Blending Digital and Physical: Data Strategies for Retailers

Welcome to our article on data strategies for retailers, where we explore the exciting world of blending digital and physical experiences. In today’s evolving retail landscape, successful retailers like Lowe’s, Nike, Aldo, and Peloton have realized the benefits of merging their physical stores with their digital customer experience.

Did you know that despite the rise of online shopping, 97% of consumers still see the need to visit physical stores? In fact, 70% of them welcome a streamlined experience once they’re there. By aligning inventory, item information, order history, and more, retailers can create a true multichannel experience that caters to the preferences of their customers.

Wondering why retailers are investing in blending digital and physical experiences? Well, research has shown that multichannel shoppers tend to spend more, both in-store and online, compared to single-channel shoppers. So, it’s no surprise that this blending offers benefits like convenience, more choices for consumers, and an enhanced in-store experience.

Enhancing the In-Store Experience with Technology

Aldo Group, a global shoe and accessories retailer, understands the importance of blending the online and physical store experience. At Aldo, we have implemented innovative technology solutions to enhance our customers’ multichannel experience.

Innovative Technology Solutions

  • Mobile Applications: We have developed mobile applications for both our store associates and customers. These apps offer features like personalized product recommendations, real-time inventory updates, and mobile payments, improving the overall shopping experience.
  • Touchscreens: In our stores, we have installed interactive touchscreens that allow customers to browse our full product range, view detailed product information, and even place orders for items that are not available in-store.
  • Beacons: By leveraging beacon technology, we can seamlessly switch our customers’ mobile applications to “in-store” mode when they enter our physical stores. This enables us to provide location-based offers, personalized recommendations, and other tailored experiences.

Furthermore, Aldo conducts pilot programs to test and fine-tune new technology before rolling it out to our other locations. This approach ensures that we only implement solutions that truly enhance our customers’ in-store experience.

Peloton, a high-end home fitness equipment retailer, has also recognized the value of unique physical store experiences. Peloton’s stores offer interactive displays, allowing customers to experience their products firsthand, receive personalized guidance, and even participate in live classes. These physical store experiences, combined with Peloton’s robust online presence, contribute to the overall effectiveness of blending the physical and digital shopping worlds.

To measure the success of blending the physical and digital experiences, retailers like Aldo and Peloton rely on metrics such as foot traffic, conversion rate, average transaction value, and ROPO (research online/purchase offline) metrics. These metrics provide valuable insights into customer behavior and help drive continued improvement in the multichannel shopping experience.

Strategies for Seamlessly Combining Digital and Physical Retail

Retailers today have the opportunity to create a unified and cohesive shopping experience by seamlessly blending their digital and physical retail operations. By implementing various strategies, retailers can effectively bridge the gap between the two channels, providing customers with choice, convenience, and a personalized customer journey.

1. Online-to-Offline (O2O) Coupons

  • Offer exclusive discounts in the form of online-to-offline (O2O) coupons.
  • Customers can redeem these coupons in physical stores, incentivizing them to visit the brick-and-mortar locations.
  • By combining the power of online promotions with in-store purchases, retailers can drive foot traffic and boost sales.

2. Virtual Try-On and In-Store Fitting Rooms

  • Utilize virtual try-on tools on your website to enable customers to visualize products online.
  • Encourage customers to visit the physical store to try on the products they have selected online.
  • In-store fitting rooms provide a valuable opportunity for customers to experience the product firsthand before making a purchase.

3. Reserve Online, Try In-Store

  • Allow customers to reserve items online and try them in-store.
  • This strategy creates a unified service across digital and physical channels, offering customers the convenience of reserving products and the benefit of in-person interaction.
  • By giving customers the option to try products before committing to a purchase, retailers enhance the overall customer experience.

4. Appointment Scheduling

  • Enhance the personalized shopping experience by allowing customers to schedule appointments online.
  • Customers can book consultations with experts, seek personal shopping assistance, or request product demonstrations.
  • Appointment scheduling ensures that customers receive dedicated attention and tailored assistance, further enhancing their in-store experience.

By implementing these strategies, retailers can seamlessly combine their digital and physical retail operations, creating a unified and personalized customer journey. Whether it’s through O2O coupons, virtual try-on tools, reserve online try in-store options, or appointment scheduling, embracing the blending of digital and physical experiences allows retailers to provide a more convenient and engaging shopping experience.

The Role of Data in Creating a Phygital Experience

Creating a seamless phygital (physical + digital) experience requires the effective use and integration of data. At Aldo, we understand the importance of connecting our physical and digital retail channels. By bringing together stock management, supply chain data, product information, and customer data, we can provide a consistent and personalized customer journey that boosts brand loyalty and reduces attrition.

In addition to ensuring a seamless experience, we offer flexible fulfillment options to give our customers choice and convenience. With options like click and collect or buy online pick-up in-store, we empower our customers to choose the most convenient way to receive their purchases. Through integrated stock management data, we can even offer the “endless aisle” functionality, where customers can access any product they desire, regardless of in-store stock availability.

Personalization is at the core of our phygital strategy. We leverage customer data to offer personalized discounts, location-based push notifications, and cashier-free checkout. Our in-store clienteling approach enhances the in-person customer experience, allowing our associates to provide tailored recommendations and assistance. By leveraging the power of data, we create unique value for both our customers and our employees, helping us stand out in the competitive market.