Online Retail Today

O2O: 4 Easy Ways To Drive Online to Offline Store Visits Via Social Media

online to offline O2O shopping
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As online mobile shopping grows, omnichannel retailers should take advantage of social media’s dominance to promote the benefits of online to offline commerce.

Mobile devices play a role in a third of all retail transactions at some point on the path to purchase, with mobile purchases making up 40% of all online sales, Adweek reported. Many of those transactions take place offline, as shoppers browse products online and purchase offline. Four in five consumers who want an item immediately prefer to purchase in a store, and 61% prefer shopping with a brand with physical outlets as well as an online presence, Google found.

To reach mobile O2O consumers, retail brands have optimized their mobile sites and launched shopping apps. But mobile also strengthens marketers’ arguments for investment in social media.

The hunt for direct ROI on social investments has long bedeviled merchants but on mobile, there’s no doubt that social media dominates. Three-quarters of the minutes U.S. adults spend interacting with social media occur on mobile devices, according to Nielsen. Facebook and Facebook Messenger are the top two mobile apps; ranking slightly below, Instagram and Snapchat make the top 10, comScore found, while the only retail app to make the top 20 is Amazon’s.

That means social platforms give retail brands an unmatched opportunity for visibility, especially among new audiences who might not otherwise navigate to a brand’s mobile Web site or app. Consequently, because mobile device content can be context-aware, promoting unique store experiences is a natural fit. To do so:

Increase Foot Traffic: Offer store-specific coupons, scannable direct from the smartphone.

Sprout Social found that special discounts or coupons are what consumers want most from brands on social media; incidentally, merchants should give followers access to store-exclusive discounts to encourage foot traffic.

Personalized Interactions: Localize social messaging for customer service.

Two in three consumers say they use social media to contact brands, according to Social Media Today. Built-in messaging tools such as Facebook Messenger can help merchants meet high expectations for swift response times. Messenger aids with routing inquiries to local staff which not only addresses questions more meaningfully than a call center response, but connects shoppers with local names and faces in the process.

Some leading brands are even localizing social messaging chatbots to schedule in-store services such as repairs, stylist appointments, and classes, as Sephora does with its Facebook Messenger chatbot.

Drive Conversions: Promote store events using Stories.

Viewership for Instagram Stories, which link images and videos in a short sequence, may soon beat the News Feed as the top social media viewing mode. Merchants should use Stories to spotlight store activities like:

  1. In-store events
  2. How-to videos showcasing local staff expertise
  3. Interactive polls gathering input on store displays
  4. Local specials

Grow Store Revenue: Consider localized social media ad plays.

As organic reach declines due to stiffening competition and algorithm changes, merchants are increasing ad spend to guarantee visibility. Retailers can keep costs in check and deliver ultra-relevant messaging by availing themselves of increasingly-refined tools, such as Facebook’s location-based ad options. This helps reach shoppers with offers mapped to store locations.

Whatever your goals are for online to offline revenue, Kibo’s unified commerce software can enable you to achieve results where you are now experiencing pain points. Learn more here: https://kibocommerce.com/company/contact-us/

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