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Diffusion of innovations is a theory that explains how and why innovations are spread throughout cultures. At one end you have our innovators who are willing to takes risks and on the other end of the scale you have our laggards who are risk adverse. When you ’ re experimenting with a new idea, consider your innovators.
The Newspaper, TV, telephone directory and music industries have all been disrupted by …
… Technology Newspapers now have to compete with breaking news websites like Blottr where the readers actually publish the news TV Advertising isn’t as lucrative as it used to be as eyeballs are now shifting online to sites like YouTube Telephone directories now have to compete with the likes of Google and CDs have had make way for digital music Technology is also disrupting retail
Our beloved stores, are …
Imagine a website without modern features. Think of a website with simple features that lets you login, browse, buy and deliver to home. Nothing more. Would you shop there?
Well, you might have been imagining a site like this. This is the Amazon online bookstore which launched in 1995.
Putting yourself in the shoes of your online customer, what does your store look like? If by removing the modern eCommerce features you ’ re took back in-time to 1995, how does a savvy online buyer see your physical store?
A warehouse perhaps? Simply somewhere that stocks what you want? Or do online shoppers see your store as a real-life, 3D, walk-in website?
And if that ’ s how online shoppers see physical stores then showrooming was inevitable. If you don ’ t provide the features online shoppers use to make their purchasing decision, then someone else will and is the showrooming catalyst; not providing an online experience in-store.
Most stores don ’ t consider the online shopper. They expect shoppers, who are always connected, to disconnect whilst shopping. There ’ s no mystery why people showroom. In fact, lets look at what comScore ’ s showrooming surveyed found …
Nearly half of people who showroom do so because they want to order online.
Are you making it easy for your customers to order online from within your store?
To fight showrooming, encourage showrooming but instead of shoppers ordering online elsewhere have them order with you. Lets breakdown how this can be done. Connect with your customers to experience and research products to make an informed decision. Provide a ‘ pull ’ service so shoppers have their purchase sent to wherever happens to be convenient and finally grab your customer ’ s voice at the point it ’ s most authentic to amplify further sales. How do you connect with customers?
Mobile data costs money so provide free WiFi, the quicker the access the faster shoppers can make informed purchase decision. As a byproduct, this engages the rule of reciprocity which creates a sense of indebtedness. Having in-store WiFi also means: You can tweak your mobile shop to become store friendly. You can gain insights from the WiFi usage Provide a landing page where you can offer location based rewards … According to OnDeviceResearch 74% of people are happy to receive text promotions when connected to in-store WiFi. Aimia have found showroomers are 3 times more likely to respond to location-based offers. As 98% of all SMS messages are opened, this creates a huge opportunity. I spent some time with gencia and they’re having success with text based rewards.
Here ’ s one of their campaigns. The shopper gets a text with a link and a discount code is pushed to their browser. Very simple indeed. This can be recalled later too.
Remember, 45% of people showroom because they wanted to see the item before buying online. - Give shoppers a reason to travel to store, give them an experience to remember. - Make it Fun, think experiential. Ignite a memory. Stores can be venues. - Give online shoppers technology that help their purchasing decision that they can ’ t get at home I think augmented reality is really going to change the game for retailers for online and offline.
This is a screenshot from tinderstone ’ s furniture viewer which they white label for retailers. They can 3D scan any product and bring it into a virtual environment.
And you can place a product on any surface and inspect it.
In general, I hate QR codes. They ’ ve been horribly misused and overdone. Do you really need a QR code instead of a web address? However! Here is where I think QR codes make perfect sense. Layar, for instance, are leaders in image recognition. Instead of scanning a QR code you use the product itself as the reference point. Be warned, if you go down the route of image recognition over QR codes you ’ ll either have to make all your products in-store compatible or inform the customer which are compatible with a sticker or notice. You may as well use a QR code. Not surprisingly, Layar have just built-in QR code reading into their app. I haven ’ t even put down NFC, we ’ re years off it being ready in my opinion. It ’ s insecure and until Apple adopt it, it ’ s a no go. And why should you be allowing your shoppers to scan? To help them make an informed decision with additional content and allow them to order online there and then. This approach also allows you to carry less stock and more variety. Which brings me nicely onto Pull.
Think pull, not push. Shoppers want to pull their item to them. Shoppers want to pay in-store for online purchases and pay online for in-store purchases. There is an endless list of shopper scenarios so provide every method you possibly can. I may want my item delivered to work tomorrow instead of carrying it around the high street and taking it home and then have to remember to take it into work. So, let shoppers showroom and pay in-store or online and deliver wherever they want. That could be collect in-store either now or later, deliver to home or collect from an outdoor ByBox locker 24/7.
When I launched SendSocial in 2009 we captured the imagination of the world. We turned twitter and facebook id ’ s into a physical address. So, if you knew my twitter ID you could send me something, as long as I accepted it. We wanted to integrate with retailers but we were too early to market. One of the things we were developing was the idea of having a weekly schedule for deliveries. So, Monday – Thursday my work address, Friday a ByBox locker in London and Saturday's my home address for instance. I think the time is now right for innovations such this. Consider taking delivery options a step further and allow customers to specify an address for the day of the week.
Foursquare has proved that people are willing to tell their friends via social media where they are. So, when they connect to your free WiFi ask them would they like to check-in, post onto social media and even ask if they want to do this automatically next time. Also, did you know that every second someone posts a purchase onto twitter? Social proof is key to conversion. It’ s like a knee jerk reaction for the brain, you instinctively do what other people are doing especially when you ’ re ensure. So consider offering your customers to share their purchase onto social media. Get them to amplify their purchase. At JustBought.it we ’ re working with retailers to do just that.
This is the goal
I think the future high street winners will be the pure internet retailers as they understand online shoppers better than traditional retailers.
Fab.com just opened a showroom in Hamburg where you can personalise your order to you exact specification.
Made.com opened a showroom in London featuring QR codes and miniature 3D-printed models of furniture.
And US online retailer Warby Parker have just opened a showroom in New York which features a reading library and in-store high tech.
Even cooler than that, they’re hitting the road in a retrofitted school bus and are visiting 8 cities in 6 months!
Remember, to test a new idea it doesn ’ t need to be perfect. Start innovating today.
• WiFi– Engage the Rule of Reciprocity (Mobile datacosts)– ‘Store mode’ mobile site• Live help– Store #hashtag and @account• Text rewards & incentives– 74% happy to receive text promo on WiFi(OnDeviceResearch)– Showroomers are 3x more likely to respond to alocation-based mobile offer (Aimia)– 98% of all SMS messages are opened
• Make the travel to store worthwhile• Fun• Technology– Tablets for staff– Virtual fitting rooms– Give staff autonomy to discount– Target stores to increase online orders fromwithin store– Augmented reality
• Scan– QR Codes– URN• Store Mode Mobile Site– Extra content/videos only available in-store– All site features including reviews
• Pay– In-store, for online purchase– Online, for in-store purchase• Deliver– Store– Home– Collect via ByBox
• Check-in / Check-out– Automatically– Social Media• Word of mouth– Social Proof