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Marketing

Sponsored: Get it right online for more sales offline this Christmas

You’re in retail. You’ve heard it a thousand times, probably more. Online shopping is killing storefronts, and the traditional experience is about to be relegated to the history books.

What you might be surprised to learn, however, is that research conducted last year by the Australian Retail Association (ARA) found that 95% of Australian retail purchases happen in store.

Bricks and mortar still matters, and your customers need to know how to find you.

“Although online retail is growing at five per cent every year, we still see physical shopping and the tangible side of retail as a positive experience for consumers,” says ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman.

Customers do their research online, but once they decide what they want, they want it straight away. This desire for instant gratification drives them to buy in-store. Customers also want to see the item in person before purchasing, which is another reason why they prefer the in-store experience.

Andrew Crozier, General Manager of Product, Technology and Operations at White Pages, says that shopfronts are still generating sales for these very reasons, especially when it comes to a segment of the market you’d least expect to care.

“Both are strong trends among millennials – who we originally thought would be the generation that killed the high street,” he says.

What matters most to consumers

Today’s consumers expect to find the right information on their channel of choice. Getting this right helps build trust with potential customers.

Zimmerman and Crozier agree that the end-to-end customer journey is important for the retail industry in 2018 and beyond, especially during the rapidly-approaching Christmas shopping period.

“It can leave a bitter taste turning up to a closed location. Especially as ‘open now’ and ‘open today’ searches increase tenfold over the Christmas period,” says Crozier.

“Ensuring your data is accurately provided in all of the disparate places consumers look for it is becoming critical. If your information is incorrect or not published, then you cannot be found. If your competitor can be found, they’ll get the sale. It’s a no brainer.”

Zimmerman also believes that getting this wrong can severely harm relationships with both potential and current customers.

“If retailers do not keep their information up to date on all online platforms, then it damages the brand. Consumers will not trust retailers if their information is not up-to-date, and this impacts on sales,” he says.

The perfect solution for you

Crozier says that Connect – a White Pages Australia product – allows retailers to take control and provide consumers the right information every time.

“Connect is a location data management tool that takes the stress out of many time-consuming tasks from one easy-to-use platform. Whether you’re updating opening hours, introducing products and services, opening and closing locations, or rebranding – Connect has you covered.”

With a growing number of apps, maps, search engines and social channels, consumers are finding and connecting with you in more ways than ever before. White Pages Connect can help you easily update and manage your online business details on over 30 top platforms.

“You need to make sure that whenever your customer is looking for you, the information they need can be found. At its heart, that is what Connect does. It is very simple, it gives you the possibility to do business,” says Crozier.

White Pages Australia are continuing to develop new features for Connect.

“We are always looking to build new functionality and capability into our products. We have some exciting things in the pipeline that we hope to launch before Christmas,” says Crozier.

To stay in the loop, or to learn more about White Pages Connect, visit get.whitepages.com.au

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