Online to offline marketing - local content that forges strong links between the online and physical retail worlds - is a growing marketing channel that should definitely not be ignored.

But how can you convince senior management/other essential stakeholders at your company that optimizing your marketing strategy so it’s built to help digital and bricks-and-mortar platforms flow seamlessly and easily?

What is “online to offline”?

Online to offline, or O2O, is a marketing strategy that seeks to locate customers online and attract them into real, physical retail stores.

This is done through a variety of methods, including:

  • Useful, engaging local content and listings
  • Local SEO strategies, allowing customers to easily search for and find stores close to them
  • Store locators
  • Collection methods that fuse online to offline, like click-and-collect
  • Appointment booking – perfect for service-based industries
  • Digital incentives that tempt people into stores - like vouchers, giveaways and social media competitions

How can online to offline commerce help your business?

As well as attracting your regular customers that are used to visiting your physical stores, O2O puts you in front of more customers. You are able to attract legions of digital customers who know about your stores because you have executed effective methods to educate them.

Great examples of companies who have used online to offline to great success are taxi-hailing app Uber and retail deals company Groupon, with the sole focus on getting people from their digital devices into a real-world service/product.

Uber has transformed the way consumers book taxi rides. Instead of ringing up or flagging down, nowadays we turn to our smartphones, do a few taps and a ride turns up in a matter of minutes, meeting us at our exact location thanks to our device's location services. This example of the ‘on demand’ economy is a perfect illustration of online to offline commerce.

Similarly, Groupon has bridged the gap between the digital and physical spheres, offering customers daily deals and offers that they purchase online but typically experience in the real world.

So how can O2O benefit your business? It can:

  • Drive more customers
  • Drastically increase your brand exposure
  • Edge you out against the competition
  • Offer a rounded, multi-channel customer experience

How can you track your online to offline conversions to showcase ROI?

You may already be tracking online and offline conversions separately. But how do you track your online to offline conversions? Gaining visibility over this relationship can really help you improve your marketing strategies.

To start tracking your O2O conversions, think about the following:

  • Improve your tracking - get holistic and really see how you are converting
  • Track, track then track some more - contact us pages, store locators and booking forms can all help with this

Check out our blog post all about tracking online to offline conversions for more tips.

How can BRIDGE help your organization?

Want to find out how O2O could revolutionise your organization? BRIDGE is a specialist SaaS provider, offering O2O solutions ranging from Online Listings and Store Locator products to a full end-to-end, online-to-offline marketing platform.

Read more about our secure online to offline platform to see how we could help your business.

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