• Janet Ballonoff

How to Create Online Experiences for an Offline World

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Why Offline Still Matters

In a world where convenience rules above everything else, it’s no wonder that online shopping has taken off. However, sensory experiences aren’t forgotten, and brick-and-mortar has a way of connecting with consumers in a way that e-commerce cannot. Product interaction still ranks high on a customers list especially in the retail and luxury sectors. The fashion industry still sees a whopping 70% of purchases being made offline. While there are arguments that brick-and-mortar is on its way out, physical stores still contribute greatly to a company’s success - not only as a distribution channel, but as a personification of a brand. This may be true for established names in retail, but what about boutique, independent retailers? COVID-19 has softened clothing sales by up to two-thirds in the last quarter, and this additional pressure drives the need for a digital presence more than ever before.

The Power of Social Media to Drive Foot Traffic

How can digital complement an offline experience? Social media is one way of reaching your audience to showcase inventory, promote new collections, and even run shopping events. One of our clients, Quirky Closet, is a plus-sized consignment boutique, whose owner, Hillary Hamman-Kent was on a mission to push women out of their comfort zone. “I wanted to be more of an inspiration and growth in a way so that ladies would take more risks.” Prior to adding digital to her retail strategy, she would expect on average five customers a day through the week and about 10 to 12 on the weekend. However, since adding digital marketing to her overall strategy, she has processed over 50 orders in a single day.

What was our approach? Bringing the store experience virtually to customers. We set up a Facebook live event on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which were known to be two high foot-traffic days. Each live event was themed around a sale or collection, supported with targeted Facebook ads to the local community of trend-driven and fashion conscious women. Our first live event attracted over 50 people, proving that an online shopping experience worked as well paired with a physical store as much as an e-commerce site. This blueprint was such a success that Quirky Closet continued to run these ongoing, and even take it a step further with a VIP package for in-store appointments generated through the virtual events.

The Pieces that Make Up a Digital Marketing Puzzle

While social media and paid media were the combination needed to move the needle for Quirky Closet, let’s not forget the other tools that keep the digital marketing engine running smoothly - it’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. Marketing Strategy Solutions personalizes every digital strategy for optimal engagement, reach and bottom-line metrics based on your goals and KPIs. We provide a practical framework that will complement single or multi-store retailers to build and strengthen their offline presence in the community. Ready to talk shop? Let’s get a conversation started here.