Digital platforms are leading the charge in making commerce and services more approachable, affordable and convenient across a wide range of industry sectors. Below we take a look at 5 key ways these digital services are outstripping their high street rivals.
1. There’s an app for that
Having an app directly on your customer’s phone has many potential advantages. These can work in a similar way to store loyalty cards, letting people track their purchases and entitling them to earn perks as a reward for repeated transactions. Many people forget to bring their store-cards with them to physical shops, or forget to use them when at the check-out. Apps can circumvent this by automating the process when you purchase through them.
2. Convenience is King
Being able to meet your customers where they are is a massive advantage enjoyed by digital platforms, from e-commerce storefronts to gaming establishments. When it comes to casino games like slots, for example, services that offer these titles are unencumbered by the slow pace of their brick-and-mortar rivals. This enables them to offer new games as soon as they become available, whereas a traditional venue would have to install the physical machine beforehand.
The non-local quality of these services also makes them more viable for busy professionals who may not have the time to visit a physical venue, and who prefer accessibility and mobile access to the potential upsides of a traditional location. People like to play games on the go when they have spare time, and these platforms are able to meet this demand across a range of mobile apps and web clients.
While all stores use sales to maximise profits, shift outdated stock and increase footfall, digital or otherwise, online platforms are able to maximise this process by offering specific deals to online customers tailored to their shopping habits. Brands with global reach can also offer specific sale windows on certain products to coincide with the ebbs and flows of demand through-out the year. For example, a Snowsports company can choose to offer a sale on its gear during the summer months, at a time where sales will be lower as it’s the off season.
Other sale periods, such as Black Friday, are virtually synonymous with cut-price deals online on certain items such as electrical products. Black Friday is traditionally a North American holiday sale that coincides with Thanksgiving, however, in recent years, its popularity has spread to regions that do not celebrate thanksgiving, such as Europe, due to online sales.
4. Targeted Marketing
Some of the largest names on the internet, such as Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and Meta – the recently rebranded name of Facebook’s broad business portfolio, rely on advertising as their chief means of revenue. These platforms have excelled at data capture of their billions of users. This information can be leveraged as extremely finely tuned marketing data. It is this data that platforms, such as Facebook, sell to advertisers and businesses alike. The reason this type of marketing offers distinct advantages over any type of physical marketing is due to its targeted nature.
A small business can opt to buy in to paid advertising on Instagram, or Google, and know that its adverts will reach the specific demographic they hope to service. This type of granularity makes discoverability of products far easier, as businesses can state the age, gender, interests and location of their prospective customers. In traditional settings, a great deal of money invested in advertising is lost due to the adverts reaching the wrong people. Targeted ads do away with this imprecision.
5. Delivery & Shipping
Online delivery and shipping is becoming ever more efficient and automated. Apps like Shop even collate your various orders and delivery details from multiple stores into one timeline to help you track and manage purchases. For people with busy lives, this type of streamlining is a huge benefit over having to find the time to visit a store in-person, and frees you up to give your time to the things that truly matter in life.