Hannah Maitland

Joined up retail: connecting offline to online

12th Nov 2019 Analytics, Usability 3 minutes to read

Large retail groups have always had several brands under their umbrella and often we see outlets that house all of these concessions. In fact, it has often been cited as a reason for failure to rely solely on these concessions to dominate the square footage within bricks and mortar.

Online experience of concessions

Online, however, this can be a difficult landscape to navigate. Many retailers have stuck to having multiple sites for each brand. Some retailers have taken a different approach and grouped brands under one website with tabs for each separate brand.

There are many benefits to grouping brands online whereas in multi-retailer department stores there can be some issues and considerations such as position of concession, size, demographics of department store etc comes into play.

Indeed, if searching for a store online, shoppers are more likely to explore brands suggested on that particular site. Advertising for this is already in place and is not a new idea, but taking this to the next level and having the site there then makes for an interesting shopping concept. Are these visitors more likely to convert? Does offering more choices at this point mean that people are less likely to leave the site when making comparisons?

User behaviour

So, what makes people flit from one website to the other? The top reason is no surprise: price. Offering many products from under your umbrella brands means you have far more chance of making a conversion as a business. This has to be key from a reporting standpoint.

The second most popular reason for people choosing to shop with a particular site is postage. Offering the option of one postage cost and delivery of all your items in one package, even if you have brands from several retailers is a huge draw.

Data and reporting

Having all your data at the most granular level in one place means that excellent trends and comparisons can be drawn. Traditionally these figures are reported on a regular basis as separate business units, working on separate sites with different tech behind them.

Having everything joined up means just that. Universal search and pay make it easier for you to carry your shopping bag from one brand to another. Working in the business of clicks its is clear that more clicks the better. Not just for the end goal of a sale but for all elements that contribute to building a brand and consumers trust in your site.

On average people view the product they are interested in approximately eight times so each time that shopper visits they will inevitably look at the other products that are available.

The usual recipe is that a shopper will Google either the brand name or the item of interest and go from there. Looking at the first instance mentioned will mean that the shopper would be directed to the site they have Googled.

The ideal situation is that the shopper takes the perfect journey (search, add to bag, add upsell or cross-sell item to bag, go to checkout) in reality this is usually not the case. The internet allows shoppers who looking for savvy buys to compare much more as going for one site to another is easier than going from one shop to another.

If you give the shopper comparisons there and then, they are of course more likely to look at the offerings from your brands and not a competitor. Competitors are by very nature are similar to what we are offering and so limiting the shopper’s desire to check elsewhere is a powerful option that should be more commonplace. More time on the site is likely to mean more conversions.

Whichever way you decide to promote your online retail goods, proper management of shopping, campaigns and feed is essential. Without this, all the hard work that has been put into place will fall short of the targets you are trying to reach.

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Hannah Pennington

Client Services Manager

With over a decade of experience in marketing, digital strategy and sales, Hannah is an all-round marketing super star and has worked with several big-name brands including Bandai, Tony & Guy, the BBC and DMG. Artistic Hannah loves spending her spare time either creating something or giving back and each year she commits to getting hands-on with a different charity. It’s handy then that she wants to be an Octopus because she could use all those extra arms and skills to do all of this at once.

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