Digital marketing tips for online retailers going offline

Online going offline

I was in Vancouver couple weeks ago and  stumbled upon Clearly optic salon. It’s my favored store for eyeglasses but I always thought they were ONLY online.  After a little online search I found Clearly now has 3 physical stores but they’re not alone in bucking the trend.

After the big spurt in online retail the last decade, going offline is the new trend for niche retailers. The biggest example of all is of course Amazon which made a big splash in 2014 with a move into physical retail. For some retailers – like books and software – online seems to be the best path. But, as this article illustrates, for fashion and apparel retailers like Indochino, opening physical stores is a good way to get closer to the shoppers. Fundamentally, there is no substitute to touching and trying on apparel. While many brick and mortar giants are still looking for ways to improve and expand their presence on the internet, some cogs of the free market machine are turning the opposite way.

Things to consider when going from clicks to bricks

Bricks or clicks, retailers still need to use digital marketing to their advantage. Online marketing (paid, organic, social, or affiliate) is a powerful tool, but it can also suck valuable capital. Keep a close eye on the returns from your marketing spend. Here are three things to consider, when going offline:

  1. Google Analytics does not work when linking online marketing to offline sales. One way to do this is through coupons but that alternately creates friction in the buyer’s experience or cuts into your bottom line.
  2. Local digital traffic needs to be considered as a standalone driver of offline sales.
  3. Click fraud/abuse is endemic. Be aware and monitor your channels for abuse.

How to stretch your digital marketing dollar?

I have blogged on the subject in the past.

  1. Are affiliate marketing channels worth the spend?
  2. How to link digital marketing to offline sales?

Revenue attribution is the key to a smart budget distribution across the channels. Whether you are an online marketer looking to stretch your marketing spend, or you are a bricks and mortar looking to get better at online marketing, try this demo to see what I mean:

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