The pandemic encouraged business owners to rethink their methods of operation. One of the ways businesses adapted to the growing online market was hybrid selling, where you sell products both online and in-store. This switch has been a stark wake-up call for some British companies, as the UK is considered to be five years behind Chinese e-commerce, which achieves 80% of all its sales through online mobile apps.
This article will explore the benefits of hybrid selling. We will also cover the ways that you can provide your customers with a blended retail experience. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar shop owner looking to expand online or an e-commerce store considering opening a pop-up shop, here’s how you can benefit from hybrid selling.
Set up an online shop
Online retail has never been more important. The value of online retail sales has steadily increased over the past decade, from £52.25 billion in 2015 to £76.04 billion in 2019. However, during the pandemic, the value increased dramatically to £99.31 billion in 2020. This shows a direct correlation between the economic standstill of lockdown and online retail sales.
However, in the aftermath of the pandemic, the number of people choosing to shop online continues to rise. According to a survey conducted in July, 70% of shoppers prefer to buy goods online or on their mobile phones, compared to less than 50% before the pandemic.
Therefore, if you’re a business owner without an online shop, it would be beneficial to set one up in the post-pandemic world. Your e-commerce store could be on a third-party platform, such as Etsy or Amazon. Depending on your budget, you could even create your own e-commerce site using a content management system, such as Shopify. This will provide your customers with a blended retail experience that will accommodate the growing demand for online shopping options.
Invest in digital marketing
It is important to make the most out of digital marketing. This is true whether you’re considering opening an online shop or you already have an established e-commerce store. Digital marketing will boost your online presence and draw customers to your business.
Digital marketing is imperative to the commercial success of online businesses. It will allow you to build lasting relationships with your customers and enable you to showcase your services or products. These products and services can then be shown to the largest and most appropriate audience possible. This marketing can come in the form of search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), social media marketing, and much more.
This means that digital marketing is a lot more than creating online adverts! Your business can work with professional marketers to utilise data and create customer engagement plans. According to one study, 67% of marketers that use customer engagement platforms enjoyed it. Your business can make use of these platforms to communicate with each of your customers in a unique and personalised way.
Make a pop-up shop for your online store
If you own an online business, it may be time for you to consider opening a brick-and-mortar store – even if it is temporary. There are still demographics of shoppers that prefer to buy goods or services in person. Although online shopping allows your business to reach the growing online market, it’s important to have a street presence too.
In fact, research shows there is a direct correlation between in-person shopping and age. Members of younger generations are more likely to shop online, with 99% of 25-34 year-olds and 65% of over-65s making online purchases in 2020. Whether this is due to mobility issues or knowledge of technology, providing a blended retail experience caters to all customers.
A great way to achieve this balance is to open up a pop-up storage container shop. This will allow you to display your products or services for a short amount of time while avoiding paying long-term rent on shopfronts. Entice your customers with discounted rates and decorative displays in person. This way, you could solidify a new demographic of customers!
The world of retail and business is constantly evolving. Whether your business sells macramé crafts or custom stationery, you should continue to be mindful of shopping trends. Strive to provide your customers with a blended retail experience. This could be in the form of opening up an online shop or making a pop-up store. Regardless of your methods, you’ll be sure to see the benefits of hybrid selling, so how will you start?