SEM, Social Media, Blogs, Forums…be wherever your customers are. And never ever forget the power of Word-of-mouth !

Your regular shoppers and online shoppers are not disjoint sets- they intersect! Create a holistic experience for them and you will never regret. All the best!

[About the author : Shilpi Choudhury handles Marketing at DiscountPandit. She blog on topics ranging from Startups to E-commerce to the Deal Industry. DiscountPandit is a Bangalore-based search engine for deals and product price comparison.]

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