Although hybrid shopping was already gaining popularity before 2020, the number of people using the service has skyrocketed over the last year. And it appears to be here to stay—one survey shows over 50% of consumers intend to keep using the service once the pandemic comes to an end.
Hybrid shopping includes things like online buying that is shipped through the mail or with a delivery service, curbside and in-store pickup, localized delivery (where a delivery service or employee brings online purchases to a local address) and appoint-based shopping, where customers get one-on-one in-person service by booking an appointment.
If you’re looking to make the most of this growing trend, we have four tips and some customer thank-you gifts that will help make the process run smoothly.
Make shopping mobile-friendly
People may not always a desktop computer or laptop nearby, but it’s likely their phone or tablet is always within reach. Building your shopping experience as mobile-first, whether it’s your website or an app, improves the chances of a sale.
Promote app downloads by offering a discount code. If you update your website, encourage everyone to check it by offering a thank-you gift. If they mention your website when buying, slip in a smartphone wallet or phone stand with their purchase.
Update payment methods
People excited to make a purchase can easily get frustrated if they can’t use their preferred payment methods. In addition to debit or credit card options, consider accepting payments through PayPal® and other online payment systems.
If you’re not sure which methods customers prefer, ask! Post a question on social media and give those who answer a useful promo, like a tote bag. Or enter everyone who participates in a draw for a larger item, like a pair of wireless headphones.
Make pick-up easy
Ensure your parking lot is easy to navigate for those doing in-store or curbside pick-up. Use outdoor stickers to show where to park, provide directions for the next steps and share a phone number. If you’re doing in-store pickup, make the spot easy to see with a colourful table throw and signage.
Perfect return options
For customers, the trickiest part about the hybrid shopping experience is determining how to return something. An easy return policy makes a purchase more likely. A smooth return process should include:
- A return label with every package
- Easy to find directions on your website
- A link to return information in every email and text message receipt
Take hybrid shopping to the next level
Carefully planning your hybrid shopping logistics will ensure it is a smooth experience for you and your customers. And that will bring them back—online and in-person—again and again.
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