More Channels Add Impact
It’s no secret that the continuing ailing economies of Ontario, Quebec, and throughout the US have shifted consumer shopping behaviour. Shoppers are going online and they’re using their smartphones in and outside retail stores. How shoppers are deciding on purchases is more complex than ever (report says shoppers behave differently depending on the store they’re at).
This trend might seem worrisome for brick and mortar retailers. However if this your situation, as a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer, who wants to grow retail sales, you might begin to look at how multichannel integration can keep physical retail relevant. With shoppers hungry for value in their purchases, their smartphones are the tool they use to find more value. Retailers and product manufacturers can assimilate and leverage the full power of cell phone messaging to strengthen instore sales.
|Consumers want Retailers to Integrate Channels A survey by hybris suggests consumers want multichannel support. 45% of respondents said they wanted in-store pickup of items they’ve purchased. 42% said they would return to a store that offered personalized offers or instore mobile promotions. Deloitte Forecasting suggests that if a consumer is using a retailer’s mobile app, they are actually 21% more likely to purchase in the store. It underscores the place mobile devices are assuming in the lives of modern consumers.|
Multichannel retailing is the systematic delivery of messaging on whatever platform the consumer is using at any point in time. A shopper may be shopping at home on their laptop, then travel to a retail store and use their iPhone or Android phone to learn more about a product in front of them. They might even be at a retail store where your products aren’t present and they’re comparing products they see to yours.
No one can deny that consumers are using their mobile devices to learn more about products they might buy. The question is whether you’re able to connect with them in their prefered medium and present your product’s benefit details. The stats show that if you do, they will stop their search and make the purchase decision right then and there.
Although an increasing number of consumers are buying online, it is questionable whether they want to. What they really prefer is a brick and mortar shopping experience that is fulfilling and satisfied. If they get that experience, they will want to buy the product right away, not to wait several days for delivery. Retailers might be losing sales to online competitors because they’re not innovating and leveraging the strengths of online mediums.
Do you currently use multichannel strategies? What is making a difference for you? Are your POP displays tied to online contests or price rebates and discounts? Does your POP strategy involve capturing email addresses and growing contact with customers?
Online Purchases to Rise Dramatically
Surveys show that consumers intended to increase their online purchases dramatically in 2012 while brick and mortar purchases won’t rise much. That is a sobering but inevitable statistic. Online offers time savings and often price savings. And shoppers who use their iPhones and Android phones to access coupon sites and eBay or price comparison sites such as shopbot, canada post shopper, redflagdeals, and pricegrabber are often looking for immediate price discounts. What they’re really after is a better deal — more value (or the perception of better value), which is why many promotions work. If you can present the right value to them at the time they are looking at your product, you might make the sale.
Shoppers today are promotion sensitive and can be swayed by coupons and instore messaging. If they are viewing advertising or web pages on their smartphones, then why would you not have a website, microsite, or web landing page for them also? Your landing page will present your product benefits and reinforce your value proposition and potentially keep their minds and hands away from competitor’s products.
Deloitte Forecasting is reporting that the influence of smartphones on instore sales is far surpassing actual mobile sales. It seems consumers don’t want to abandon instore shopping, they just want more information and perhaps justification for their purchase.
SMS is Simple to Use and Consumers Like It
If your online site also has a sms text support service, shoppers can get fast answers to relevant questions. With such direct support and enhanced product info, they might feel that your product has less risk, your company is more transparent and honest, and your product offers more value. That’s your SMS decision-support system that creates sales, which of course will likely be repeat sales.
Your POP display packaging and your primary product packaging could contain QR codes to facilitate direct contact with sales reps, coupons, or your Facebook page. Since selling products is more difficult today, multichannel promotion lets you increase and maintain contact with customers. They may not be ready to purchase, however you’ve given them sufficient reason to buy yours over competitors.
Customer service continues to be one of the key elements of customer satisfaction. It’s not just confused or dissatisfied customers who are trying to reach you, it’s your loyal customers. Contact Ravenshoe Packaging for more information on online promotional integration and POP packaging. What effect will multichannel integration have on your product launches.