By Megan Wintersteen, VP of Marketing at Zenreach
As regulations lift and vaccinations increase, consumers and business owners alike are showing increasing signs of optimism in regards to the end of the pandemic. And while there’s no doubt that the pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on digitization across hundreds of industries, if your only focus is on ecommerce, you may be missing the mark.
Customer foot traffic to physical stores is up more than 55% since January, and by all indications, consumers are anxious to get back to some sense of normalcy and routine. For physical retailers, this data shares some important cues as they consider how to evolve in this post-COVID landscape.
In an effort to support marketers of brick-and-mortar businesses through this transition period, here are 4 myths to keep in mind as you plan your approach to this year:
Myth #1: More sales are made online versus in physical stores.
This is a common misconception with the rise of ecommerce and direct-to-consumer marketing companies. Data shows, however, that 4 out of every 5 dollars are still spent in brick-and-mortar storefronts. That means the majority of your customers are still opting for a physical, in-person shopping experience.
This could be a result of the tangibility of the in-store shopping experience, or even instant gratification, but whatever it is, the data indicates that customers tend to spend more in-store than they do online. In fact, one study found that more than 70% of in-store customers spend over $50, and more than a third spend over $100. Whereas only 54% of online shoppers spend over $50, and a mere 21% spend more than $100.
Your direct impact? eCommerce isn’t always the answer. Providing and promoting an in-store experience can lead to more revenue, awareness, and stronger customer relationships.
Myth #2: Impulse buying happens both online and in-store to the same degree.
We all know the meme about a shopper visiting Target for one item, and leaving with an entire cart full of stuff—and that’s because it’s based in truth. Consumers love adding last-minute, unplanned items to their shopping carts when they shop in-store, but there’s no data to support that it works the same way online. In fact, 11% more men and 12% more women said they were more likely to make spontaneous additions to their shopping carts when inside of a physical store.
As national foot traffic to brick-and-mortar businesses continues to rise in the wake of the pandemic, physical retailers will be able to engage in-store shoppers and capitalize on these additional expenditures.
Your direct impact? Make sure driving to in-store purchases is included in your marketing efforts. Oftentimes, digital campaigns only focus on driving eCommerce conversions, but this could be a lost revenue opportunity when you consider that in-store shoppers tend to spend more.
Myth #3: Online advertising doesn’t work for brick-and-mortar businesses.
While it’s easy to attribute online marketing to online purchases, it’s typically seen as next-to-impossible to attribute online advertising to in-store customers. However, with recent advancements in technology, specifically around WiFi, this is not only achievable, but highly recommended for any business with a physical storefront.
Leveraging a platform like Zenreach allows you to measure the number of Walk-Throughs™ (customers who enter your physical store after being exposed to your marketing) earned from your marketing efforts on the location, campaign, and even ad level. The attribution is enabled by pairing Zenreach technology with the guest WiFi that’s likely already being offered by the business. Tying your marketing efforts to the WiFi in your location provides multiple benefits, including: customer data capture, shopper retargeting, in-store analytics, and—best of all—attribution.
Your direct impact? Measuring your marketing efforts based on 1:1 offline conversions allows you to not only measure return on ad spend and prove the value of your marketing, but also the ability to optimize your advertising in real-time to achieve the best results. Effectively understanding the influence marketing has on your target audience can also result in a better understanding of your customers, leading to stronger marketing insights and segmentation.
Myth #4: Online advertising is too cost prohibitive and inefficient for my business.
While many agencies require monthly minimums in terms of ad spend, you don’t have to break the bank to have a successful online ad strategy solution. Being intentional and strategic with where you put money behind ads allows you to work smarter (not harder) to achieve higher ROI.
Building ad campaigns based on first-party data of your existing customers makes prospecting and retargeting more effective and efficient. While the precise budget recommendation will depend on your goals and target audience size, with as little as $1500 per month you can run fruitful campaigns on paid social or programmatic display.
Your direct impact? Get measurably better ROI across campaigns by prioritizing first-party data collection and leveraging it for campaign targeting. Not only are you reaching people who are more likely to be your customers, but you’re also future proofing your marketing strategy against some of the recent changes related to the demise of third-party data.