Collision of the Online And In-Store Experience

Blurred Lines: The Collision of the Online And In-Store Experience

by Bill McCarthy on 7-19-16 in Industry Trends

Today, a primary goal for brick-and-mortar retailers is to become a part of customers’ mobile experiences in order to influence the shopper during her in-store experience.

Perfecting location-based targeting and generating the most relevant data to identify a user’s unique interests have been long-standing goals of tech behemoths, like Google and Facebook. Both of these companies possess an immense amount of user data, and they invest heavily in improving advertising efforts. The combination of location accuracy and user data collection can directly help retailers increase foot traffic and sales in physical retail locations via online ad platforms.

How do these tools actually help? Imagine this scenario:

While shopping, a customer is checks her mobile phone – studies show that people check their phones 150 times a day. As the customer scrolls through her Facebook timeline, she sees an “in-store only” promotion from a beloved brand.  With her interest piqued, she notices that a store is nearby, so she decides to stop by. Then, she makes a purchase.

Coincidence? No. Targeted, personalized marketing as part of the in-store experience? Yes.

More and more, savvy retailers are following this example by striving to provide a more personalized marketing experience to not only drive additional traffic but to maximize in-store sales in real time.

Recently, enhanced analytical tools and mobile technologies have enabled retailers to identify shoppers and understand them in new ways, both in terms of interest and proximity.

With increased knowledge comes more effective engagement tactics and promotions, during and before the shopper’s in-store experience. The ability to interact personally with customers provides retailers with the opportunity to develop experiences that incentivize customers to purchase products in the store immediately and connect a given sale back to shopper engagement in the digital realm.

Through leveraging solutions like ShopperTrak’s Analytics Suite, retailers can easily view all data around foot traffic and customer interaction in one location. When are peak periods of traffic? What are key visitor behaviors and movement patterns in the store? With this type of insight, retailers can take educated steps to optimize employee operations and marketing efforts. When a brand couples foot traffic data with market benchmarks — via ShopperTrak’s Market Intelligence product — it becomes truly prepared to drive greater engagement and awareness, convert behavior into revenue, and increase its market share.

Though some brick-and-mortar retailers see the digital world as a threat, it’s time to embrace and leverage readily available online tools to bridge the online/offline gap. By targeting shoppers who are online, near the store, or in the store, retailers can convert traffic in real time by promoting products to customers through the convenience of their mobile phones, based on their physical locations.


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Read more posts by Bill McCarthy

Bill McCarthy is the General Manager of the Americas, in which he oversees regional efforts pertaining to the Traffic Insights business unit.

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