Bridging the Gap Between Retail Bricks and Online Clicks

Posted Monday, November 18, 2013

What retailers and brands must do to be successful with the modern shopper 
The retail industry landscape has changed drastically for marketers and many wonder what the future holds. Will brick-and-mortar stores meet the needs of shoppers? How will retailers engage with mobile-equipped, informed shoppers? In a recent article published by Software Advice, they interviewed retail industry experts and revealed 5 strategies retailers should pursue to thrive into 2025.

For this KDM blog article, we would like to discuss #3:
Tightly integrating physical, online and mobile storefronts into a single channel
Within the next few years, experts predict all retailers will have a brick-and-mortar (physical) store, an online store and a mobile-optimized store. No more “e-tailers,” just “retailers.”

Therefore, retailers must seamlessly integrate their physical and online store experiences to be successful moving forward. Marketers who succeed will be poised to give the consumer what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. The article sites an example of a customer that prefers to purchase items online but pick it up in-store. “Providing options for in-store pick up, same day delivery and shared customer delivery options will be the norm,” says Michelle Marian, retail vertical lead for Motorola Solutions’ NA Customer Solutions team.

76% of purchases (according to POPAI) are still made in store and 93% of products sold in the US are still being bought in a physical store (according to Cisco). How can retailers use a mobile content strategy to bridge the gap between the retail store and the online environment to create a seamless shopping experience?

Mobile marketing content strategies
A special report released this month from Shopper Marketing magazine examined mobile marketing strategies.  “Shopper First, Phone Second,” states that the basis of a content strategy is to enable a brand or retailer to deliver on their business goals all while delivering a unique shopping experience to the consumer.

The report highlights a great example from Frito-Lay. They launched a very successful app (application) on Facebook earlier this year called “Do Us A Flavor”*. The promotion allowed consumers to create new flavors of Lay’s chips in various ways, then enter a sweepstakes. Since the promotion linked to the brand’s retail partners on Facebook, it benefited retailers with a 65% “likes” lift. It engaged the consumer in an entertaining way and drove brand consideration at the store level. Win- Win-Win.

Retailers and brands must work together to create content
Mobility in all its current forms, and forms not yet invented, will create a lot of opportunities for marketers. You must find out how shoppers are using their technology before you can devise a mobile content program that addresses their motivation. Google says 1 in 3 people use their smartphone while in a store to get more information vs speaking to the clerk. This presents an opportunity for brands to work with retailers to improve the in-store shopping experience.

Interactive product demo displays at the store level provide a way for the consumer to experience, firsthand, the benefits and features of a product. An experience they could never have online.

Brands can also help retailers tackle “showrooming” (showrooming is when shoppers scope out products in the store, then go online to make a purchase, usually at a lesser price) by creating store specific events, or creating unique product bundles.

The digital playbook may look something like this:

  • • Mobile friendly website (easiest & most important tactic)
  • • Branded mobile apps (that help users in a shopping experience)
  • • Retailer apps
  • • Location based display ads (target shoppers by zip code or demographics)
  • • QR codes (send shoppers directly to an online experience)
  • • Social networking sites (like Facebook & Twitter to direct mobile traffic and reach consumers thru their news feeds)
  • • Email
  • • Native advertising (sponsored content)

Using mobile vs. traditional marketing methods has opened up a lot of potential for marketers. With Google Glasses and the Apple’s iWatch on the horizon, the opportunities will continue to evolve. The report reminds us that shopper’s come first, and devices are second. Marketers should only go “there” if their consumer is there, and is also giving you “permission” to be there.

KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group helps retailers to bridge the gap between bricks and clicks. We can integrate your point-of-purchase materials and merchandising displays with interactive technology that helps shoppers connect with your brand’s online assets. Features such as QR codes, NFC chips and Augmented Reality can leverage mobile marketing efforts to create a seamless shopping experience. Our KDM Retail division provides the design and execution of the entire retail space, including décor and store fixtures, that address how your consumer shops. To learn more, contact us today!

*By the way- the Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” winner was Cheesy Garlic Bread. Yum!

Tags: KDM POP Print Solutions , KDM Retail , showrooming

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