The retail industry is undergoing a transformation. No longer divided between brick-and-mortar stores and online shopping, retailers are now looking for ways to bridge the gap between the two experiences. Big ecommerce brands are launching pop-up shops, while physical retailers are expanding their online presence and becoming hybrid online retailers with their own web shops and apps. The line between online and in-store shopping has become so blurred that trend forecasters even have a word for it: phygital, or the physical-digital hybrid.
As a local business owner looking to boost your presence in this new world of retail, there’s no shortage of opportunity. From updating your website to offering local retail delivery — there are a variety of creative ways you can market your business, connect with customers, and grow your sales.
Here’s how retailers can strengthen the connection between in-store and online shopping today.
Maintain a consistent brand across all of your retail touchpoints
As customers easily move between in-store and online shopping, retailers can make this transition feel smooth by maintaining a consistent brand across all of their touchpoints. Consider reviewing your website, social media, gift wrapping, and in-store branding to make sure it feels like a cohesive experience. Are you using the same logo, colors, and language across all of these touchpoints?
Monotype, a font company, explains, “From mobile apps to in-store displays to digital fitting room services, it’s important to keep the brand experience seamless so customers may jump from one touchpoint to another with effortless recognition. That means having a unified design strategy from color to typeface to photography to iconography/graphics, all of which anchor the customer throughout their journey.”
Getting these little details aligned can help customers feel like ordering from your store online and making a purchase in-store are all part of the same experience of supporting your business.
Make online shopping as easy as browsing your store’s shelves
According to Google Consumer Insights, 59% of shoppers surveyed say that being able to shop on mobile is important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from, so offering easy online retail shopping is an important way to reach customers. One of the biggest ways to strengthen the connection between online and in-store shopping is to make the browsing experience as easy as possible — whether a customer is shopping online or in-person.
As an online retailer, making it easy for customers to browse your stock online, read details, check stock availability, and compare prices is a great way to replicate the experience of shopping in a store. Don't forget to include visual details, too — according to Google Consumer Insights, 85% of shoppers said that product information and pictures are important to them when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.
Don’t have your own online store? Adding your business to DoorDash Marketplace is an easy way to set up shop and start accepting online orders. With DoorDash, your business gets its own page, where you can add your store details like hours and location, upload products, and process orders.
Get smart with your marketing
Once you have your ecommerce store or DoorDash listing set up, it’s time to invest in marketing. Targeted marketing — whether through Facebook ads, Google Search ads, DoorDash Sponsored Listings, or more — can help you get your business in front of customers who are more likely to make a purchase.
In particular, it’s important to focus on reaching customers in your geographic location — people who are just as likely to visit your store in person as they are to make a purchase online, since they’re the people who are more likely to connect with your business.
Additionally, don’t forget to change up your marketing frequently to attract new and repeat customers, and continue to adjust your strategy as you learn what works best for your business.
Cross-communicate your offerings
If you don’t let people know, a customer who does in-store shopping might never know about your online offerings — and vice versa. Most customers aren’t likely to shop just one way or the other. Especially for retail, many customers value the ability to visit a store in person, physically touch and feel the products, and ask questions and get recommendations in real-time.
To strengthen your business’s physical-digital connection, consider putting up signage in store to let customers know that you have an online store and promote your retail delivery. Online, make sure that your store’s location, hours, and contact information are up-to-date, making it easy for customers to find you in person.
Offer local, same-day retail delivery
Perhaps one of the biggest ways to connect your digital and physical business as an online retailer is to offer local delivery. Being able to deliver retail orders the same day truly bridges the online and in-store gap by bringing your store directly to your customers.
Offering local retail delivery can also give you an edge over online-only retailers. With shipping delays becoming the new normal, being able to get goods into your customers hands same-day is a major selling point. Plus, customers enjoy the convenience of getting products delivered when they don’t have the time or desire to run to the store.
Ready to offer delivery? There are many ways to go about adding delivery services to your retail offerings: consider hiring your own delivery drivers, delivering orders yourself, or working with a third-party retail delivery partner like DoorDash.
DoorDash was designed to make it easy to add retail delivery to your business. Once you’ve set up your shop on the app, simply accept orders as they come in, package them, and hand them off to a Dasher for delivery. Lakesha Lymon-Ellerbee, owner of the Georgia-based Kesha Beauty Supply likes how she’s able to make more sales without having to step away from her store.
DoorDash is so easy. I get the order, I fulfill it, they come and pick it up and deliver it.
Want to learn more? Explore how a retail same-day delivery order works on DoorDash.
A partner in your success
As you look for ways to strengthen the physical-digital connection for your business, consider partnering with DoorDash for retail delivery. Offering delivery is only one benefit — getting your business on the DoorDash app can help you grow your online presence, connect with new customers in your neighborhood, and boost your sales with strategic marketing promotions.
Curious how this looks in real life? Learn more about how DoorDash has helped business owner Lakesha Lymon-Ellerbee grow her beauty supply shop by delivering convenience to customers, and sign up for DoorDash today.