Not content to see traditional brick and mortar sales share continue to erode to a plethora of on-line competitors, there are a number of retailers that have begun initiatives to add an ecomm feel to their store locations. While largely still in the early stages, these retailers are looking for tech partners that can assist in extending the in-store utility and information access that web shoppers crave.
By providing digital content on in-store devices, they hope to mimic the data search accessibility and sales tools that shoppers use to make buying decisions. This new tech-oriented marketing approach is seen as an extension of their existing web presence and reflects the buying preferences of a lot of today’s shoppers. While not entirely removed from the old retail store design adage of announce, amplify, and explain, it adds a dimension that may also impact the role of sales people in a more self-service environment.
It remains to be seen whether an ecomm component can restore some of the lost store traffic and buying excitement of a traditional retail shopping event for those that are inclined to surf the web and hit the shopping cart button. Retailers are closely watching to see if this strategy will help restore brand loyalty and boost in-store ROI’s.
If you examine 10 year trends in consumer marketing searches, whether TV, radio, print, internet, or mobile devices, not surprisingly the fastest rising sector is PDA’s. An Edison Research consumer survey indicates that, for the first time, more people view the internet as more important to them in their daily lives than TV. Traditional media like TV and radio, while still leaders in total views, have not shown any material growth during that time frame. Over 135 million of Americans have smartphones. Their utilization is more than 14 times that of a desktop computer. B2C mobile sales now account for about 15% of ecommerce sales. As highlighted in other Western Equity LLC blog articles, your business needs to prepare for on the go PDA-enabled marketing and selling.
Facebook is still the dominant player in social media with an over 50% share of social media use. Twitter and LinkedIn follow at less than 20% each. Content marketing is still key over advertising. Content that works best are social posts and updates, newsletters, and specific articles. Users tend to rely on new content first before looking at marketing add-ons. Twitter continues to make giant inroads in mobile marketing. Don’t ignore that growing audience.
If you want more information on this or related analyses, please see the 2013 Infinite Dial Report created by Edison Research or an article by Patricia Redsicker at Social Media Examiner. Good Stuff for the small business looking to expand their business.