Bricks And Clicks A Look At Today s Retail Marketing Trends

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1 Bricks And Clicks A Look At Today s Retail Marketing Trends A Quick and Easy Guide to Digital Advertising for Local Businesses

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS The New Customer Path to Purchase The Rise of Mobile How Local Retailers Can Keep Up Customer Service Still Reigns 2

3 The New Customer Path to Purchase Marketing to today s customer is not as simple as it was 20 years ago. Retailers can no longer rely solely on commercials, catalogs, and newspaper ads to get customers to notice, and buy, their products. 78% of customers use the Internet to research and purchase products or services. Cisco, 2013 Today s typical customer now follows a much more complicated path to their purchase. They are using search engines, social media, and online reviews to find and learn about local businesses products, and services and they are doing this research on many different types of devices. For example, a person may see a watch they like while looking at their mobile Pinterest app turn to their desktop to find out more about that watch, and then discover watches similar to it. They might post a question on Facebook asking friends if they ve ever bought a watch from that particular brand, and ask for suggestions on alternatives. After thorough research, comparing prices across various sites and reading product reviews on Amazon, they may use their mobile device to find the nearest store location that has that watch in stock, and then drive to that store to complete the purchase. The average person spends about 60 hours a week consuming content across multiple devices. Nielsen, 2014 As you can see from this example, the path to purchase is more like a flight map, with customers switching from one platform to another depending on what s most convenient for them. There is a plethora of information available these days, and customers are getting smarter about how to search and find the best deals on the products they want based on prices, reviews, and quality and they re doing it all online. The competition to deliver the right message, at the right time, in the right place, has never been more apparent. 3

4 The Rise Of Mobile Retailers are aware that increasing their online marketing is important. A 2013 report by Forrester Research about online marketing found that, on average, retailers are spending 40 percent of their marketing budgets on paid search and 15 percent on . However, the digital marketing world moves much faster than traditional advertising, and there s an even more important digital marketing medium on the horizon mobile marketing. Mobile now accounts for 12% of Americans media consumption time that s triple what it was in Digiday, % By 2015, mobile marketing in the U.S. will generate $400 billion, compared to $139 billion in Mobile Marketing Association, 2013 As technology continues to advance and become more affordable, people will begin to spend more and more time on mobile devices. Nielsen s 2014 Digital Customer Report found that 65 percent of U.S. customers currently own a smartphone and, on average, spend 34 hours a month using mobile apps and browsers. Customers are not only spending this time on their mobile devices to check in on their social networks and play gaming apps, they are also using these devices to browse retail websites and make purchases. In fact, according to Nielsen, 87 percent of smartphone and tablet owners have reported using a mobile device for shopping activities. 4

5 How U.S. Customers Are Using Their Smartphone for Shopping (Nielsen, 2014): 76% 66% 59% use store locator to find store check prices research the item before purchasing 49% 47% 39% use mobile coupons read reviews of recent/ future purchase make a digital purchase 26% use social media to comment on a purchase 5

6 In-Store Mobile Usage Customers are not just researching products online before heading to the store, they re using their mobile devices to get more information while in-store too! According to a report from emarketer, smartphone users are using their mobile devices in-store to compare prices (36 percent), read reviews (27 percent), and ask friends/family about the product (23 percent). The Mobile Local Advantage With so many customers turning to their mobile devices when making shopping decisions, it s clear that small business retailers need to dedicate time to developing solid mobile marketing plans if they want to compete amongst big brand retailers. Plus, local businesses have an advantage over big box brands when it comes to mobile. According to JiWire, a mobile insights company, 80 percent of mobile users prefer locally relevant advertising. However, despite the continuous increase in mobile usage, a staggering 91 percent of small business websites are not mobile-optimized! This means that only 9 percent of small businesses are taking advantage of the relatively inexpensive way to market to the customers who are most likely to purchase from them, and the majority of small businesses are losing potential customers simply because their website won t load properly on a smartphone. 6

7 How Local Retailers Can Keep Up In Three Steps Mobile usage isn t going anywhere. If local retailers want to keep up with the constantly evolving digital world, they need to begin building out campaigns that implement mobile as an integral piece of their marketing plan. There are a variety of ways to dive into a mobile marketing plan, but these three approaches are the best for any local retailer. Get Found #1 As mentioned above, 76 percent of U.S. customers use their mobile devices to find a store s location, so it s important to make sure that your business s contact information shows up when a customer is searching for you or your product. Two ways to ensure your business location shows up are to claim your business listings across the big three search engines Google, Yahoo!, and Bing and to make sure your contact information is completely filled out and accurate on all of your social media accounts. Claiming your business listings on Google Places for Business, Yahoo Localworks, and Bing Local allows you to fill out all of your contact info address, phone number, website and even provides a link for directions, ensuring that when a customer searches for you, they will easily be able to find you. As an added bonus, claiming these listings helps increase your SEO search rankings, giving your business added visibility against competitors. Completely filling out your contact information on social media, especially on Facebook, is another important way get found online. According to Flurry Analytics, second to gaming apps, Facebook is where the majority of smartphone users spend time on their mobile devices. If a customer decides to search for you while still in the Facebook app, providing that valuable information to them will make it easier for them to visit your store or website. Plus, Facebook s Nearby Places update pulls in the information provided in the About section to help people discover new businesses like yours when they re out and about. 7

8 For example, if you are a grocery store and someone near your location begins typing in grocery in their Facebook search bar, then your business will pop up in the results. The more info you fill out, the higher your business will rank. Are potential customers finding you or your competitor when looking for your products online? #2 Optimize Your Site According to Google, mobile users are five times more likely to leave a website if it isn t optimized for mobile and 79 percent of those users will instead go back to search to find another site - a competitor s site - that is mobile-responsive. And with 46 percent of customers now using mobile exclusively when searching online, not having a mobilefriendly website can be highly detrimental to your business. Often, mobile users are looking for immediate results they need directions, are trying to find a phone number, or want to see if a certain product is in stock at a particular location. If they can t easily navigate the page, or if it takes too long (longer than five seconds), they ll either be frustrated with your business, or give up on your business altogether. The ideal mobile-optimized site: Has big, easy-to-click buttons Loads in five seconds or less Has a clean design Provides a click to call button Automatically resizes to fit whatever screen it s being accessed on Provides clear contact information on the first page Gives the option to visit the non-mobile version Has limited scrolling 8

9 Additionally, a mobile-optimized site is a necessity if your business s income comes from e-commerce. Sixty-one percent of e-commerce customers said they would leave a site completely if it wasn t mobile-friendly, and with m-commerce (mobile e-commerce) growing 68.2 percent from 2012 to 2013 alone, e-commerce sites can t afford not to optimize for mobile. #3 Mix Online With In-Store As digital media continues to grow, giving customers more choices and information about where they spend their money, retailers need to find ways to make the shopping experience all about the customer. And with 64 percent of customers using mobile devices to research products while in-store, it s clear that customers want an experience that uses technology to make things more convenient for them. Half of customers believe the best thing retailers can do to improve shopping is to better integrate the online and offline shopping experience. Accenture, 2013 Customers are already finding ways to bring the online experience in-store with them. A 2013 report by digital agency Swirl found that 85 percent of smartphone users polled had used a mobile shopping app while in-store and 81 percent of those customers did so to search for sales and offers. Customers are also using their mobile devices in-store to compare prices and read reviews to determine where they can get the best product for the best deal. This behavior makes it essential for retailers to not only try to offer comparatively good prices on their products, but to also create a better in-store customer service experience. The easier it is for a customer to find the product they re looking for in your store, and the more helpful your employees are to potential customers about the product, the more likely it is that a customer won t feel the need to comparison shop online. Plus the easier you make the buying process for your customers, the more likely they ll choose convenience over price. 9

10 Online & Offline Integration Customers Would Like (emarketer, 2014) 36% 32% 30% Electronic receipts In-store kiosk that allows you to buy out of stock items Shelf labels that can be scanned for more product info 25% 24% Ability to buy the window display for same day delivery Mobile checkout with phone You ve likely seen many small businesses giving customers the ability to check out by swiping their card on an ipad, or checking out with their phone by using the app and plugin device Square. Other stores can use ipads to let customers browse products that may not be in-store at the time, but are available via special order. QR codes, though not as popular as they were expected to become, can be another way for small businesses to give customers the ability to connect with them online. ed coupons are also a great way customers can use their mobile device in stores. Big brands like Starbucks will coupons in the form of bar codes that customers can scan at checkout. This takes away the hassle of having to print out a coupon, making it more likely that the customer will use it. 75.3% of shoppers redeemed a coupon from their phone in % that s a 5.3% increase from Key Ring, 2013 As technology continues to advance, it will become easier for small businesses to offer a more streamlined offline-online experience. 10

11 Customer Service Still Reigns No matter how technologically advanced our society gets, there will always be one thing that doesn t change when it comes to having a successful small business customer service. In fact, advances in technology have actually made customer service more important than ever before. Walkers Customers 2020 Report predicts that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator for businesses by Customers now have the ability to not just ask friends and family what they think about your products, they have a wide range of opinions on the Internet available to them on social media, review sites like Yelp, blogs, and more. No longer does a bad customer service experience end with a disgruntled customer complaining to his coworkers about it. Now that customer s experience is permanently broadcasted online for anyone to see, which can be detrimental to a small business s reputation. Customer expectations are higher. Word of mouth travel faster. Customers are empowered like never before and all of this puts increased importance on the customer experience. Jim Freeze, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Office at Aspect. 11

12 Customer Service in the Digital Age Customer service is also no longer just how a customer was treated in-store. As it becomes more popular for businesses to have an online presence, customers will begin to expect to be able to get their customer service needs handled online. Whether a customer complains via , Twitter, a negative review, or by calling the store directly, small businesses need to be prepared to respond to the situation quickly and professionally. However, a staggering 42 percent of customers expect a response from a business within an hour, and many business owners are busy doing what they do best running a business and thus don t have time to quickly respond to customers online. In order to meet customer s needs as quickly as possible, many small business owners will hire a person, or an agency, who is experienced in social media marketing and management to quickly handle any questions on complaints that pop up. It s very important to do your best as a business owner to ensure that customers are satisfied with your business. The Internet has made it much easier to find another business offering similar products to yours and 62 percent of customers are willing to switch businesses due to poor customer service. And, with 80 percent of customers trusting online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations, one bad experience can not only lose you one customer, but also many other potential customers who might come across a negative review online. 12

13 Be Found. Get Connected. Stay Engaged. See Results. The world is quickly becoming digital and it s time for your business to catch up. At G/O Digital, we understand the power of digital marketing and the specific needs of local retail businesses. G/O Digital provides a number of marketing services that can help you target and acquire new customers. Our team of talented, digital industry leaders is dedicated to delivering best-in-class local outcomes and results. At our core, we understand how to connect your retail business to your more demanding, fast moving, and ever-changing customers. Contact a digital strategist today to learn how you can find new customers, retain current ones, and grow your business. Call us at to get started!

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