Illustration of a shopping cart on top of a laptop
By Amy Rumpler Dec 15 2020 Blog

Digital Strategies for Retail Marketers

Shifts in Retail Marketing

Many marketing experts predict the retail industry will be forever transformed by the Coronavirus pandemic. While some retailers have struggled to survive and store closures are on record pace, others have embraced new business models designed to cater to consumer demand for convenient shopping, shipping, and return methods.

eCommerce sales, for example, are expected to jump more than 35% this year, according to eMarketer. This shift in fulfillment has forced many retailers to get creative in order to keep revenue coming in because of the differences in building awareness for new products online, pressure on supply lines to meet demand, and increased costs associated with processing online orders.

In order to source sales in new ways and meet consumers where they are spending their time, retail marketers are turning to an array of digital advertising programs. By following these digital strategy tips, retailers can build brand awareness, create long-term customer value, and drive immediate sales.

Own the Retail Marketing Space

Share of voice is crucial in retail marketing. It’s important to ensure you’re reaching your target customers with enough touchpoints to influence purchase consideration and sales. For maximum impact, consider a well-rounded digital media mix that takes advantage of programmatic mobile and display, high-impact units, paid search and paid social.

This level of omnichannel marketing will ensure an optimum amount of frequency to encourage purchases. Build out well-rounded, full-funnel programs that are optimized to guide the purchase journey with cross-device and cross-channel targeting.

Focus on First-Party Data

The most powerful tool any retail marketer has available to them is their own first-party data. Knowing what your core, high-value customer looks like, and using that data to nurture sales can create incredible impact. For example, you could target a specific set of previous buyers who have not visited your store or website recently and show them a special offer based on their past purchase habits.

You can also use that data to build a new prospecting audience modeled off of those who have purchased specific items in the past. When combined with additional data points (such as Facebook data showing what products people are likely to be interested in, or third-party data that captures people who have recently visited a competitive store or website), you can effectively reach new audiences with your message.

Establish a Clear Campaign-Data-to-Sales Measurement Plan

One challenge retail marketers sometimes face is tying ad engagements and performance to product sales—especially when products are sold offline. Often, the data needed to connect those dots is siloed or disparate. Ecommerce marketplaces like Walmart, Amazon, and Instacart help facilitate closed-loop sales measurement because the same company is running the ad and selling the product advertised.

Retailers who operate their own brick and mortar shops must also look for ways to integrate web and mobile campaign analytics with online and offline sales data. If a significant amount of your digital media is run across Facebook, for example, you can look to integrate in-store POS data into their Attribution tool to credit sales based on media exposure touchpoints.

Embrace Personalized Messaging

Today’s retail consumer expects relevant, personalized product recommendations. In order to provide that, focus on opportunities that are designed to know what product a person is interested in, and immediately direct them into a frictionless, mobile shopping experience that makes it convenient to buy.

Shoppable ads, for example, bring together a catalog of product information and user data in order to dynamically show an individual items they are likely to be in the market for, based on which products they have been browsing online.

These types of ad programs are commonly found on social platforms like Facebook or Snapchat but can also be implemented programmatically on display and mobile devices, or on the Google Search Network.

Alternatively, if your brand or product needs additional awareness, consider interactive, high-impact, or video ad units that will leave lasting impressions for potential customers—but be sure to align the format and messaging with the audience you are targeting.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that retail consumers have a lot of product and shopping options available to them today. Whether your products are sold in-store on online, keep the customer experience in mind in order to build better media plans and shopping experiences.

Connect with us to learn more about retail marketing with Centro.