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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Could Combining Offline With Online Boost Your Business?

We are undoubtedly living in a digital age these days, so it makes sense that there is often lots of talk about the importance of an online presence. However, that does not necessarily mean that physical ‘offline’ experiences are falling by the wayside.

If you have been growing an online business over the past couple of years, you might be thinking about how to take things to a whole new level. But, have you ever considered that a move into the offline world could be the way forward?

Offline interest

It might seem like a strange idea to some, but research has suggested that shoppers continue to have an interest in the offline experience.

Last year, global research published by PwC revealed that 48 per cent of those polled say they visit a physical store at least once a week. In addition, 72 per cent said they were likely to visit a shopping mall across the next six months. The study also found that people between 18 and 22 were as likely to shop in-store as baby boomers.

Considering such findings, it is perhaps not surprising that some major online brands have shifted into the physical world in recent years. Retail Dive recently discussed how Amazon is continuing to open new Fresh grocery stores in the US, with the sites featuring Just Walk Out technology. This uses cameras and AI to track shoppers and charge them when they leave.

Inspiration

But, if you are considering a move from online into offline, you do not just have to look at the very biggest brands for inspiration. Some other businesses have also made the leap and it is fascinating to reflect on their journey.

For example, you could look at the story of UNTUCKit. As Yahoo News outlines, the fashion brand was once digital-only, but it has gone on to open stores in regions including the US and the UK. It could be argued that this was driven in a way by customers, as founder Chris Riccobono told the website how the company realised “early on” that some wanted to touch and feel their products.

A very different brand that combines offline and online is Buzz Bingo. The business offers gaming both online and in physical venues. Its page about the bingo clubs explains what people can expect when they visit such sites, while they have also added a video showcasing a typical location. The clip also highlights how Buzz has ensured its branding is the same across both digital and offline. Such a move could potentially offer an element of familiarity to customers.

Fresh possibilities

All in all, the idea of moving an online brand into the offline space is an interesting one to consider. If you are in the process of thinking about it, hopefully this has shown what is possible and given you a few thoughts on what to consider.

As offline is still proving popular with consumers, such a move might just bring a new element to your offering.