Joshua Dreller, Director, Content Marketing @ Kenshoo
Retail omnichannel marketing is no longer something that CMOs can ignore. Gone are the days of relying on the big TV plan with some radio and print to drive sales. Customers could potentially be funneling in from any channel so your brand needs to prioritize its omnichannel strategy as soon as possible to avoid being leapfrogged by rivals who have strong multichannel programs.
In some ways, retail advertising was much simpler in the pre-internet era.
For an increasing number of shoppers, the old days of walking into a store and browsing the racks—or flipping through the pages of a catalog until something caught their eye—are gone forever. Buyers now have myriad ways to shop at their disposal, including mobile, desktop, social, search engines, and physical locations. As the number of channels most consumers use during their decision-making process is also rapidly growing, with that growth comes new opportunities.
In one word, to find your customers, you must be…everywhere.
Fifteen years ago—before smartphones became an important part of the shopping experience—the average consumer used just two touchpoints before making a purchase. In fact, just 7% reported using more than four touchpoints. So it was pretty standard for physical retailers to stick to offline advertising and online retailers to stick to online advertising.
But now, with many physical stores branching into ecommerce using platforms like Amazon, and brands born online moving into the physical retail space, pretty much all businesses need to develop a retail omnichannel marketing strategy. In fact, the same study also found that these days, half of all consumers will make contact with a business using six different touchpoints before making a purchase.
Ignoring any one of those touches could mean losing out to a rival who is able to reach your customer.
A recent retail omnichannel marketing survey shows that purchase habits change by generation. For example, “only 9.6% of Gen Z reports buying items in a physical store –– considerably less than their older generations (Millennials at 31.04%, Gen X at 27.5%, and Baby Boomers at 31.9% respectively)”.
The report has plenty of great information on the shopping behavior of generations, but one major insight is clear regardless of the age group: every consumer is now a multichannel consumer.
Regardless of your target customer’s generation, having a retail omnichannel marketing strategy is absolutely essential in today’s commerce reality.
In a report on retail omnichannel marketing, “87% of retailers agree omnichannel is critical or very important to their business success. However, only a small segment (8%) believes they have mastered omnichannel or (12%) have the right omnichannel technology.“
“The ability to effectively operate across all possible retail channels is difficult,” said Derek O’Carroll, CEO of Brightpearl in the report. “The retail industry is undergoing a metamorphosis, unlike anything it has experienced in decades. Customers are demanding, competitors are relentless in their pursuit of customer acquisition, and operational challenges abound as retail extends beyond brick and mortar to include online sales driven by mobile commerce. Disruption in retail is greater than all most all other industries.”
With complexity comes opportunity as some companies will simply get lost in the shuffle as they fall behind adapting to the new reality. Investing more in your retail omnichannel marketing program might just be the way that you can beat your rivals.
In 2020, just being there when your competitors aren’t is a critical component of retail marketing.
Mastering today’s most important retail channels needs to be a top priority, and a big part of that mastery is having the right tools for the job. Kenshoo’s suite of marketing technologies helps advertisers to drive performance, stay productive, and stay sharp with the campaign insights to enable data-driven decision-making.
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