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Many customers use the online presence of shops to prepare for their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. But a successful conversion from offline to online customer has numerous advantages for companies.
A study by the analysis company Kantar Worldpanel from 2014 showed that customers spend twice as much online as in brick-and-mortar retail. Incidentally, British customers spent up to five times as much (source: via Financial Times). A conversion of offline customers influences the turnover of the store sales in very few cases, but results in additional profits. In addition, according to the study, online shoppers are more loyal and can also be better looked after, since their data and their shopping behavior can be better understood through analytics methods (more on this here).
A company that manufactures coffee machines and capsules and sells them in selected stationary shops would like to convince its customers to buy their products online (onboarding) in order to provide better support and increase sales. Since the company's product can / must be bought again and again, the online purchase compared to the stationary purchase can generate more sales through larger quantities, as these can be conveniently delivered to your doorstep.
The company would also like to use the customer data generated in the online shop to optimize its marketing, products and customer service. In order to make online purchases appealing to offline customers, the company is working with a consultancy to develop a concept.

tips to convince offline customers to buy online


1. QR code and links in the stationary store

A QR code is a two-dimensional code that can be printed on posters, flyers, products, etc. and read from a smartphone using an app. The company not only uses the QR code and the shop link on business cards, at the cash register and on product flyers, but also prints them on the receipts. 
In order to especially motivate the customers who come by after the shop has closed, the code and the link to the online shop are also positioned next to the opening times with the note: "Always wide awake - our online shop is always open for you".

2. Discounts for online customers

In combination with the QR code and link, the company offers a 5% discount on receipts and flyers on the first online purchase. When buying a new coffee machine or a certain number of coffee capsules, the product is also accompanied by a voucher for a cheaper online order.

3. Contest

The company also offers customers a competition. All you have to do is enter your favorite type of coffee capsule on the homepage of the online shop, along with your email address. The winner receives a coffee machine and a pack of their favorite variety. 
This means that not only are new contacts registered directly, but the competition question immediately provides information on the customer's preferences so that these can be taken into account in individual product emails. A welcome bonus: the probability that the winner will need new coffee capsules soon and will reorder them is quite high, so that even the “prize” ensures further customer loyalty.

4. Club membership for better deals

Customers can also register for membership in the “Coffee Club” in the shop. Club members not only get access to special offers, but can also test new products before they officially go to stores and receive small gifts on birthdays and Christmas. As a thank you for registering, there is either an immediate 5% discount on the purchase in the shop or a 5% discount on the next online order when registering online.

5. Online instructions when buying a coffee maker

In addition to the printed operating instructions, customers are also given a well-produced flyer with a link that leads to a landing page on the shop page. There are clear videos there that simply show how the machine is operated, cleaned and maintained. The customer therefore has the choice of reading the complicated operating instructions or looking at a simple how-to within a few minutes. 
A bonus for customers: In addition to the theoretical videos, there is also a video that shows a few tricks on how to "spice up" your coffee beverages. That immediately makes you want more.

6. Product packaging leads directly to the shop page

The product design of the packaging of the coffee capsules ensures that not the last, but the penultimate capsule points directly to the online shop for reorders. "Almost empty? There is more at ”it says on the lid of the capsule. The customer is thus advised of a new purchase before the last capsule is used and can use express delivery to ensure that he does not have to wait longer than necessary for his order.

7. Test the variety of products online

One or two similar flavors are presented on each pack for coffee capsules, with the note that the online shop offers numerous other variants to choose from. If the customer visits the shop, he will also be informed about the “special” capsules. These are smaller margins of new products that are being tested in individual branches. The online customer, however, has the advantage of being able to order all special capsules (while stocks last).

One last tip: Offer your customers added value when buying online

The majority of customers still prefer to buy in-store (via TimeTrade). This is not least due to the fact that personal quality control in the store is easier than online. Therefore, when setting up an online shop, you should make sure that the customer receives practical added value through an online purchase, be it through a greater variety of products, better comparison options or even special online prices. The product information should also be as precise as it is in the store (contents, dimensions, functions, etc.).