Building Online Shopping Experiences Drives Offline Sales

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One of the great things about ecommerce is that ROI has always been seemingly straight forward and easy to measure. All the necessary data is right there, at every retailer’s fingertips. They know what they invested, and they can measure the direct effect that that investment had on their business. But it turns out that in today’s marketplace, only measuring an online investment’s affect online no longer gives an accurate look into that investment’s true ROI. That’s because what retailers do online, directly affects whether or not they are driving sales in store too.

In a recent Forbes op-ed Raj Rao (global director, eCommerce and Digital Marketing, 3M Corporate Marketing) cites a ComScore report that states that 2/3rds of shoppers begin their shopping process online, usually on the retail site itself. The report also notes that nearly half of shoppers who begin their search on retail sites make a purchase in the physical store, while 40% transact online. Think about that. More of a retailer’s site visitors will end up purchasing in store, than on the actual site itself.  Obviously, measuring ROI is no longer as straight forward as it once seemed.

The data above, and his own experiences point Rao towards the following conclusion: “Marketers must rise to the challenge. The solution isn’t banner ads or page take-overs that consumers despise. Instead we need to do the hard work of true marketing and ask: What is the consumer experience at retail sites, and how can I positively impact this?”

It probably comes as no shock to you, but we here at Zugara agree with Mr. Rao. Today, online retailers are content providers. Publishers. And just like in any other content driven business, the retailers that produce the best content, the best experience, will win.  So what do you think?  What stores are “doing it right”?

(Warning: Shameless Self Promotion) Oh, and speaking of online shopping experiences… have you heard of our product: The Webcam Social Shopper? 🙂