All You Need to Know About Establishing an Offline Presence with eCommerce Marketplaces

August 19, 2021

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With the infiltration of technology, innovations, and a multitude of retail platforms, the eCommerce ecosystem is gaining ground quite rapidly. And, this trend is going to stay for the foreseeable future. With the new normal circumstances where social distancing is still in effect across the globe, the reliance on eCommerce is highly prevalent. However, there is an alternate scenario too. After staying homebound for close to a year, more and more people are looking forward to resuming their brick-and-mortar store visits. So, the offline, and online retail presence are both essential and they are here to complement each other rather than acting as substitutes. In fact, 82% of millennials still consider offline shopping simultaneously to online shopping.

Previously, brands used to have a brick-and-mortar presence, and the online presence, and growth strategy used to blossom from the offline presence. The tables have been turned now. Now, individual retailers, and retail brands can leverage eCommerce platforms to establish an offline presence, especially in a new market.

First, and foremost, let’s cover the challenges that a retail brand may encounter while establishing an offline presence in a new market.

High Infrastructure Costs –

Retail brands have to weigh their options for establishing store presence in a new market. The location is highly vital as it can make or break the brand affinity. They have to bear costs associated with procuring the physical space as well as electricity, water, and other key aspects. These costs are high, and redundant too, so brands have to set aside a large sum of working capital for the same. On top of that, they have to have a dedicated team on the payroll for managing the offline store activities. And, doing marketing, and promotion will prove to be a pricey affair. While massive retail brands might not be concerned by the cost component, SMBs have to rethink their strategy.

Brand Awareness –

In today’s digitally disruptive world, word-of-mouth advertising/marketing is highly imperative. While this can be achieved with accurate planning through online mediums, creating offline brand awareness still remains a challenging endeavor. Retailers have to position their products along with their USPs in the new market. And, if they have already existing competitors in the said market, they need to redouble their efforts.

Customer Data –

Newmarket brings a set of new customers with it. Retailers might not have relevant, and adequate insights into the potential customer base. This can be a bottleneck in their sales, marketing, and promotion activities. Without appropriate customer data, customer acquisition, management, and retention won’t be easy to achieve.

So, what’s the solution? Well, eCommerce marketplaces are here to the rescue!

Retailers can think of creating, and spreading awareness about their brand, and product portfolio on the existing eCommerce marketplaces in the new market or region. This will help them to understand their target customers in a new light and they can rehash their product promotion strategies accordingly. They won’t have to make infrastructure investments right away.

Here are the key ways eCommerce marketplaces can shape the offline retail presence in new markets.

Wide Customer Base –

eCommerce marketplaces already have quite a wide base of customers, and greater insights into their purchase behavior, and patterns. When retailers leverage the eCommerce marketplaces, they can easily get access to the wider customer base without much ado. They can sell their products to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Greater Brand Awareness –

Retailers won’t have to worry about taking up brand promotions on their own. They can leverage the in-built promotion capabilities of the eCommerce platforms. By spreading awareness about the brand and products, retailers can boost their chances of attracting potential customers to their offline stores in the new market.

Seamless Delivery –

Product and order fulfillment brings with them the onus of delivering them to the customers’ doorstep. When brands have geographically dispersed customers, ensuring on-time delivery, and accommodating cancellations/returns can be challenging. However, with eCommerce marketplaces come the benefit of multiple warehouses across the globe. Retailers can concentrate on sending their products to the eCommerce marketplace warehouses, and the last-mile delivery can be ensured from there. It is an easy, quick, cost-effective, and hassle-free solution.

Concluding Thoughts

Today’s tech-savvy, multi-device-using customers are eyeing consistent, contextual, personalized, and hassle-free experiences from retail brands. And, an omnichannel strategy where offline and online platforms collaborate is the best way to forge ahead. With this strategy and execution in place, retailers can go ahead, and establish their offline presence in new markets.

Intrigued to learn more? Do connect with the experts at Vinculum right away! ‘

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