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Online to Offline – How Consumer Journey Transformed

Physical shopping is something consumers have traditionally done. Getting to know about a product through different sources such as word of mouth, or newspaper information, and then visiting stores with this research to make purchases – this approach has been visible globally. This was a time when technology was probably not as prominent. But not anymore. Considering the way technology and digital engagement have skyrocketed in recent times, physical shopping is powered invariably by Online research and quite frankly, we all find it super useful and convenient.

Yes! Times have changed! We all have smartphones and we all throw pretty much everything into search engines and look for information. When it comes to our behaviour as consumers and the modern-day trends we get to see, we access various kinds of information digitally, including stores where we can make our purchases from. We as consumers are increasingly displaying digital attributes. But what does this look like, from the standpoint of businesses and brands? Let’s take a look.

Brands want to ensure they are with the times and are offering consumers the best of everything. And today, it is not just about a product or service, but also the avenues through which brands interact with consumers. And this is something that the digital ecosystem strongly enables. It has helped brands come close to consumers and stay always connected to them. The more credible information about brands and businesses consumers like us find, the greater the likelihood they will visit stores and explore further. With features such as formal listings and profiles that search engines allow businesses to build, it becomes simpler for brands to help consumers move forward in their purchase journey. When we do a “Near Me” search, and find closeby stores with information on Business Hours, Contact Details, Product Catalogues etc, we feel assured. In fact, engagement capabilities such as automated chats embedded in such digital business profiles, further encourage consumers to pay physical visits to stores. Brands are always keeping an eye out for strengthening consumer touchpoints today. And with updates from the likes of Google that state that “Open Now Near Me” searches have globally grown by 400% year on year, brands do not want to miss any opportunity to solidify their digital connect with consumers. Of course, it goes without saying that once consumers reach the physical outlets, they must be offered the best possible experience, for conversions to eventually take place.

The world today, is different. Who would ever have imagined that mobile phones and digital technologies in our hands would influence our physical activities so impactfully! But here we are. It is happening and how! We search online for whatever we need or want, and then go for the ones that are offering reliable information, and are easily accessible. Brands have understood this all-new consumer journey. Consequently, they constantly aim to make themselves more discoverable by appearing higher on ‘Search’ results and furnishing sufficient consumer information about their physical outlets. Once they are able to command a certain level of trust, consumers find the confidence to pay visits and make purchases. As this kind of Online-to-Offline consumer journey becomes increasingly prominent, brands are keen on ensuring robust digital capabilities, enabling consumers to form long-lasting associations. Associations that will not only bear business fruit but also will bring positive memories of the delightful experiences that a brand would have offered.

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