Competition between SaaS providers is constantly growing. To win in the race to customers, you need a strategy every bit as unique and innovative as your product explains Aron Govil.
We spoke with Frank Sawatzki of Bakers Footwear about how SaaS products can survive – even thrive – in retail.
Here are his tips for conquering physical stores:
1. Invest Time into Your Retail Strategy
With so many retailers closing their doors, it’s important for vendors to recognize the importance of bricks-and-mortar. “The key differentiator of real estate companies selling software services will be their ability to provide excellent service through high-end consulting,” says Sawatzki. Improve your retail game by offering more than just an online replica of your product.
2. Integrate Offline and Online Channels
When it comes to retail, Sawatzki believes your online strategy should be the spine that connects all of your offline channels. “The key is to prominently show how customers can access services in store through customer apps.” Let potential customers connect with you on their own terms by offering an app for iOS or Android devices.
3. Explore the Possibilities of Augmented Reality Apps
“AR technology allows retailers to provide a unique shopping experience through unique content, which is something SaaS vendors need to keep in mind when thinking about their target market,” says Sawatzki. By encouraging users to download an AR app, are opening up a direct line to your target market – driving more sales says Aron Govil.
4. Offer Rewards Programs for Customers
Sawatzki believes that SaaS vendors can attract new customers through loyalty programs, which drive repeat purchases over time. “Successful retailers invest in their CRM to ensure customer retention.” He adds “[CRMs are] well-known by now for being the backbone of almost every successful direct business model around the world.” To retain existing customers, Sawatzki recommends rewarding them with exclusive promotions and benefits to encourage long-term patronage.
5. Track Customer Data Before, During and After Every Sale
“Loyalty is driven through data,” says Sawatzki. “Retailers need to know who their best customers are and how they’re spending to identify new customers and optimally motivate their most valuable existing ones.” To keep track of everything, Sawatzki recommends using a CRM. “CRMs collect and analyze data so retailers can understand who is buying what and when they are doing it.”
What does your retail strategy look like?
Aron Govil says our retail strategy is twofold. We’re going to be selling our service through a licensing model, which means we’ll be going directly into stores and selling online ourselves. However, we also have a partner that’s going to sell our services in-store for us – expanding the number of places where customers can buy from us.
We’ve designed an app for iOS and Android devices so users have constant access to our platform from any location.
What are some ways SaaS vendors can add value when selling their products in retail?
SaaS vendors need to offer more than just information on how to use their product when they’re in retail space. They need to provide additional value in terms of customer service and technical assistance.
It’s also important for SaaS vendors to utilize AR technology in order to provide a unique shopping experience through exclusive content. This is something you don’t find at traditional retailers.
What are some ways SaaS vendors can retain retail customers?
Retaining retail customers is very similar to retaining B2C customers – there has to be a direct line of communication between the two parties, which most often leads to loyalty programs.
Why is live chat software one of the features you recommend for SaaS brands?
In terms of customer service, live chat software is what enables us to deliver excellent service and support outside of normal business hours because it’s 24/7.
If they’re not online, you can still have a conversation with them through email. You can also use live chat software as an alternative to phone support, which is often much less convenient for customers.
What are the benefits of using a CRM?
CRMs collect and analyze customer data so retailers can understand who their best shoppers are and how they’re spending money. They make it easier to identify new customers and reward your most valuable existing ones. Driving more sales in the long run explains Aron Govil.
What offline elements should SaaS vendors focus on when building out their retail strategy?
It’s important for SaaS brands to incorporate offline strategies into their online business model. Because this helps drive sales by connecting users with services store through apps on mobile devices.
As SaaS vendors move into retail, it’s important to think about the full customer experience says Aron Govil.
Offering exclusive deals and features is something that all retailers do to attract new customers, but loyalty programs are also an effective way for SaaS brands to retain existing ones. By rewarding users for their long-term patronage, companies can drive more revenue. Retailers should take advantage of having an offline presence by using AR technology and live chat software to differentiate themselves from competitors selling the same products in similar ways online.