Why Live Events Are A Great Marketing Tactic For Your Online Store

People walking inside a convention center

Ecommerce has grown from strength to strength in recent years, with more people than ever choosing to shop online. Convenience and cost gave online stores their start, and variety and speed of service will help them maintain their popularity.

This doesn’t mean stores are going to exist entirely in cyberspace though. Live events are becoming an increasingly popular marketing technique for online retailers. They offer numerous benefits that staying in the office doesn’t. So why should it be your next great marketing tactic?


They let your audience see products in person

The biggest restriction online stores face is the extent to which they can show off their products. When customers are shopping online they can’t test out or try on what you’re selling, they’re reliant on the quality of the product page. As companies try to deal with this we’ve seen an upturn in online stores experimenting in new methods of presentation, from virtual reality to detailed product presentation videos.

Consider live events as an opportunity to give your audience the chance to see the products up close and in person. A live event is your very own temporary bricks and mortar store. Returns cost the online retail sector billions every year, so why not assure some customers of the product before they buy by letting them experience it in person. For people who still want to buy online, it gives them a clearer picture in their minds before they make the purchase.


They give a face to your business

Online stores can lack personality and relatability. People search for them, find the product, and make the purchase. There’s not much in the way of customer experience and very little to tell you about the people behind the business.

A live event is a chance to shed the naturally cold exterior a web store can have in comparison to the store down the street. A certain kind of customer enjoys the experience of buying and wants to know the face behind the business. There’s great value in offline customer experience as many primarily online businesses are learning.

This is also a great method of making a good enough impression to earn a good review. A customer who purchases from you directly at a live event may be more inclined to leave a review when they get home. A memorable experience is often more convincing than a generic reminder email in 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 introduce you to an offline audience

Believe it or not, not everyone is online. Some of your potential audience will prefer to do all of their shopping in traditional stores, and are wary of giving their details to companies online. Live events are a great opportunity to market your business to an audience it could never actually reach before. For example, you may distribute your flyers from hand to hand in high-traffic areas so you may pass your message to your target audience. Moreover, you can use a word of mouth marketing to generate more leads.

Putting on a live event particularly for this purpose can work, but you might find more success renting space at a larger event. It’s a great way to network and expand your customer base. This audience puts a lot of value in trust and seeing that you’re a legitimate business. Speaking with them creates a good customer service experience and can help convince them that your online store is worth trusting.


They help to define your customer base

Do you really know who uses your store? With the advanced data collection techniques available now you probably have a pretty clear picture. But you’re still working with just data.

Offline businesses may have a more limited customer base, but at least they can see them and talk to them directly about their interests in the products and the business. This goes a long way in helping to define promotional and marketing strategies. It can offer some insight into what customers like about a product that you may never have realized.

Be wary of this as a marketing tip though. Don’t change your tactics entirely for a very particular and small sample size. This should be a bit of an alternative bonus insight into your customer base.


Live events are becoming more popular for online retailers — and with good reason. It’s more than an opportunity to sell some products in person; it’s a chance to enhance your marketing strategies and learn a bit more about your audience.

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