Making Digital Marketing Strategies Work for In-Store Retail
Making Digital Marketing Strategies Work for In-Store Retail

Making Digital Marketing Strategies Work for In-Store Retail


Olivia Hull

Apr 04 2024

With our fast-paced lives balancing work, commutes, and personal time, hitting the stores for shopping is less appealing than it used to be. This shift in lifestyle is why ecommerce is becoming the go-to for modern consumers. They find convenience in purchasing what they need online with the bonus of direct delivery. The rise of mobile and social commerce follows this trend, as they offer diverse, swift, and straightforward ordering options. Simply put, traditional in-store shopping can’t match the ease of today’s digital purchasing methods.

However, retailers can connect with their ideal customers online and direct them to shop in physical stores by using the right digital strategies. Keep reading to learn how retailers can use digital marketing to meet their in-store sales goals.

Get Shoppers to the Store With These Digital Strategies

To drive more business in-store, marketers can start by pivoting a digital tactic they’re probably already using: personalization.

Including a person’s name in the subject line of a promotional email and/or recommending products based on past purchases is a good start, but that’s not necessarily enough to inspire a visit to a brick-and-mortar shop. Today’s customers expect an omnichannel retail experience that feels tailored to them. Level up that promotional email by including:

-Product recommendations based on items viewed
-Comparisons between similar products to educate the consumer and build trust
The option to buy online and pick up in-store for an additional discount or free gift

And, go beyond the email inbox with these additional ideas to bring in your customers.

Share store-specific videos 

Shop tours, product tutorials, staff highlights, or new product reveals are all great ways to generate interest in your store. Think about the shop’s unique qualities and benefits that customers can’t access online, then create shareable social content that entertains or educates customers while highlighting those unique features to draw them in.

Show what’s available in-store online 

Although the inventory and supply chain issues of 2020 are now largely resolved, some people simply never went back to purchasing items in-store. Even if items are delayed, they know what they ordered will show up eventually.

Take the guesswork out of shopping by displaying the current inventory status for online items. Allow online shoppers to select the store closest to them, and then display how much of each item is in stock at their chosen location. This is another instance where offering in-store pickup can encourage people to come into the store and consider making additional purchases.

Integrating Digital Strategies With In-Store Shopping

Depending on the typical sales cycle for your products, shoppers may not be fully committed to purchasing once they’re at the store (research shows that a little over 70% of shoppers compare prices on their phones while shopping in person). Retailers can harness digital solutions to offer an in-store experience that engages customers and encourages future store visits.

Create interactive in-store displays

When purchasing big-ticket items, many consumers research extensively before buying. Interactive displays can be used to allow customers to demo products, listen to customer testimonials, compare product features, or watch how-to videos so they can confidently make an informed purchase. This way, customers have the option to self-serve or ask store staff more questions.

Invest in storytelling

A good brand experience matters to almost every customer. And for an increasing number of today’s consumers, a company’s values matter, too. Storytelling in the form of video, photos, and brand-specific graphics creates a consistent brand narrative across online and offline channels and helps customers connect your brand’s values to their own.

What Retailers Can Do Now To Prepare for the Future

Preparing for the future of retail first means accepting that omnichannel retail will continue to grow and evolve. Brands that realize this sooner rather than later are better equipped to make adjustments and experiment with new technology and tactics.

Major shifts in who has purchasing power will require many brands to reconsider their positioning in the market. Gen Z and Millennial buyers have a vast amount of disposable income, but reports show that Gen Z is much more discerning in how they spend their money. And since that cohort essentially grew up online, it’s even more imperative to plan a digital strategy that addresses their needs and buying behaviors.

Remember, too, that automation will play a role in how well companies succeed with in-store experiences. Retail Dive found that 44% of consumers “want an automated tool to check out product information or inventory.” By introducing automation into the shopping experience, customers get the advantage of learning at their leisure, while staff can engage more deeply and impactfully with shoppers. Offering both types of service accommodates a wider range of customers, which can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Retailers aiming to boost in-store traffic and sales must consider how digital strategies can be used to create a better customer experience that differs from online shopping. By tweaking successful digital strategies to fit the in-store experience, retailers may find they can provide customers with everything they want, both online and offline.

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