Offline to online. Online to offline. Today’s consumers live very dynamic and multi-platform lives. Their buying behaviors reflect that same dynamic complex. In so many ways, retailers are now rushing to catch up.
Can retailers become just as multi-dimensional? Is there a possibility for them to be everything to everyone?
Fortunately, retail success is not about being everything to everyone. It’s about optimizing the online/offline mix so you can present the most desirable options to customers. Without further ado, here’s a look at how the top retail giants are doing it.
Also known as “Tarjay” since the 1960s, Target is the second largest department store retailer in the United States after Walmart. It was founded on June 24, 1902, by George Dayton and headquartered in Minnesota, U.S. Redbrain.com reports that its in store revenue is $67.93 billion. There are 1892 stores throughout the United States and 345,000 employees as of 2017. It has 43.94% visits from Midwest U.S, 14.60% Northeast U.S, 30.27% South U.S, 31.19% West U.S. It has had ten acquisitions so far.
Target went online in 1999 and in April 2018, it has attracted 125.94 million visitors. Its online revenue is worth $3.953 billion, and it’s available on Android and iOS. It’s average visit time is 3 min 55 sec. U.S, Australia, and Canada are the top 3 countries which bring in traffic. Slickdeals, indeed.com and theknot.com are its top 3 referral sites while Facebook, Reddit, and Pinterest are the top 3 social referral sites.
Walmart was founded on July 2, 1962, by Sam Walton and is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, U.S. With instore revenue of $461.9 billion, it has 11,718 shops around the world. In 2017, it had 2.3 million employees and 1.4 million in the U.S. Walmart has 23.285% visits from the Midwest, 9.47% visits from Northeast, 48.50% visits from the South and 18.75% from the West.
Walmart went online in 2000 and had 386.61 million visitors as of April 2018. Its online revenue is $15.316 billion, and its apps are available on iOS and Android. Average visit time is 4 min 56. Traffic majorly comes from U.S, Canada, and Mexico. Its top 3 referral sites are buzzfeed.com, searchencrypt.com, and gowatchfreemovies.to. Its top 3 social referral sites are Facebook, Youtube, and Reddit.
The Kroger Company or simply Kroger was founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. Its in-store revenue is $100 billion and has 2,778 stores across the U.S. The number of employees in 2017 was 443, 000. It has 36.54 % visits from the Midwest, 0.18% North, 63.11% South and, 0.17% West of the U.S.
Kroger went online in 2000 and had garnered 24.6 million visitors in April 2018. It has an online revenue of $22 million, and its apps are available on iOS and Android. Its average visiting time is 28 sec, and the top 3 countries that visit their website are U.S, Canada, and India. Its top 3 referral sites are Kroger.softcoin.com, indeed.com, and career8.successfactor. It’s top 3 social referral sites are Youtube, Facebook, and Reddit.
It was founded on July 12, 1976 and is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, U.S. Its in store revenue in 2017 was $112.5 billion, and it has 741 stores spread across the U.S, Canada, Mexico, UK, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Spain, Iceland, and France. It has 231,000 employees (2017).
1998 was the year Costco went online. Its traffic as at April 2018 was 28.33 million and its online revenue was $4.623 billion. It’s available on iOS and Android. Average visit time is 4 minutes and 23 seconds. Traffic comes mainly from the US, Canada, and the UK. Its top 3 referral sites are dealsea.com, bensbargains.com, and dealmoon.com. Its top 3 referral sites are Facebook, Reddit, and Youtube.
As we can see, while people still spend a lot of time shopping in-stores, there are significant traffic to be captured online. Advantages of going online include:
However, there are also disadvantages, which includes:
Existing businesses should carefully assess the pros and cons of investing in an eCommerce platform (or vice versa). If you're thinking of expanding your brick-and-mortar into the eCommerce space, you should consider your target customers' buying habits, identify specific benefits that would meet their needs, and structure your eCommerce strategy around those objectives. Another option is to integrate online and offline platforms with technologies like iBeacon, which enables digital interactions with customers in-store. By blurring the line between online and offline, you are minimizing frictions in the shopper's journey.
ECommerce platforms are important assets of many major retailers. There is no denying that having an online shop is a relatively low-cost way to expand your business. The lack of geographical boundaries make online stores great channels to broaden market reach, thus enabling rapid growth. Before your dive into the eCommerse world, it is important to formulate a clear strategy that reflects your competitive advantage and responds to essential customer needs. Additionally, there are other options to engage with in-store customers digitally to bridge the gap between online and offline platforms.
The choice of going online or offline is not an easy one to make, but you will be further along if you prioritize your customers when you make your decisions.