Retail Marketing Techniques to Drive Offer Conversions and Store Sales
According to Gartner, digital marketing will influence more than 85% of B2C commerce this year. The future of retail will clearly tap into innovative digital marketing techniques.
The highest performing retail marketing methods integrate innovative marketing campaigns with the CRM system in order to understand which consumers will embrace a contextual email promotion, a social network message, an SMS text receipt or any other brand communication, and which will find these interactions annoying.
Here are three examples of retail marketing opportunities that offer big potential.
Proximity Marketing — This isn't a single marketing method as much as it is an integrated blend of mobile messaging and engagement techniques such as QR codes, beacon technology, LED light technology, SMS marketing, mobile marketing and more.
Think about how these mobile marketing techniques can appeal to consumers who are becoming one with their mobile devices. For example, a retailer using proximity technologies such as geo or location based marketing can automatically detect when a loyalty member is within a specified distance to a store and send that member an SMS text describing some new merchandise or an addition to a product line they've purchased previously.
Or consider using geo-fence technology to determine when a loyalty member enters a competitor's store, and automatically send that member an SMS or email with an incentive or offer appealing enough to lure them away from the competitor at their time of purchase.
The results from these types of scenarios are compelling. SMS messages have delivery rates in excess of 99% and on average are read within four minutes, making them highly convertible if deemed relevant by the consumer. Compare this with the average email open rate of about 20%. Further, SMS coupons are redeemed 8 times more often the email offers.
This isn't pie in the sky retail marketing. It's B2C marketing that gets results, increases store revenues and leaves unaware competitors oblivious to what's happening around them.
However, it's also critical to recognize that simply sending mobile marketing messages based on consumer location is not effective. Instead, you need to apply a consumer’s location along with the consumer's profile (from the CRM or loyalty system) and behaviors (from the marketing automation system) in order for proximity-based marketing campaigns to achieve predictable results.
SoLoMo — While the above proximity marketing techniques offer conversions exceeding most every other traditional channel, they actually take a back seat to the results achieved from the convergence of the three mega trends Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo). Some retail marketers are taking this a step further with increased personalization and calling it SoLoMoMe.
For brick and mortar retailers who can benefit from getting nearby shoppers into their stores, appealing to those shoppers' location, mobile devices and social personas can increase foot traffic in a big way. SoLoMo use cases are built upon geo-based mobile search engine marketing and social network check-in services such as FourSquare. For example, if a consumer searches for a product on their mobile phone, a SoLoMo ad can be delivered to inform that consumer that you have the item in stock or on sale at a store very near his location. The ad may further offer buttons to put the product on hold or get directions to the store.
74% of consumers use their mobile devices to find local information like directions and stores. SoLoMo is a mobile marketing technique that responds to the consumer's search engine query with proximity and relevance – by displaying ads for stores in the immediate vicinity, offering one-click directions and promoting product reviews or incentives available on the brand's social networks. The results are an increased volume of consumers joining the retailer's social networks and visiting the stores.
Delivering relevant proximity ads to mobile consumers searching for product information delivers some really big results. Recent research from Monetate shows that just over 66% of consumers searching for local product information responded to the ad by either calling or visiting the store. These types of offer conversions are simply off the charts and will continue to deliver exceptional results for innovative retailers, at least while their retail competitors sit on the sidelines oblivious or unable to execute on these types of marketing opportunities.
Retail Marketing Automation — Retail marketing leaders are using marketing automation systems to track digital footprints such as what consumers click on, what pop-ups they respond to, what product pages they visit and how much time they spend viewing various types of content. Tabulating every action and inaction aids retailers in designing relevant and personalized content and campaigns.
For example, retailers are designing customer and product lifecycle campaigns that use either elapsed time or online digital footprints to trigger offers for replacement, new releases, up-sell or warranty renewal. Compared to batch and blast email campaigns which generally see conversions of about 2%, intelligent nurture campaigns achieve conversion rates of 4.5%+ and don't incur the opt-out rates which accelerate the deterioration of your email list.
With more consumer intelligence, retailers are also applying improved customer segmentation to step up performance with programs such as win-back campaigns. However, this still remains an under-utilized opportunity for most retailers. It's important to recognize that when properly performed, win-back campaigns generally deliver 18-20% reactivation, which is four times the performance compared to net new consumer acquisition rates of 4-5%.
I'd be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that almost all marketing automation systems are designed for B2B. However, I've found that with some configuration and relatively simple customization, they can be tailored for retailers. Don't make the mistake discounting this technology because it may not work out of the box.
The convergence of digital marketing and increasingly digital consumers is creating new opportunities for forward looking retailers.
When retail marketers tap into proximity marketing, SoLoMo, retail marketing automation and similar innovative marketing techniques with consumer intelligence and relevant offers they improve offer and sales conversions to levels never before achieved.
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