The E-commerce industry has been enjoying its heyday since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in-store shopping is very much alive. That means businesses and marketers need to focus on delivering hybrid shopping experiences.
It might sound ironic because most of the world is gearing toward digitalization. We cannot ignore the fact that consumers purchase in both the physical and digital worlds. Do you know many people chose offline shopping over online, even at the peak of the pandemic?
According to the US Census Bureau, when many businesses were closed and only those considered vital witnessed long lines and empty shelves, three out of four purchases were offline.
To keep up with this digital transformation, marketers must combine in-store and online customer journeys and ensure unify experience everywhere. It seems challenging to achieve. We all know brands have become experts in delivering digital services, as accelerated by the pandemic.
That said, enterprises have started showing interest in creating excellent customer experiences, both physical and digital. As per this survey, 75% of global executives intend to boost their spending on hybrid shopping experiences over the following 12 months.
Below, we will get a detailed look at hybrid shopping and why it is the need of the hour. We will start by understanding this new “new normal” concept.
Hybrid shopping experiences: Everything you need to know
These are commerce experiences that incorporate both online and offline shopping. The digital component occurs online. On the other hand, the physical part may happen at a store, at an event, or over the phone.
Hybrid shopping experiences are also referred to as “phygital experiences,” which combine digital and physical encounters. However, this fusion is nothing new and gained momentum throughout the pandemic.
The benefits of e-commerce platforms are not unknown, including accessibility, convenience, and an array of choices. But why do digital marketers need to focus on creating hybrid experiences? For this, we have listed some benefits below.
What are the benefits of investing in hybrid shopping experiences?
Customers shop everywhere, using their phones or the glass of storefronts to make quick purchases. If you lack one thing, you will lose potential customers and sales. Do you need more convincing? Then, here are the benefits you must know.
- A spark of inspiration and immersive experience
You may design complete and engaging purchasing experiences by incorporating several assets and channels of both online and offline marketing.
Your digital marketing agency can combine your digital components into a physical store.
For example, they can use QR codes for your brick-and-mortar store. It helps you link to other content resources and offer value in the real world. In addition, you can build personal and enduring relationships with your clients by inviting online visitors to your physical locations and events.
- Better product research and learning opportunities
Today, consumers like to handle the majority of the purchasing process themselves. Therefore, your potential customers must learn about and comprehend your business and products on their terms. That means they can use the media of their choice and pick situations and times that work best for them.
But how can you provide this opportunity? The answer is offering hybrid shopping experiences. To do so, your marketer will combine your physical and digital touchpoints.
Digital tools benefit consumers significantly. They make it simple to compare prices and conduct easy product research before purchasing. Additionally, several aspects of in-store shopping that many consumers love are missing in the online shopping experience.
For instance, customers prefer touching, feeling, and trying goods in person and alternatives before saying yes. Plus, they appreciate the flexibility that in-store shopping offers like taking and using the product on the same day.
- Increased flexibility
Another advantage of using a hybrid approach is offering a range of options to your consumers. Thus, depending on their needs and preference, they can shop online or in a physical store. But it has become possible and seamless all because of an integrated strategy.
Moreover, with compelling hybrid shopping experiences, you can give your customers a variety of fulfillment alternatives, such as in-store purchases, BOPIS (Buy Online Pick-up In-Store), ordering online for home delivery, or curbside pickup at a nearby store. With this flexibility to choose, you can serve the most number of consumers.
The bottom line
Undoubtedly, customers valued purchasing online during COVID-19 owing to safety reasons. But many have returned to traditional stores post-pandemic. Data indicates that the pandemic significantly increased digital retail expenditure. It did not transform the market completely.
So, we can say that it speeds up an already well-established trend in which customers like to seamlessly navigate between various digital channels and between the online and offline worlds. The best way to meet this demand is by offering hybrid shopping experiences.
If you want to know more about hybrid shopping and its impact on e-commerce, visit SoftProdigy. Our dedicated digital marketers have in-depth knowledge of various marketing aspects, trends, and updates.
- What is hybrid shopping?
It is a mix of traditional brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce or offline and online shopping. It is a unique concept designed to cater to each customer’s specific requirements and offers convenience by giving them a well-rounded experience.
- What are the different types of hybrid retail?
Hybrid retail refers to integrating traditional retail with e-commerce. Some common types are
- Local delivery
- Carrier shipping
- curb-side/in-store pickup
- Appointment-based brick-and-mortar shipping