Traditional in-store marketing tactics have included product demos and sampling, but 2021 will prove challenging for these activities, given the social distancing measures that will likely remain in place for much of the year. Despite this challenge, on-location retail promotions are far from dead. Pandemic or not, shoppers still love brick-and-mortar retail. Brands are moving beyond traditional in-store strategies to more captivating mediums like mobile shopping apps to effectively engage shoppers and drive sales. These omnichannel strategies have the versatility to be successful whether there are pandemic-related restrictions in place or not.
In-Store Marketing Tactics for Engaging Retail Shoppers
The following are nine key in-store marketing strategies that can engage shoppers and convert them to new—and repeat—customers.
- BOPIS: Buy Online Pickup In-Store has been a tremendous success in 2020. Almost 70% of consumers have tried click-and-collect services this past year, and 85% of shoppers say they’ve made additional purchases while coming into the store to pick up their online-initiated orders. This rising omnichannel strategy is an effective tool at bridging the gap between online and offline shopping, and will continue to grow in popularity long-after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
- Seasonal Sales: Holding themed sales is a classic way to drive foot traffic into stores. Most sales are traditionally based on holidays, but you can create your own holiday, like how Victoria’s Secret holds popular “semi-annual” sales events. This method provides another opportunity to drive sales in a special setting without having to hyper-compete with other retailers during traditional holiday shopping spikes. It also allows consumers to avoid the big crowds associated with conventional shopping days and shop in a more relaxed, safe setting. This added layer of comfort will facilitate shoppers to stay in-store and browse for a longer period of time, increasing the chances of them making a purchase.
- Pop-Up: With outdoor shopping becoming more prevalent due to COVID-19 restrictions, take your best-selling retail products on-the-road and open a small, outdoor pop-up shop to reach new audiences and capture event foot traffic. While not technically “in-store,” it allows you to offer a sample of the in-store experience to consumers who may be unfamiliar with your store, do not live nearby, or are hesitant to shop in a larger, more crowded in-store setting. This tactic not only increases your store’s reach and exposure in a time when the pandemic poses in-store limitations, but it can also influence any new customers to consider visiting your store in the future (if not in-store, then at the very least online!).
- Flash Sales: Sending out limited-time offers and promoting limited-time sales like “Black Friday All Month” can be an effective way to give shoppers FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) and boost revenue. Some flash sales can pertain to in-store shopping only, giving consumers an extra incentive to visit the store as soon as possible.
- Partnerships: Find a retailer or brand and cross-promote your goods. This tactic increases retail value both ways. For instance, if you sell pet products, why not sell a few boutique items at the dog grooming salon around the corner? In turn, your pet goods store can sell gift cards for the groomer. This is an effective way to expose your brand to interested prospects, increasing the chances of them converting to first-time (and repeat) customers. Plus—if negotiated correctly—it won’t cost either of you a dime!
- Philanthropy: Set up a stand promoting your affiliation with a particular charity or cause and let consumers know that their purchases directly support contributions. This method not only improves your reputation and image, but it lets consumers know you value corporate social responsibility (CSR) and are striving to make more than just profits. A recent study found that 62% of consumers want companies to take a stance on global issues they’re passionate about, and 64% say that brands that actively communicate their charitable actions are more attractive.
- Gamification: Given the high number of shoppers armed with mobile devices these days, you can easily turn your app into a game experience. Some retailers have sent shoppers on a scavenger hunt through the store to earn reward points; others are experimenting with virtual reality-based games or installing interactive touchscreen displays. Encouraging interaction in a gamified manner increases the likelihood of shoppers participating, especially when incentivized with reward points.
- Proximity Beacons: Location-based beacons can communicate with mobile loyalty programs to add in-store action data to customer profiles, allowing you to better personalize your marketing. With this technology, it is possible to send highly relevant promotional texts to shoppers as they enter the store and navigate aisles or departments. Contextual marketing sees much higher conversions—in some cases increasing conversions by 75% and revenue by 146%.
- Events: Events give you the opportunity to make strong, everlasting in-person connections, which simply cannot compare to the more impersonal marketing methods, such as email, social, print, digital, etc. Thirty-one percent of marketers believe live events are the most effective strategy over other methods of marketing. While event tickets will need to be limited and individuals spaced six feet apart, it is still possible to limit capacity and increase sales in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Choose a Partner to Augment Omnichannel Marketing On-Location
If you’re used to handling eCommerce and in-store marketing separately, implementing full-scale omnichannel marketing can seem overwhelming.
Bringing on a partner who has a proven system is an easier way to propel your business forward to next-level mobile marketing.
Shopkick is a mobile shopping app that partners with retailers and brands to reward customers for omnichannel engagement—at-home, on-the-go, and in-store. After downloading our app, Shopkickers receive “kicks” (reward points) for a number of engaging activities, including: entering a partnering retailer’s store, scanning product barcodes in-aisle, watching branded videos, browsing curated lookbooks, and making purchases.
When enough kicks are accumulated, shoppers can redeem them for gift cards of their choosing. Often, shoppers choose a gift card from the retailer where they earned the majority of their kicks, driving additional sales and repeat purchases.
In one campaign, a leading off-price department store partnered with Shopkick to drive incremental foot traffic, increase sales, win new customers, and strengthen loyalty among their current customer base. First, to keep the retailer top-of-mind with shoppers at-home, Shopkick utilized branded lookbook content and videos, as well as high-impact promo units. Once shoppers were on-the-go, Shopkick employed proximity marketing in the form of location-based messaging and push notifications to drive shopping intent and in-store visits.
And finally, once shoppers were in-store, Shopkick fostered product engagement, foot traffic, sales, and customer acquisition via kick-earning opportunities, such as visiting the store, locating and scanning the barcodes of select items, or making in-store purchases. The campaign resulted in 3.2 million driven store trips, 54% of total spend being incremental, 65% of total spend being from new customers, and a 28:1 return on investment (ROI).
While in-store marketing tactics may seem especially challenging to execute at the moment, Shopkick can assist you in seeing these strategies come to fruition by leveraging our platform to drive sales, increase value, and solidify enduring loyalty.
Wondering how to create and apply in-store marketing tactics during and well-after the pandemic? Shopkick is an omnichannel marketing solution that can help you seamlessly bridge the gap between digital and physical shopping channels. Read more success stories and contact Shopkick to learn how to become one of our partners.
Image courtesy of Indypendenz