Multichannel Retail Marketing and People Counts Can Drive Foot Traffic

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  2. 2014
  3. May

Woman Screaming With Social NetworkIntegrated retail marketing—also known as omnichannel or multichannel marketing—is a valuable tool for retailers who seek to reach their customers across every medium. Omnichannel shoppers are more likely to look online for customer reviews, conduct price comparisons or check to see where the item is in stock before heading out to the store to make a purchase.

They are also more likely to print out an online coupon and bring it to the store or use a coupon code while making a purchase on a website. The easier it is to make a purchase and save money, the more likely a shopper will be to visit your store and turn into a repeat customer.

Retailers that want to make sure they are reaching these customers in the most effective way should consider employing a multichannel approach to their marketing.

Some examples:

  • giving an option for shoppers to buy their items online and pick up in the store;
  • return an item bought online in the store;
  • or use online promo codes and coupons in either shopping medium.

Why does this matter?

A multichannel approach will help you reach and retain high value customers– those who consistently spend the most money in your store. For example, you may address feedback right away, regardless of the medium they present it in. If someone writes about a bad experience on Facebook or Twitter, their post should be answered promptly. Omnichannel marketing means monitoring every avenue—online, in-print and in-store.

What happens in cyberspace doesn’t stay in cyberspace.

Online feedback matters. According to RIS News, 70 percent of customers will buy an item from a retailer they had a positive experience with, even if it’s cheaper elsewhere, while a bad experience will lead 31 percent of shoppers to abandon the purchase or buy it from a competitor.

Even worse, if the customer decides to share the negative experience on Facebook or Twitter, it could make any of their hundreds of friends and acquaintances think twice before visiting your store.

It pays—literally—to cater to these customers through social media marketing and the information that can be gleaned from these direct interactions. A RIS News article cited a recent study that “multichannel customers often spend three to four times more on retail purchases than their single-channel counterparts.”

Data-driven shopping

Sears’ loyalty program “Shop your way” launched three years ago and it’s being deployed alongside Sears’ eCommerce campaign. According to a Retail Customer Experience article that quotes Eddie Lampert, CEO of Sears, the company has been able to reduce its shipping times and more effectively get products into their customers’ hands. The program has been so successful, it now accounts for more than 60 percent of sales at Sears and Kmart locations.

People counts, customer data and purchasing power

It’s easy to see if your integrated marketing campaign is effective. Linking a people counting system to your in-store POS system is a goldmine of data, especially if you have a loyalty program.

For example, a repeat customer who receives a coupon in their email may come in to make a purchase. Your POS system, working in conjunction with your people counting technology can tell you how many people came into the store during the promotion period and made a purchase using the coupon. And using loyalty data, you can see who those people are and what they bought.

This data is important for many reasons, because it helps map shopper’s habits and how they like to receive information. First, by the people counts, you can see how effective the campaign is at getting people in the door. If your traffic counts don’t increase, you may want to adjust your promotion or marketing medium. Tying together people counts and purchase histories allows you to make product recommendations, both in-store and online, regarding new merchandise or items your shoppers may also enjoy.

What Will Happen When Native American Casinos Roll the Dice?

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  2. 2014
  3. May

Croupier Throwing A Pair Of DiceNative American casinos haven’t become a thing of the past just yet, but their revenues seem to be at a standstill.

According to the Casino City Indian Gaming Industry Report, Native American gaming slowed nationwide in 2012. They reported less growth than commercial casinos, which grew 8 percent nationwide. Specifically, revenue at all of New York’s eight Native American casinos slipped about one percent. Despite this decrease, New York gaming officials have unveiled plans to add new casinos in different regions around the state – and other states could follow this pattern.

Casino operators, take note: the Northeast is arguably the most competitive gambling region in the U.S., so the effects of this expansion could be indicative of effects that would happen in other areas.

Experts speculate that building new casinos in a time when casinos are already at an economic standstill could go one of two ways:

  1. New facilities will attract additional foot traffic and traffic will stay the same at existing facilities
  2. New facilities will draw customers away from the existing casinos and those facilities will keep losing business until they ultimately close

Why revenue matters

The two scenarios mentioned above could be “make or break” for Native American casinos – and there is a lot at stake. The revenue earned from Native-American owned gaming facilities is used to fund tribal operations, provide for the general welfare of their tribe, promote economic development and fund the agencies that provide services to the tribe. Many Native American charitable organizations are funded with gaming money as well.

Casino earnings are important to the well-being of the members of each tribe. The state has already started moving forward with its plans to build new facilities, so where these properties are placed could have a huge impact on the future success of the Native American-owned casinos and how their programs are funded.

Evaluating expansions

As mentioned, expansion could make or break a Native American gaming region. It’s important to evaluate whether or not there is enough demand in each region to support the addition of a new facility. Employing a people counting system can help facility managers determine how much foot traffic a casino is getting and what its busiest days and times are.

Once you have this data, you can assess the effects of an expansion.

  • First, look at the data set and see if another facility would put the existing one at risk. If the traffic counts at the primary facility are low compared to previous years or other facilities in the industry, then there’s a good chance there isn’t enough demand in the area to support two casinos.
  • However, if the people counts are relatively high, with busy times and quieter shifts, you may be able to split the demand and try to attract new customers while spreading enough business around to keep both facilities open.

This data can be used to protect the facilities that are already in place, as irrefutable facts as to why opening a second casino in an area that already doesn’t have enough business is a poor decision.

Improving facilities

If business has taken a tumble at one of the casinos to the point that it’s in jeopardy, the casino’s ownership can also use a people counting system and traffic data to take action and improve.

First, the casino can consider a marketing plan that would help draw in new and existing customers.  Implementing a series of incentives to get people into the door may help boost revenue. For example, offering a “stay two nights get one free” may draw in people and convince those who were already going to stay two days at the casino hotel to stay a third and spend more money.

But pouring money into a marketing plan is a bad idea without testing its level of effectiveness. Coordinating the people counting data with the marketing plan will help casino leadership see what strategies are effective and which are not, so valuable marketing dollars are not wasted.

The Ins and Outs of Location-Based Marketing for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

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  2. 2014
  3. May

Modern Woman ShoppingIt’s no wonder why traditional marketing campaigns are losing their effectiveness – watching a commercial or seeing an ad in the paper for a sale doesn’t necessarily guarantee foot traffic. There’s a good chance that while you’re knee-deep in errands, you’ll forget to use your coupon or check out the latest sale, and by time you finally make it the promotion has ended. Location-based marketing is much more effective because it provides a timely, convenient reminder of deals available in your area.

According to a Berg Insight report, location-based marketing and advertising comprises about 7 percent of digital advertising. In 2013, $1.6 billion was spent on these marketing campaigns and this number is expected to explode by 2018, when spending on location-based marketing and advertising will hit $14.8 billion.

Location-based marketing conveys your message to shoppers at the most critical moment: while they are near your store. The messages can be anything from promoting certain brands or vendors or a buy-one-get-one-free product promotion.

By leveraging location and personalization technology to send consumers the right message at the right place and time, retailers can drive foot traffic, engage customers and reveal consumer behavior in the brick-and-mortar store.

On the technology side of things, location-based marketing requires that retailers determine where and when they want to reach consumers – whether it’s when they are in the store or in the general vicinity – and then use geotargeting and geofencing to pinpoint those consumers.

These technologies can be used to indicate when a device user has arrived and left; distinguish unique device IDs, as well as new, returning and repeat visitors; count the number of visits made by each visitor in a specified time period; track the amount of time it has been since their last visit; and measure the duration of their visits.

On the marketing side, creating an effective location-based campaign requires the following:

Encourage a conversation through social media and mobile apps

Businesses can easily integrate social media with their location-based marketing campaigns to make them even more effective. With popular smartphone apps like Foursquare, Yelp, Google Places and Groupon, consumers can gain information about your physical store as well as interact with other consumers.

These apps are popular in large areas with many shopping options – they enable consumers to distinguish the good from the bad. Because the majority of people using these apps are smartphone owners aged 30 and under, they are tool for marketing to the millennial generation.

Using their smartphone or tablet, users can “check in,” leave reviews and view hours of operations, menus, deals and promotions. So, not only can you market to consumers through these apps, they can market your products to their friends. When they “check in” it will appear on their Facebook and/or Twitter feeds, showing their peers where they choose to shop.

Not to mention, user reviews play a huge role in gaining new business. If there are customer reviews of the service visitors received, potential customers will weigh those experiences on whether or not they’ll pay a visit to your business.

Measure effectiveness

The last part of the campaign is obviously to find out how well it worked. A clickable coupon is one way. Each time a shopper clicks a link to a coupon and uses it in-store, it’s counted towards the campaign’s success rate.

A people counting system that tracks how many people come into the store while the campaign is running is another great way. When your POS system is used with people counting technology, you can see how many people came in and actually made a purchase or if they just came in to browse. If your traffic counts shoot up during a campaign, congratulations on an effective marketing effort! If the numbers are not as high as you may have liked, then there’s some fine tuning you can do for the next time.