What is a Hybrid Retail Store?
Due to recent events, retailers have had to think more creatively to sell their products during our various lockdowns. With both physical and virtual/digital competition, businesses are being forced to adapt a new model of business: hybrid retail.
Consumer choice has continued to grow over recent years, with online shopping booming and retailers, such as Amazon, seeing their market share soar. Hybrid retail allows businesses to operate in both markets, gaining the benefits of a physical and online store to deliver sustained business growth.
What is Hybrid Retail?
Hybrid retail is a blend between both traditional (physical) retailing with e-commerce. Using a hybrid retail model, businesses can reach and engage with their target audience along all touch points, no matter their position in the purchase journey.
The Four Types of Hybrid Retail
There are four types o hybrid retail. These not only allow you to generate additional revenue, but it provides multiple shopping options to your customers, offering a superior experience.
The four key types of hybrid retail are:
- Traditional carrier and shipping
- Curb side or in-store pickup
- Localised delivery that is faster and more personalized
- Appointment based brick and mortar retail experiences
Traditional Carrier and Shipping
Traditional carrier shipping, with providers such as Royal Mail, FedEx, DHL, and DPD.
Curb Side or In-store Pickup
This service offers customers the ability to pre-order a product online, with an in-person pick-up date set sometime in the future. Oftentimes, the customer wont even need to enter the store. These pickups tend to be scheduled for a certain date and time, maximising efficiency.
This service offers local delivery, direct to the customer. Due to the localisation of the service, delivery will oftentimes be same day, potentially even within hours. Uber Eats and Amazon Prime are good examples of such a service.
Appointment Based Brick and Mortar Experience
During the pandemic, numerous businesses adopted an appointment-based system, whereby customers would have to prebook a time slot before visiting. Many business still operate on an appointment only basis - namely luxury clothing retailers, jewellers, and any other 'personal' shopping experiences.
How to Create a Successful Hybrid Retail Strategy
Offer Physical and Online Shopping Experiences
Offer both physical and online shopping experiences. That way, depending on your customer, they can pick and choose their shopping experience and tailor it to their individual preferences/needs. For instance, a physical shopping option will suit those that are purchasing a unique or expensive item. On the other hand, an online shopping experience would suit users reordering previously purchased items for convenience.
Personalise The Customer Experience
Retailers must take the correct steps to making sure that the whole retail experience is tailored to each customer to make it engaging, personalised and memorable. In fact, 83% of shoppers are willing to provide their information in exchange for personalised messaging and offers, Accenture found.
Using first-party data, collecting from your EPOS system, you can view buyer habits and customer purchasing behavior. Use this data to inform which products to push and identify poorly selling product lines. After gathering relevant data, create an informed marketing strategy, with allocated budgets reflective of product popularity and respective profit margins.
Eliminate Any Friction
Through conversion rate optimisation (online), user experience design (online) and shop design (physical), you can identify areas where your customers are dropping out of your sales funnel. Marketing tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar can be used to determine the way in which users interact with your website. Alternatively, surveys can be used to collect first-party data from your customer base on their individual shopping experiences.
Using Google Analytics and Hotjar, you can identify exactly where customers are exiting your sales funnel. More often than not, this occurs at the cart level, known as 'cart abandonment' in the e-commerce industry. In 2022, it is estimated that £22 trillion worth of products will be abandoned.
Through a redesign of your payment gateway, as well as an effective abandoned cart email strategy, you can start to recoup this otherwise lost revenue.
Get More Out of Your POS
There’s no doubt that having a state-of-the art EPoS system will set your business apart from your competition and allow you to process more transactions on a day to day basis.
As the technology keeps on advancing, retail POS systems are getting more effective, secure and affordable for all retailers to improve their business tasks.