The e-commerce world has been booming in the past few years. More and more retailers are opening up web shops. Others are offering their customers the possibility to order products via Instagram. E-retailers like Amazon, on the other hand, are expanding their business offline. So, you might think, what’s the best thing for me to do? Go fully digital or focus my attention on print in retail only?
Well, there are two sides to this story. Firstly, we’d like to warn you to not concentrate all of your efforts on one channel only. There are benefits attached to both the online and offline world. And we’ll be highlighting some strategies you can apply in your business. Curious to see what your retail business should do?
1. Streamline your channels
Almost every customer out there checks your website or your webshop for products. Others might be wildly enthusiastic about your social media. It’s then no wonder that you should focus a lot of your efforts on your digital channels.
Firstly, streamlining your channels is of the utmost importance. People drop out if they don’t have the opportunity to shop on their smartphone. Who doesn’t hate it when they’re surfing on the go and they don’t know their way about an unstructured website?
2. Tell a convincing story
Moreover, you should make sure your tone of voice, your message and outlook are consistent on all channels. Consistent storytelling is paramount if you want to convince your customers of your company’s values and dreams. And deciding which words or phrases you want to use to do so, is essential. Streamlined communication is crucial.
Words – nuances in phrases – are absolutely paramount; as important as the look of the logo. If you don’t have consistency in your wording, you will never have a coherent platform for communication.David Rich, Head of Marketing at Robert Dyas (Insight Agents)
Customers drop out if the tone of voice you’re using is inconsistent. At the same time, others might back out if you’re using fancy words that no one ever uses. Make sure whatever you say sounds real. People value transparency and honesty. And what better way than to reflect that in your words?
3. Personalize print
Digital channels are important in this fast-moving world. They’ve changed the game. However, print still remains relevant. Why is that, you might think? Well, firstly, print is personal. Everyone nowadays gets flooded with publicity-filled emails. All of them try their best to get you to buy something. So, receiving a printed card in the mail comes as a pleasant surprise.
You can, for instance, use printed cards to wish your customer a happy birthday or to alert them an exclusive fashion show is being hosted at your store. By personalizing print, your audience gets sent something special, something for them personally.
4. Combine the best of both worlds
Moreover, you can enhance this experience a little further by drawing your digital channels into it. Let’s say your company alerts customers with a printed card about the launch of a new line of shoes or furniture. Included with the printed card is a QR code. Then, your customers can interact with your product by watching videos, by reading a blog post or by making an order online immediately.
Digital brands have ventured into the print world as well. Back in 2014, Airbnb launched Pineapple – which was only published once – a travel magazine, made to inspire hosts worldwide. A few years later, in 2016, Airbnb revamped the magazine and baptized it airbnbmag. Its focus? To honor different cultures and people all over the globe and to celebrate the transformative power of travel. Print is thus not only suitable for linking your channels together. It’s also the ideal tool to inspire your audience!
5. Call to action
We all know digital call-to-actions are of the utmost importance. If you’re unable to convince your online customers, it’s no use focusing your efforts on the other channels first. We, however, believe that print can call customers to action too.
Both print and digital have the power to convince. Yes, your flyer or brochure might be eye-catching but is it bringing in new customers? If the answer’s no, you’ve got to change that strategy immediately. One way to do so is creating an action that will gather a lot of attention on social media. For example, you can hang posters in-store that say customers can get 20% off their next order if they pose with the poster. If clients post that photo online, with a certain hashtag, you’ll receive a lot of attention and interactivity.
By doing so, your online audience will feel intrigued by your action and it will encourage them to participate as well. We think implementing innovative CTAs is the perfect way to bring the print and digital world closer together.
Print and digital? A perfect match!
The way businesses market their products has changed drastically. Companies started moving away from printed media and have been focusing all of their efforts on digital channels. We, however, advise you to not take the same course of action. Yes, using digital channels has its benefits but so do printed media. They are ideal to combine together as they complement each other perfectly.
So, are print and digital difficult to match? We don’t think so. Print and digital are excellent tools to employ in the retail industry. They help you reach different audiences, connect with customers personally and they’re great to link together. Are you ready to skyrocket your retail marketing with both printed and digital media? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to share this blog post with your retail colleagues!