What’s UP with UPS today?

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I haven’t been in the marketing industry for too long.  But as far as I’m concerned, here is the reality of the current retail world from what I’ve seen:

  1. It was far better five years ago
  2. In-store traffic was better
  3. I made more money
  4. Product today sells less today than it did 20 years ago
  5. Operating expenses are higher today that they were 20 years ago

The common concern we hear as an advertising agency is that traffic is down. However, close ratios and average tickets are still on par with what they were 20 years ago and in many instances, they’ve even increased slightly. Which brings us back to our original question, “What’s UP with UP’s today?”

There are some key identifiers we need to take into account when we evaluate today’s traffic verses the traffic from five years ago:

  1. Independent retail as a whole has improved and made online marketing a top-priority, or at least a part of their overall marketing mix. As a result, consumers now have the opportunity to shop before they even step foot in the store.
  2. The evolution of online commerce has increased throughout the last five years.  As our business friends at the Lively Merchant pointed out in a blog post in January of 2009, “if you aren’t doing something about this situation right now, you are throwing money down the toilet!”
  3. The wrath of public opinion can spread faster that it could five years ago. In 2006, Facebook’s viral presence spread to the general public as a means to connect, interact and share.  Online vehicles such as Yelp, InsiderPages and Google Places were just coming to fruition.  Back then, dirty sins and skeletons in the closet could stay hidden since word of mouth couldn’t travel fast enough – but now it can.

So now we know the difference between today’s UP’s verses the UP’s of yesteryear. But what do we do as an industry and marketers to make more money?

In opposition to the three key identifiers listed above, here are three tactics to figure out where your traffic went and how to get it back:

  1. Study your analytics. Have you figured out what your consumer is looking at on your Website?  What items they are searching for? Where did they enter and where did they leave? Located in this avalanche of data is the information necessary to grab traffic and keep it on your brand.
  2. Sell Something Online. Notice we don’t say sell everything online. Try to sell something online.  Maybe simple accessories? Warranty plans? Service plans? Try to convert your online traffic into sales. Study your local market and if they’re selling items online, sell items they don’t sell.
  3. Study Up on Your Profile and Others. Take the time to “Like” all of your competition’s Facebook pages. Read their profiles on Yelp!, InsiderPages and Google Places. See what customers say or don’t say about your competition. Afterward, make various messages showcasing where you outdo your competition. Differentiate yourself from your competition, or they will win.

These are great tactics but they’re not surefire ways to succeed.  You cannot measure nor combat what you don’t understand. Because of this, we’re offering a one-time needs analysis of these profiles and your analytics in these areas. We will offer surefire, actionable items that you use to convert your UP’s into sales that keep going UP, UP and UP.

Everyone should use this product. If the gut isn’t working right than all the other products you take will not be able to do there job!

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