More people shop online than ever before. As the most convenient shopping option for many, you can browse, add items to your cart, and arrange delivery in just a few clicks. However, there are still many advantages to engaging with customers in person.
Live events, for example, have become a popular marketing technique for online retailers. Going beyond your online storefront and fostering deeper relationships with your existing or potential customers can help you grow your business in many ways — and live events are perfect for this. Tools like eventbrite allow businesses to host and promote events to a wider audience. It is a convenient way for businesses to market themselves and attract new customers through the organization and promotion of events.
Here are the primary benefits of using live events as a marketing tactic for an online business.
They let your audience see your products in person
Live events are great for local marketing if you’re looking to attract local customers, but beyond that, events are also a great way to show off your products in person. Despite online shopping being the go-to option for an increasing number of consumers, seeing items in a real-life scenario can enable a customer to fully appreciate its benefits and envisage how it might fit into their life.
By letting your audience connect with your business in person, this can also build trust. If you run a subscription service, for example, you’re expecting customers to forge a long-term relationship with your brand, and being able to explain the benefits or demonstrate your product in person can encourage them to commit. You can use a live event to generate leads and sign up new subscribers, and with platforms like Chargebee you’ll be able to seamlessly manage your subscriptions and automate the recurring billing process.
They make your brand more investable
Sometimes, online stores can lack personality and in the long run, this can prevent your business from reaching its full potential. Why? Well, consumers like to feel invested in the brands they purchase from, and if they can’t forge strong relationships they’ll simply look elsewhere. But, when they are invested they are more likely to stay and spread the word.
Ecommerce continues to grow — with around 76% of U.S. adults now shopping online — so to stay competitive, you’ve got to be smart with your marketing tactics. Live events feed into the trust that online shoppers need to make a purchase, where they can see the items, meet the team, and ask important questions before parting with their money. A memorable experience is often more convincing than a generic reminder email to their inbox.
They provide opportunities for exclusive deals
The goal of your live event should be to direct people back to your website. The beauty of this marketing tactic is it gives you the chance to offer unique methods of doing just that. Rather than relying on organic search or paid ads, you can do things the old fashioned way and flex your promotional skills. This is a fantastic opportunity to sell attendees on why they should become regular browsers.
Gift cards and exclusive offers are a great way to achieve this. The unique feel of a live event gives you the chance to sell a person on a product and your website. It can be a way to attract an entirely new type of buyer through offering a deal they would have never otherwise see.
Exclusive offers can entice customers to break their usual shopping habits: for instance, using an ecommerce subscription management system, you could offer potential customers an exclusive free trial before nudging them to subscribe to your product or service on a long-term paid basis — driving recurring spend and customer loyalty.
They enable you to gather customer feedback
What could you be doing better? What do customers really think of your products or services? It can be hard to gather feedback online and often, face-to-face conversations will provide you with more honest and valuable feedback. Live events aren’t just about gaining new customers, but retaining your existing customers and making improvements to your product proposition.
While the customer base of offline businesses may be smaller, at least they can see and speak with their customers about their interest in the products and the company. This significantly contributes to the design of promotional and marketing strategies. It may reveal something about a product’s appeal to customers that you were unaware of.
They introduce you to an offline audience
Research has shown that 54% of consumers prefer bricks-and-mortar retail to any other channel. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t convert these people into online shoppers. Live events are a great way of connecting with an offline audience and introducing them to your business.
Perhaps your live event could showcase a new collection of items or maybe you’ll be giving demonstrations; whatever you choose to do, don’t forget about the valuable offline audience. Even having a conversation with them can be enough to secure a new customer!
Online retailers are increasingly embracing live events, and for good reason. It’s more than just a chance to make some in-person sales; it’s an opportunity to improve your marketing tactics and discover a little bit more about your target market.