What is O2O commerce and how does it benefit your business?

The B2C and B2B buzzwords are known to the majority of the business community, but there is another buzzword making its way into mainstream business lexicon – O2O. O2O stands for “online to offline,” and sometimes referred to as “brick and click.” The meaning behind the term is simple – digital marketing that makes your online prospects buy from your storefront.

O2O is obviously most useful for companies with physical storefronts and a localized marketing strategy. However, the technique can work for businesses that are marketing to regional and even global audiences, depending on the industry. Companies with physical storefronts and ecommerce interfaces should definitely consider this integrated marketing strategy that builds an audience from both platforms to broaden the reach of a business or brand.

Which way does O2O work?

It is true that we defined O2O as online to off-line commerce, but the truth is that the customer journey can work either way. O2O is more often defined as online to off-line because this strategy allows a company to broaden its audience using a wider network of potential customers.

Off-line to online commerce can definitely work as well, especially if a company has a strong local presence that it is looking to translate into an online rollout. Over time, however, companies may look to reverse their positioning and switch to a traditional O2O strategy – it is simply much easier and cost-effective to find new prospects online.

Combining Online and Offline Strategies

In the modern business landscape, you definitely pay an opportunity cost if you do not combine your offline and online strategies. There is a definitive link between mobile and offline sales, with more than 75% of local mobile searches resulting in a sale at an offline storefront. 73% of prospects also prefer to look at a product online before they buy offline, especially for bigger ticket items.

Increasing Spend Offline

Not only does O2O increase the number of customers to your offline store, it has the ability to increase the spend of each customer. If a customer feels more comfortable in your store, that person is more likely to stay longer and buy more. If you have an e-commerce setup, you have the ability to capitalize even more – customers will make a purchase online and then buy complementary items offline on impulse.

More Benefits of O2O

  • Staying top of mind – Combining your offline and online strategies ensures that you stay top of mind whenever your prospects are thinking about purchasing an item you have.
  • Remarketing – O2O allows you to capitalize on casual browsers who may have engaged your business lightly on a social medial comment thread. You may also use O2O as a remarketing strategy of sorts, because your prospects see your marketing in another place if they do not convert immediately.
  • The customer journey – You are with your customer throughout more of the customer journey. They can browse your range of products online before making a purchase in store. This leads to higher customer satisfaction statistics.
  • Personalized incentives – Providing personalized coupons is difficult in the online environment, but is very possible online. You can give highly qualified prospects personalized incentives online that they can redeem in a storefront.
  • E-reservations – This technique has been shown to increase overall customer spend, and it is a technique that is specific to O2O.
  • Localized search engine optimization – You can capture a much broader range of prospects through localized SEO. People who may not have known about you in your local area will be introduced to your business in a way that is cost-effective to your company.
  • Using online customer data – It is much easier to create buyer profiles using online data. Once you have these profiles, you can more easily send personalized offers through email and other channels to drive people into your storefront.
  • Making it easy – Your customer may forget where your store is if you are not online. Your customer may also need an item that is not in stock at that time. Having an online store locator and inventory manager cuts down on lost prospects and wasted trips, both of which your customers will appreciate greatly.
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