There is no argument that online retail has a wide variety of incentives and advantages which it can offer its consumers. One of the key advantages of online retail is the element of convenience. Shoppers are no longer limited by shop locations and opening hours, what products are in stock in the store and the general hussle and bussle of a shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon.
This combined with the technological advances such as internet enabled mobile phones means that you can buy that mothers day present for your mum on the bus on the way home, send that birthday ecard to your best friend while waiting for your dinner to cook and finally buy those pair of shoes which have just gone on sale while sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine and all with out having to go out of your way to do so.
However, online retailing can offer consumers a lot more than just convenience. In fact, they are in an ideal situation to truly engage with their consumers while also promoting brand loyalty.
There are many ways which an online retailer can engage with their customers from personalised emails to product recommendations and access to a community of online reviews and videos. However how a brand chooses to engage with their potential customers is very much dependent on the type of business, the type and style of the touch point and the general message which they want to convey.
Online retailers are in an ideal situation to make the most of the mobile trend combining online offers with tangible products, vouchers and promotion codes. For example one of the most popular current trends is 2D or QR bar coding where consumers can scan the code for example on the back of their drinks can to get access to exclusive content or vouchers.
This form of promotion can also help physical sales through the introduction of near field technology in stores which send customers exclusive promotions and codes for just being in the store. This 2 pronged approach uses a similar philosophy while ensuring that each prong supports the other, therefore ensuring total consumer brand and experience satisfaction.