It’s not exactly a secret that posting anything online about your company helps to raise awareness about your company, services and products. After all, the connection between online and in-store shopping is intertwined. According to Hospitality.net, “A recent survey has indicated that 74% of smartphone shoppers MAKE A PURCHASE as a result of using their smartphone to help with shopping.” Why? Shopping has become a combined experience where the majority of consumers actually research products online while shopping in the store itself.
The prevailing use of smartphones and tablets provides consumers invaluable research tools, to see reviews or recommendations posted by their friends or other consumers. For items that aren’t normally reviewed, retailers have begun adding QR codes on everything from flowers to cough syrup. These two dimensional codes can include everything from links to landing pages, PDF’s and discount coupons – to product specifications or phone numbers.
Optimizing the Consumers’ Shopping Experience
The consumer’s entire shopping journey, from initial click to final purchase, needs to be easily and seamlessly designed with a strong focus on mobile. It’s well known that the majority of sales come from repeat buyers, which is where search engine analytics comes into play. You can’t manage what you can’t measure, but optimizing your site for SERPS (search engine results pages) entails so much more than simply reviewing factors like time on site, pages viewed and unique visitors – from analytics applications. The integration between online and offline is a fluid dynamic, transitioning consumers to shop in a non-traditional way – using broadband technology to afford them freedom of location, device and even activities.
What are Some of the Variances that Drive Online Shopping Versus in-Store Shopping?
- Ease of research
- Speed to find an item
- Getting answers to questions
- Ease of making a return
- Merchant relationships (know, like and trust)
- Having the ability to see, touch and smell an item
Where are Consumers Doing Their Research Online?
The search engines dominate research queries, with mobile (smartphones and tablets) as the most preferred technology. Not far behind, though, is Amazon followed by social media portals. Nearly two thirds of consumers shop online while they’re watching television, while a fourth prefer to shop online while either socializing with friends, while commuting or while hanging out in a restaurant or cafe.
Online Experiences Drive Consumers into Brick and Mortar Stores
The types of online experiences that drive consumers into brick and mortar stores include everything from email promotions, online coupons (like those found on Google+ Local), to online newsletters and industry specific forums. Surprisingly, shoppers make more impulse purchases from reading traditional newspaper circulars than they do from the big three social media portals (Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest). More than half of all consumers search for a product and store location online before traveling to the store for the purchase. Negative online experiences like poor reviews can adversely affect in-stores purchases, so reputation management is huge. And while there’s a slight decline in online shopping due to recent changes in online sales taxes, no shipping charges continue to be a key factor when deciding between making that purchase online or in a store.
Contact Big Red SEO Today!
Need help determining online and in-store strategies? Call Big Red SEO, a successful Omaha SEO Company, at (402) 522-6468, or feel free to fill out our contact form. Our mission is to help businesses be found where their customers are looking. More than ever, potential customers are searching for services in their local area. We help you get the results you deserve.