This is the last installment of a trilogy dedicated to brick and mortar retailers. If you missed out earlier, you can first read Are Malaysia top retailers doing e-commerce? and Top 10 e-commerce websites by big retailers in Malaysia.
Retailers with physical outlets do have a marketing edge over pure-play online retailers with their existing base and reach.
However, not many of them are leveraging on their existing assets due to various reasons, it can be due to internal challenges, online's too insignificant compared to offline, or lack of online activation know-how.
In this episode, we are going to address the last part above, how brick and mortar retailers can leverage on their existing channels (plus new ones) to activate their online business.
Above The Line (ATL)
ATL in short is advertising through media like broadcast, print, out-of-home etc, which is no stranger to brick and mortar retailers.
However, promoting your online store is not by just inserting your URL or QR Code into the advertisement. Best to provide consumers a reason to (start) buying online from you.
For example, you can consider an introductory online-only voucher, or any other incentives to convert them into an online visitor or better still online customer.
Point of Sale Materials (POSM)
So far in Malaysia, Tesco provides the best example on how to utilize POSM and promote your online store.
Just refer to the photo above which not only highlighting the convenience and variety, but also to reassure customers that they can too collect loyalty points when buying online.
Besides the POP display above, you can fully utilize every POSM materials possible, for example bunting, catalog, shelf-display etc.
Customers / Members Email
Perhaps the most crucial activation will be your own customers or members base, as they are already associated to your brand so the barrier is not as high to convert them to online.
Obviously it is important to send them emails, but the activation content needs to be carefully planned plus best if you can do segmentation based on demographic or better still purchase history.
Besides EDM, you can consider importing the emails into Facebook and build custom audience. You can then run specific ads to target your existing customers or members, and possibly lookalike audience too.
Your existing digital channels are potentially next best thing to EDM, as it is arguably easier to convert compared to offline-to-online.
Some retailers totally abandon their existing corporate website and convert it into an online store, which arguably is a better option as you can easily incorporate the "corporate information" into the online store. Existing website especially for bigger brands are already enjoying certain level of traffic so you don't need to start from zero.
Of course, it is a waste not to make full use of your existing social media channels like Facebook to drive traffic to your online store.
Most importantly, as a retailer you can't just rely on your existing channels and hope for your e-commerce success.
Driving traffic to online store is totally different from brick and mortars so digital acquisition is a must to grow your e-commerce business. Besides the regular channels and base, it's also your objective to acquire new customers via your e-commerce business, right?
So, it is critically important to run digital marketing campaigns riding on media via Google, Facebook, LINE etc. On this topic, you can refer to the 7 traffic generation methods for your e-commerce websites.
Read also: Why retailers need to embrace omni-channel?