This section of our blog lists thought-provoking articles which may help businesses run more efficiently, reap better margins and offer better customer satisfaction. Today’s article is about immersive brand experiences for customers by bridging the gap between online and offline world.
The internet is a great way to discover products, but it fails when visitors want to experience them in person before buying. Even today – majority of the shopping experience happens offline as people can experience the products “for real”. Online shopping is booming as never before. Thanks to the connectivity, choice, refined supply chain and logistics – India has produced some of the biggest online shopping sites. We see a tremendous opportunity for setting up “Brand Malls” which houses the best of the best online shopping sites across major cities.
With Experiential marketing consumers can connect with the product or brand through the participation & tangible nature of a personally relevant and memorable experience. It can include concerts, free samples, special events and touring exhibitions to promote a
product or brand.
How to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping experience?
- A lot of time, you find a particular “unknown brand” of shoe which is fabulous and affordable. You know your foot-size, but you let go of that deal. There are higher chances of conversion if customers can wear and get familiar with the show brand – making future transaction cycle short.
- Provide better customer touch points and customer service, win their trust and confidence.
- Enhances the perception and value of product or brand.
- Increase word-of-mouth sales
- Let your customers feel and hold the products and get a first hand experience. Give them a sensory experience.
- It’s a huge branding opportunity for the shopping sites.
- Cost effective way to introduce new products
- Give customers an opportunity to connect with products on a deeper level
- Get new registrations on your site from offline visitors. Sign them up for a newsletter also.
- Engage them in conversation, and get 1:1 feedback about the user experience on your site.
- If your site provides platform for other sellers(like ebay.in or shopclues.com), offer weekend training and “How to…” sessions to new sellers.
All these are possible through an Exclusive “Physical Brand Mall” ONLY for E-commerce Sites or standalone physical brand shops!
The same concept, when reversed is applicable for physical chain of stores. They are in fact already better positioned to start selling their products online. The physical stores will serve as a medium for traditional sales and to provide immersive brand experiences to customers.
We would like to you your thoughts, reaction, feedback or criticism, please comment.
—- update as on Sep 2012 —-
We were anxiously observing if any e-commerce site comes up with an experiential marketing plan, which is more than just adding items to cart and “hoping” it fits your size or the color seen on your laptop screen!
Thankfully, Yabhi.com has launched something called “Try and Buy” where you can actually “wear” a pair of jeans or “feel” a fabric with your fingers before buying. No obligations to buy the item, its a great step forward Yebhi.com. We just hope that more and more such ideas materialize so that consumers can get the best of both online and offline benefits. kudos yebhi…