Integrated 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.
- 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.”
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.