Digital-savvy consumers are changing local retail landscape

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In 2013 a Shoppertrak  retail study showed that holiday store traffic dropped 55% while same store sales for the time period actually increased over prior year.  What’s up with that?  The simplest way to explain it is that yesterday’s “window shopping” foot traffic is now digital using smartphones, laptops and desk top computer searches. When a consumer does go to a store they are more often going there to buy, not just shop.  This is driving changes in the local retail landscape in three primary areas.

Digital search is not a threat…it is an ally in the quest for qualified traffic

Consumers spend 15 hours per week doing smartphone searches for a variety of products and services. One 2014 study showed that 50% of consumers will visit a store within a day of doing a smartphone search.  The trick is to make it more likely it is your store they visit. Savvy retailers make sure to give consumers the information they want online. 74% of online shoppers want to see product availability information.  75% want to see pricing.  Give it to them and they will come…and buy!

Digital devices are more frequently used to gather information during store visits

Consumers are now used to getting the detailed information they want instantly and find typical in-store information sources as inadequate.  They also are more likely to turn to their mobile device instead of asking a sales associate for information, and see the online information as more credible.  Successful retailers now make it easy to search while in store.  Nearly 50% of shoppers will use the store web site or app so view in store searches as a sales assistant instead of a sales deterrent.

The way marketing efforts are measured should reflect the connectivity between online and offline activity

Local retailers increasingly look at a sale as a sale.  Whether the sale occurs in the store or online is irrelevant.  Web site visits, product searches, store traffic, store sales, and online sales are all part of a whole, not separate silos that are unrelated to each other.  Online searches can drive store traffic and in store visits can drive online sales.  Measure all consumer activity and sales and get the information you need to make smart media choices.

At R&A Marketing we have the tools to both create and measure integrated campaigns that make cash registers (and shopping carts) ring.  As retail furniture specialists for more than 30 years these tools are combined with a deep knowledge of the industry that helps our clients succeed today and in the long term.  Give us a call to discuss your needs and how we can help meet them.

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