Why In-Store Marketing Often Fails

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Jul 13 2015, Posted by Gary Lee

As we wind down the first half of the 2015 calendar year, we are seeing renewed interest by retailers and brands in brick-and-mortar investments. Ecommerce sales for many merchants have begun to flatten out, and, the reality is, 94% of all money spent in the $22T retail segment in 2014 were still spent in brick-and-mortar.

Brick-and-mortar still matters—a lot—to consumers. But, it isn’t exactly business as usual for marketers. Marketing professionals are still marketing to consumers like they always have, and now they’re failing. They’re finding that what used to work doesn’t quite cut it anymore…

Why? Because most consumers in brick-and-mortar today have experienced a far greater shopping experience online.

Today’s consumer has experienced a highly-personalized experience online, where merchants suggest products and services based on past purchases, present purchases or what they know about the consumer.

Consumers have also experienced online marketing done well, with merchants understanding where they are in the path to purchase, and usually meeting them at just the right time and place to help them purchase as smoothly as possible. Researching products? No problem. Smart online marketing professionals use remarketing and campaigns to continue to ensure consumers receive information about products and services. Ready to buy? Smart marketing professionals will help consumers there as well, with additional incentives, or add-ons to enhance their purchase.

In brick-and-mortar, it’s a sharp contrast. By and large, there is NO understanding of the consumer, where they are in their path to purchase, where they are in store, what they are doing, or how the merchant, brand, sales associate or anyone can help. Brick-and-mortar is still a “one-size-fits-all”, “everyone-is-at-the-same-stage”, “just-get-them-to-buy-now” environment.

This represents a huge opportunity for those smart brands and merchants who want to provide a better shopper experience—one that is highly personalized and contextually aware.

Imagine a brick-and-mortar shopping experience where the merchant or brand understands who the consumer is, what they like, what they need, and could tailor the shopping experience accordingly just like online? Imagine if digital screens/kiosks in the store could anticipate the consumer’s needs, and help influence the buying decision? And, do this all without privacy infringement concerns?

It’s closer than most think. Actually, much of this is already possible right now. With the proper deployment of digital technologies, and systems to understand more about the shopper experience, brick-and-mortar retail can and should provide a far richer experience for shoppers—one that understands and anticipates their needs and allows them to be met.

As we start the 2H of 2015, we’ll be focusing a lot of our conversations around this topic and working with our clients, brands and retailers alike, to bring this to reality for their consumers into stores. It’s time to stop the one-size-fits-all way of marketing to shoppers in-store. And, it’s time to start smarter in-store marketing.
Image Copyright: hxdyl / 123RF Stock Photo

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