How can consumers be encouraged to browse the web for better in-store buying? That's the whole point of Web-to-Store strategies.

Web-to-Store, a tool for conquering consumer 2.0

Retail networks are now applying new strategic drivers to cope with the onslaught of e-commerce and m-commerce. To enhance the appeal of sales outlets for e-consumers or better engage those who prefer to see, touch, and buy directly in stores and thereby avoid delivery charges and waiting, there is an increasing trend towards techniques that promote what the new marketing jargon refers to as RoBo (Research Online, Buy Offline) or RoPo (Research Online, Purchase Offline).

Web-to-Store: "a sustainable trend"

Redirecting e-consumers from the Web to the store is "a logical development of e-commerce along its path to maturity" say specialists. And this trend is on the move thanks to incentive techniques that are now being tailored to suit different approaches:

  • The Store/dealer locator: through referencing on search engines and geolocation with Google Maps, Street View for example, the web surfer can locate online the nearest brick and mortar sale outlet (Illustration, the Starbucks Store locator in Palo Alto, California).
  • The Product locator: the website or mobile application of a brand for locating stores that have the product in stock.
  • Click & Collect: the e-consumer checks whether the product is available, reserves it on line and goes to pick it up, at no additional cost, in the store of his/her choice. Examples include the Auchan supermarket Drive-through service in France and the Tesco Click&Collect service in England, and more recently Lacoste.
  • Sales or exclusive deals in stores, on mobile applications or on the brand's website, e-couponing operations are also part of these systems just as the geolocation of the consumer's outdoor device and more recently indoor in shopping malls for example.

Web-to-Store relies on a vast array of tech tools

An optimized website for mobile viewing, well referenced, coupled with an online geolocation system is a basic tool. The logical development to this basic tool is the store-specific or brand-specific mobile application, a recent addition to the retail industry's arsenal of marketing tools. This introduces a whole new dimension: the integration into a mobile ecosystem (Apple AppStore, Android Market for example) of applications that can be easily accessed and widely distributed.

Other factors taken into account to deliver multi-channel information include all parameters linked to the geolocation of the consumer's device, the personalization of customer profiles and the potential special offers for him/her, the processing of Big Data, management, cross-referencing of the retail network's databases to verify stocks, sale outlets, ongoing deals and multi-screen display.

Retail networks therefore have to deal with a new challenge: rethinking their future with a powerful, centralized IT and IS infrastructure capable of providing made-to-measure, highly localized solutions.

Is digital technology an anti-crisis weapon for retail?

This conference/debate starts on Thursday April 4 at 8:20 a.m. Discussions on the topic of optimizing the customer's itinerary, how to boost sales will be followed on Econocom's Twitter account from 9am.

Maud Breton, Business Development Manager at Econocom will speak about the roll out of cutting-edge digital solutions to optimize the potential of sale outlets.

Econocom is a partner of the morning events of prospective-digital Business initiated by Les Echos Conférences.

Find out more about this event

Retail trends with e-media