As technology makes it easier for consumers to shop from anywhere, more brands understand the value of selling across multiple channels. More shoppers are demanding brands to allow them to shop wherever they are. Only 7% of shoppers are online-only, compared to 73% who use multiple channels throughout their shopping experience. As a result, multichannel selling can help brands bolster their bottom line. Brands with two marketplaces generate 190% more revenue than those with just one.
For e-commerce brands who want to connect with more customers, the next step is to transition from online to face-to-face. While you may not have the cash or resources to open a standalone storefront, branded events are one method to create immersive, in-person brand experiences. While physical retailers have long enjoyed the benefits of branded events, digitally-native brands don’t need to stand on the sidelines. Here are a few ways e-commerce brands can create and participate in branded events, even without your own storefront.
The Benefit of Branded Events
Branded events boast a variety of benefits for both online and offline sellers. Some of the most common advantages include:
- Engagement: Branded events engage more of your customers’ senses. Customers can touch, try, and taste your products, and hear your product demo or explanation. You can reach shoppers on multiple levels (emotionally, rationally, and psychologically) by appealing to their senses. That level of engagement can not only bolster sales, but also loyalty.
- Immersing customers in your brand: A Harris Group study showed that 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than material things. A branded event can give them a memorable experience tied to your company and products — which can help keep you top of mind.
- Testing ground for immediate feedback: When you engage your customers face-to-face, it’s easy to host product demonstrations and test out new products or services. Additionally, you’re able to immediately answer customer queries and address any pain-points that might keep them from purchasing your product.
Three Ways E-commerce Brands Can Host Branded Events
1. Pop-Up Shops
Pop-up shops, also known as temporary retail, is an efficient way to host a branded event without a major investment of cash or resources for a permanent storefront. Pop-up shops were forecasted to generate about $50 billion in revenue in 2018. You don’t need to use pop-up shops as a basic way to display your products offline; you can follow the lead of these brands and create interactive and Instagram-worthy pop-ups to build major buzz.
For more information on building and opening your own pop-up shop, check out this comprehensive guide.
2. Pop-In Shops
If your online-only brand isn’t quite ready to take the leap into a full-fledged pop-up shop, then a pop-in shop could be a solid alternative. Pop-in stores are essentially mini pop-ups hosted within an existing storefront. Pop-in brands have a designated section in the store, and their products are often complementary to the ones offered in the permanent storefront. For example, many online-only brands have “popped-in” at Nordstrom locations, including Pintrill and Viva Mexico.
3. Trade Shows
If you prefer to piggyback on a pre-existing event, then it might be beneficial for you to attend a trade show. Many industry trade shows are major events unto themselves — they often host hundreds of brands as vendors and lure in thousands of attendees. Most niches have a long list of major annual trade shows, but there are also more general events digital brands can consider, like the National Retail Federation Retail’s Big Show & EXPO.
What’s the benefit of building a booth and heading to an industry event? Online-only brands get the chance to engage with a different kind of customer at trade shows. These events offer the opportunity to interact with current and potential wholesale clients — meaning you could walk away with new contacts and/or a B2B purchase order. Trade shows also offer you the chance to interact with customers offline, perform product demos, and answer queries on the spot.
Moving Forward With Branded Events for Your Brand
Customer retention and loyalty can be a challenge, and understanding the potential benefits of crafting your own community-focused marketing plan is crucial to building a successful brand. Community and customer loyalty are strongly linked, and the effort of creating an engaged community surrounding your brand will certainly pay off.
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