The past decade—and particularly the past two years—have seen exponential growth in the utility of digital tools for marketing teams to leverage. Audiences can now be targeted better, messaged more effectively, and, in the case of promotions and discounts, be smartly served optimized prices to motivate sales without sacrificing margins.
At the end of the day, what all of this innovation boils down to is maximizing opportunity. It’s using emerging consumer data initiatives to offer customers the right motivation at the right time to drive a sale. Now more than ever, the digital tools that have worked to optimize online commerce are connecting the dots to the in-store environment. For smart retailers, honing in on in-store marketing and promotions can help round out omnichannel marketing efforts across the board.
Now Is The Time to Act On Optimizing The In-Store Experience
As pandemic conditions begin to recede (for the time being), consumer comfortability with in-store shopping is getting back to some degree of normalcy. Statistics show that 70% of consumers are comfortable shopping in store, which is a 2.4x increase at this same time last year.
Additionally, as supply chain weaknesses make online shopping less reliable, particularly for time-sensitive purchases like holiday gifts, consumers may be opting for the guaranteed product-in-hand assurance that in-store shopping affords.
Buying options have also helped contribute to in-store foot traffic. The buy online, pick up in store shopping method has exploded in the past year, representing $72.46 billion, a 106.9% growth rate over 2019. All of these factors mean more opportunity to convert those crucial first moment of truth and impulse sales. During the heights of the pandemic, brands and retailers struggled to put consumers in positions to buy outside of the strictures of digital commerce; now, as more eyes return to shelves, these existing avenues are becoming available once more.
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Successful marketing means connecting the dots and seizing the moment, meeting shoppers where they are and putting the right offer in front of them at the right time. In-store shopping is returning, and it’s returning at a time when retailers have had months developing technologies to maximize these touchpoints.
The Digital Transformation Changing The Landscape Of In-Store Marketing and Promotions
As mentioned, the opportunity for in-store conversions is also coinciding with technology that is integrating digital identifiers into the real-world. Brands have been confronted with the imperative to bolster their stores of first-party consumer data for months, which has led to better, actionable insights that can now be leveraged in in-store settings.
With more and more customers relying on their phones during the shopping experience, retailers and CPGs are able to actualize this level of consumer connectivity to provide frictionless interactions and buying experiences with customers in-store, rooted in data gleaned from online first-party data efforts.
Retailers are able now to provide real-time discounts and activated offers right at the shelf to help motivate buying decisions. From digital coupons to exclusive in-store pricing, the synergy of technology and product assortment is creating conditions for in-the-moment conversions in ways that hadn’t existed before.
Brands that have long been trailblazers in the in-store promotions and discount space are adapting their offerings to this new digital ecosystem. Neptune Retail Solutions, for example, has been one of the most prominent names in in-store discounting for decades. Recently, they’ve augmented their approach to include a more digital-first strategy, leveraging AI-driven dynamic pricing and promotions and digital coupons for a mobile-first shopping audience.
Putting These New Tools To Use
With a push back into stores for consumer goods purchases coupled with consumer demand for digital and contactless engagement and commerce options, now is the time for retailers and CPGs to act on upgraded and expanded in-store marketing and promotions. As brands and retailers look to improve first-party data collection and innovate in all things digital, including websites, digital ads, loyalty and email programs, the in-store marketing opportunity is massive for digital-first and omnichannel marketers.