Online and offline stores – a good match or a separate brand?
Storekeepers often worry about combining brick-and-mortar stores with online stores. The concern is understandable given that the online context is quite different. In offline stores personal service traditionally has a huge role in purchase decisions whereas in online stores different kind of things might be of a bigger importance. Pricing principles might also substantially differ from each other.
Multiply or re-brand?
An existing brick-and-mortar store thus an existing brand can be seen as an advantage rather than a burden. Moving on to eCommerce might become easier as the products and the brand are already familiar to the customers. The concept of the brick-and-mortar store may be "multiplied" to the online store thus preserving existing corporate image, product range and knowhow. POS-system integrations also make it easier to manage both stock and product range simultaneously in two places. Although the delivery channel and methods are very different, offline store and online store could well work together as a single unit.
Rather than multiplying the concept re-branding might be a better option in some cases. Sometimes the online store context differs so dramatically from the brick-and-mortar store that it becomes easier for the storekeeper to completely separate the two. This allows the storekeeper to have a different product range, different pricing methods or different product combinations. Re-branding the online store thus gives a certain amount of freedom to the storekeeper as well as helps in avoiding confusion among the buyers.
Given the options above, there is no need to dread combining offline store and online store let alone let it hinder your efforts in eCommerce. If a good concept already exists, a brick-and-mortar store and online store can fluently work together as a unit with the help of integrations and multiplying the concept of the brand. The other option is to have two separate brands which gives you a bit more possibilities in adapting to price pressure and changes in different sales environments.
LianaCommerce is a versatile online store platform used to create many different types of online stores, both to support a brick-and-mortar store or as a separate business beside it. Our platform has many integration possibilities to several different POS-, financial-, product and stock management systems that help in combining the online environment with offline stores. Contact us to furher discuss eCommerce solutions or read more about LianaCommerce.