Brands can achieve cohesiveness between online and in-store to give the customer the best experience and maximize ROI.

Since the birth and rapid adoption of online shopping across theworld, most retailers have had a two space policy: one for in-store shopping and the other for online. The sentiment is usually “we also have an online store, come check us out there”.

How can brands achieve cohesiveness between online and in-store to give the customer the best experience and maximise ROI? When I attended the Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit, London in February, it was apparent that many marketers had two disparate strategies for online and in-store, with very few being able to bring these two channels. Yet our introduction of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology into the market by Tapit, now offers a way to deliver digital in-store.

It seems like the physical store of any particular brand is in a war with its online counterpart, with the person feeling the brunt of this is the innocent customer. The Accenture Seamless Retail Study conducted in the US in November 2012 with a poll of 750 consumers, analysed of how top retailers operate across multiple sales channels, found that half (49%) of consumers believe the best thing retailers can do to improve the shopping experience is to better integrate in-store, online and mobile shopping channels.

An overwhelming 89% percent of consumers said it is important for retailers to let them shop for products in the way that is most convenient for them, no matter which sales channel they choose. A fascinating infographic by Lindsay Scarpello for Local Market Launch in May 2013 suggests that up to 85% of local consumers search for business information online. Furthermore, 94% of all smartphone users search for business information on their mobiles engaging in social media for connects to deals or brand promotions. However, people still want to touch, feel and taste, combining positive customer experience / engagement, they will always be the key drivers for in-store visits and sales.

Creative Instore Solutions are now integrating the use of NFC technology into the design and development of our clients new or existing in store activation displays & refrigeration systems through our global partnership with Tapit, making the purchase experience for the consumer inline with the brands online message.

We are now enabling brands to integrate their online and in-store experiences through the Tapit mobile engagement system, delivering the ultimate success platform for delighting their consumers regardless of purchase preferences. The technology takes consumers directly to the brands chosen digital message with a simple wave of an NFC enabled smartphone over the POP display, without downloading any apps or making key-strokes.

First published in Retail Focus UK in July 2013