In the age of ever-progressing technology, the retail sector has seen many adaptations to remain relevant. Digital marketing presents a great opportunity to retailers wanting to connect with their customers more directly. Now more than ever, a solid understanding of digital marketing practices is near essential for a retail store’s success.
DIGITAL MARKETING TIPS FOR RETAIL SECTOR
Here, we have compiled a few tips for members of the retail sector wishing to get into digital marketing.
Taking the store online– The first that may be considered when thinking about digital marketing is simply making the store visible online. This can be done by making a website or adding the specific store data onto a parent site (in the case of store chains). The functionality included in these sites varies depending on the retailer’s resources and scale. A huge retailer like Macy’s offers online purchase and shipping directly from their site, whereas a local city boutique may not have the ability or the need to do so. Having said that, a well-designed and thoughtful website can be the hub from where many other digital marketing practices can be implemented.
Collecting and using customer data– Knowing the customer is always going to help a retailer succeed. This means collecting even the seemingly mundane details like how long do customers spend shopping or billing, how often they inquire about something, what is their preferred payment option, etc. With these data sets in hand, you can start implementing retail marketing strategies and tailoring the user experience within the store to hopefully satisfy the customers. For instance, if you find that many people have had to check with staff about the availability of products, implement a digital system on your website or in the store itself where the inventory is made available. This is likely to save time, increase convenience and hence increase retail sales.
Email and social media– It is a modern trend to ask all customers for at least their email IDs during check-out, especially in malls or chain retail stores. As a result, retailers end up with extensive email lists which can obviously be used for digital marketing. While it is not the most innovative or creative marketing outlet, the sheer number of potential customers and the relative simplicity of its implementation make email marketing very effective. Advertising gifts, events, sales, etc. is standard practice for most successful retailers now. A similar form of retail business marketing may apply to social media, which offers retailers a chance to directly end up customers’ screens. However, this form of digital marketing is more involved than emails and requires some effort on the part of the retailer to be successful. Because an Instagram post cannot be exactly the same as a Facebook post or a tweet.
The customer’s journey and internet of things– There are 2 basic reasons why brick and mortar retail establishments have been threatened by online-only retailers: convenience and economics. It is understandable for a customer to prefer ordering whatever he/she needs rather than going to a store across town. In fact, odds are many of us reading this article have done the exact same thing. Furthermore, online services have no need to maintain expensive stores in high traffic locations as many conventional retailers must. Thus, giving them an economic advantage. In-person retailers can overcome this problem by making the experience of shopping for items as enjoyable for their customers as possible. Making the experience a priority has worked out well for stores like Ikea, Macy’s and even Apple. The customer’s ‘journey’ can be further enhanced through digital means. Specifically, the internet of things. A store that allows customers to connect digitally using everything from their smartwatches to voice assistants provides endless ways for customers to explore products around them. This can have practical uses too, as it provides so many more platforms for digital marketing to be implemented.
Buy online, pick up in-store– This is a simple idea that aims to offer another method of purchasing goods to the customer. As the name suggests, one selects and pays for the items of a store online. The customer then simply picks up their items from the store rather than spending any time browsing. This can be implemented without much effort assuming the retailer has access to a payment manager and an inventory tracker. The BOPIS system is useful in multiple scenarios. If a retailer needs to reduce the foot traffic within a store or provide a method of purchasing goods on the move without even having to park (similar to a drive-thru), then this method can be considered.
In conclusion, digital marketing is a very useful tool for the retail sector to utilize. And a good understanding of these concepts should help any retailer in noticeably improving sales.