Online shopping has drastically evolved in recent years, but the pace of change in-store is less clear cut. Brick and mortar retailers are battling for their share of consumers’ wallets against a backdrop of intense competition and a challenging economic environment. Creating interest in the high street offering and driving footfall into stores is still all too often achieved through traditional channels, such as print and outdoor advertising, combined with special events and eye-catching window displays.
So how can the high street or specialist retailer compete effectively and bridge that gap between online and offline? Well, the eager consumer adoption of smartphones, combined with the launch of innovative mobile technologies is creating a fascinating evolution in consumer behaviour which puts a virtual ‘shopping assistant’ into consumers’ pockets to help them navigate across the different channels.
Research commissioned by Tradedoubler and conducted by Forrester Consulting in Q2 2012 on the subject of mobile commerce* reveals that 71% of smartphone owners are already using their devices to research potential purchases. 31% regularly use their mobile to find a store and 31% of of mobile buyers have also gone on to make a purchase in store following mobile research.
With that in mind, there has never been a better time for retail brands to look to the affiliate channel to assist in extending their online offers to mobile to help drive consumers to their high street or specialist stores.
How can advertisers get involved in in-store redemption?
Advertisers need to ensure they are presenting engaging offers to potential customers at the point where they are ready to buy. Cue affiliate printable vouchers, deal apps and in-store check-ins: an opportunity for you to make use of a strong online partnership and test this in the offline space.
Geo-locating on mobile apps also means that, as an advertiser, you’re able to inform consumers not only of the offer available to them, but exactly where they should go to redeem it.
Benefits of running an online to offline campaign
- Alignment of marketing efforts across channels creates a seamless and more impactful brand and promotional offering.
- Running a strong offer offline and making use of push notifications to direct users in-store can help in attracting consumers at the point where they are ready to purchase and guide them away from competitors. According to our research, 13% of consumers are prepared to switch stores as a result of research done on their phones whilst shopping.
- Accompanying an online promotion with an identical in-store campaign means that you will be able to justify more coverage from the affiliate and have a stronger presence in front of their users.
- Even if an in-store campaign is rolled out without an online offer alongside it, advertisers are likely to benefit from more prominent coverage for the brand on the affiliate’s online site and thus create a halo effect on web sales.
Areas to consider before starting an in-store campaign
Although the opportunity to extend an online offering to store redemption has great potential to maximise sales conversions and create a buzz for a brand, there are a few essentials to consider before beginning such a campaign:
- Offer redemption and voucher code recording needs to happen at the point of sale, so ensure that your tills are able to do this.
- Ensure that store staff are pre-briefed about the latest in-store redemption offers and are trained on how to process them and deal with queries. Having driven the customer in-store with an innovative offer, don’t drive them away with poor customer service.
- It’s essential that advertisers can feed back the accurate amount of sales order value generated by the affiliate activity.
Tips for running a successful in-store campaign
Driving footfall to stores is only going to have a positive effect on store performance, but it’s important to identify your prioritised objectives upfront and devise the strategy accordingly:
- Map out what you want to get out of the campaign and then look at how your in-store offer can help you achieve these objectives. Is it just footfall that you want; is it footfall and brand loyalty? Driving footfall is best achieved through a strong offer or discount, but brand loyal customers will be attracted by new product launches or store openings.
- Don’t be afraid to give away freebies. This will not only radically increase footfall to your stores, but will also act as a first point of contact with your brand for new customers.
- Consider the ‘Lo’. Location can be everything in influencing a purchase decision at the right time. Take advantage of potential impulse purchases, by partnering with affiliates with push notification and location-based capabilities. Getting the message and a compelling offer to consumers when they are near your store will keep them away from competitors.
- Create a sense of urgency. Time limiting offers is a way of motivating consumers to visit your stores in off-peak times.
- Drive up the value of the sale. Consumers online tend to spend more to justify a delivery charge and so in-store sales can sometimes come in at a lower AOV (average order value). Spend and save deals or offers of a freebie with minimum spend can help ensure you maintain a profitable AOV for in-store redemptions.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is the ability to intelligently utilise data. Affiliates have built an industry based on tailoring the right online marketing messages to the right kind of user at the right time. Why should our efforts offline differ? Thanks to the development of mobile affiliate network technologies, there’s even more opportunity to extend marketing efforts to stores, allowing brands to take one more step in the direction of a multi-channel offering.
*Tradedoubler Mobile Commerce Study, May 2012 (UK, France, Germany & Sweden), a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tradedoubler.