What is Buy Online Pick Up In-Store?

What is Buy Online Pick Up In-Store?

BOPIS, also known as “Buy Online Pick Up In-Store,” is an important feature that today’s shoppers expect when shopping with their favorite retailers. Sometimes referred to as “Click and Collect,” Buy Online Pick Up In-Store is exactly what the name describes. Your customers shop for and purchase your products online and then pick them up in person at one of your physical locations.

Curbside Pickup is a form of Buy Online Pick Up In-Store that increased in popularity in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic restricted many retail stores from offering in-person shopping. BOPIS and online shopping continues to grow as customers find it convenient to “pre-shop.” 

Buy Online Pick Up In-Store should be an essential feature for any retail business, but especially for merchants running physical stores that target local shoppers. According to an Invesp survey, a whopping 50% of people surveyed said that they decided where to shop online based on whether or not they could pick up in-store. 

Here are 6 reasons why more and more shoppers are choosing to use BOPIS and why retailers need to offer the option.

1. Increase profitability with BOPIS

When customers purchase items online and pick them up at one of your retail locations, it significantly decreases the cost of fulfillment. According to John Mulligan, Target’s COO, Buy Online Pick Up In-Store purchases are 90% cheaper to fulfill than orders shipped from a warehouse.

Benefits of BOPIS infographic with TAKU Retail
The benefits of BOPIS.

That’s not the only way that Buy Online Pick Up In-Store reduces costs and increases profitability. It also cuts down the cost of packing materials and requires a lot less labor because the order only needs to be picked instead of being picked and packed up for ship out. As a result, there is no need to offer free shipping or cover the cost of shipping fees with Buy Online Pick Up In-Store. This will not only save you money, but it will also save your customers money. 

2. Avoid shipping costs & shipping delays

Shipping costs stock image

Shoppers increasingly expect free shipping. But a recent study conducted by Hanover Research and LaserShip, the largest regional e-commerce parcel carrier in the U.S., reveals that shipping rates are rising faster than they have in a decade. Not only have there been general rate increases but 64% of top online retailers are struggling with an off-schedule price increase. The study indicates “nearly half (49%) of these increases are price hikes between 10% and 19% and another quarter (27%) fall between 5% and 9% increases.”

At the same time, the pandemic has significantly increased the demand for shipping, overwhelming many shipping companies. An earlier study indicated that the U.S domestic package market was on track to reach 100 million packages per day by 2026. That number is now expected to be reached in 2022, with e-commerce responsible for 86% of that growth. This greater overall demand has driven up the cost for retailers to ship out online orders that often require free or subsidized shipping, and increased delivery delays.

Besides shipping costs themselves, BOPIS is also more environmentally friendly for small to medium physical retailers that target mainly local shoppers or carry products that are costly to ship (e.g. bulky or fragile products). If you don’t have the ability to ship from a warehouse or a dark store, using a lot of single-use packaging material or shipping out products that were already shipped once to the store or already merchandised on shelves is wasteful and causes unnecessary emissions. BOPIS encourages shoppers to buy from local, nearby stores instead of having something shipped from much further away or packaged with a lot of disposable packaging materials.

3. BOPIS leads to lower rates of return

In addition, items picked up in-store result in significantly lower rates of return. This is because merchants are more likely to check purchases when they are picking up items so returns are avoided before products leave the store. And returning in store is something that the majority of shoppers want. An Inmar Intelligence survey from July 2020 found 58% would prefer to return purchases in a store.

And lowering return rates is key to ecommerce margins as it is becoming increasingly costly for retailers to handle the return process. Although some retailers do offer to cover return shipping costs, this is becoming less possible as the overall cost of shipping increases. Bloomberg reports that return costs for retailers rose 59% in 2021 and added that it now costs $33 dollars for a retailer to process the return of a $50 item. Forcing customers to mail returns adds to their frustration, making it less likely that they will want to repeat the experience. By allowing them to return items in-store, they don’t have to deal with the inconvenience and expense of mailing orders back.

Again, the shipping cost of returns is only part of the story. Oftentimes retailers will need to spend extra money to cover the cost of offering return-friendly boxes otherwise they risk the chance of receiving returned goods that are unsellable due to damage during the return trip. With e-commerce return rates almost 3x higher than with in-store shopping, this means a 3x higher chance that returned goods are unsellable at their original price. The waste of damaged goods along with 2x the amount of disposable packaging materials just adds to the true environmental cost of shipping out online orders vs. BOPIS for local retailers.

4. Reduces merchant processing costs

With so many retailers starting to sell online since the pandemic started, many merchants now know that e-commerce sales generally require higher merchant processing fees to accept payments online versus payments taken in person in store. But once you take into account that return rates can be 3x higher with online orders, this means that retailers pay significantly higher merchant processing fees in general with online orders because any fees that are paid during any sale is lost during a return. Returned sales do not refund transaction fees. Some processors even charge additional return fees. This is why it’s important to consider features such as BOPIS to reduce returns and/or even take more payments in store.

5. Increase shopper basket size

Increase customer basket size with TAKU Retail
Increase your consumers’ basket sizes.

One of the biggest reasons why Buy Online Pick Up In-Store is often more profitable for retailers is that it increases the opportunity for bigger orders and for impulse buys. Research indicates that 75% of shoppers who’ve used BOPIS will make an additional purchase and 49% of shoppers go on to make additional purchases while picking up their items in store. Not only does this result in a more satisfied customer, but it also means more profit or higher margin sales for retailers with minimal effort.

Creating a separate section for BOPIS pickups means that shoppers don’t have to wait in long lines. And placing items strategically in the BOPIS section will also benefit retailers since having a positive experience makes customers more likely to purchase other items while they’re in-store. In-store retail management systems such as TAKU are great for upselling during the BOPIS pickup process as they have the ability to handle all orders and take payment for add-ons, all under a single login. So the same staff member helping a customer pull his pickup order can also accept payment from him for those extra high-margin impulse buys he wants to add.

6. Increases customer satisfaction and loyalty

Buy Online Pick Up In-Store gives businesses that have both an online and brick-and-mortar presence a competitive advantage over those retailers that only offer online shopping. Customers can choose between shopping online, in–person, or a mixture of both. BOPIS allows customers to shop from anywhere at any time. They are no longer restricted to retail business hours which means they benefit from the convenience, flexibility, and faster service that BOPIS provides, especially to local shoppers.

Satisfied customer and increased customer loyalty

BOPIS also gives customers visibility into which stores have a given product in stock, helping them avoid wasted trips and thus improving their overall shopping experience. Customers can get an accurate view of which items are in stock at a particular retail location, so they don’t have to waste time getting to a physical store only to find out that the item they want isn’t available. 

Michael Ketzenberg, a professor of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, feels retailers should embrace and aggressively market BOPIS, stating in Harvard Business Review that “It’s more profitable than other omnichannel services and it gives retailers the opportunity to offer a small discount or other incentives to encourage customers to opt for the BOPIS option, creating a win-win for both the customer and the business.”


Want to learn how to easily integrate BOPIS into your business?

Top 6 Holiday Marketing Tips For Retail Stores On A Tight Budget

Top 6 Holiday Marketing Tips For Retail Stores On A Tight Budget

As holiday season approaches, you should start to consider what to stock your shelves with and how to merchandise it. Now that most cities and regions have fully re-opened, you should expect more foot traffic in your store and more shoppers ready to spend money during the biggest shopping season of the year.

In order to capture shoppers’ attention, you will need to stand out. With supply chain issues affecting big box stores that import more from abroad this year, local businesses have the room to thrive and stay competitive during this busy season. We will introduce you to some of our selling tactics for this season to make sure that there is a steady flow of people coming in and out of your store.

Put new seasonal items at the front of the store to encourage customers to make impulse purchases

Merchandising is especially important during the holidays. The right strategies can make a world of a difference when trying to sell seasonal products such as greeting cards, decorations and gifts.

Make sure that you prominently showcase new or seasonal products by highlighting them in signs around the store and featuring them in any window displays. Make customers feel welcome and at-home when they browse in your store. You can also create a display at the checkout area that features seasonal low-ticket items that people would buy impulsively such as winter lip balm, hand cream, and stocking stuffers.

Put any discounted items (e.g. last season holiday goods) at the back to drive customers further into your store

Placing sale items at the back of the store means that you are able to capture shoppers looking for a bargain by making them walk through the entire store and see your entire catalog of items on display. Studies have shown that this encourages shoppers to buy more on impulse.

A lot of pharmacies or supermarkets use this strategy by placing bulky “loss-leaders” such as toilet paper (products sold at cost or even under cost to attract shoppers into the store) at the back of stores to encourage shoppers to use a shopping cart since this will make it easier for shoppers to browse for a longer period of time and pick up higher-margin products.

Package products that aren’t selling as well together

Make holiday gift packs to move slow moving products. Make sure to highlight the value of the gift pack (e.g. how much is saved versus buying the items individually)!

Grouping similar items together can make them seem more appealing to shoppers. In some cases, it can even increase the selling price of certain products! Attractive packaging can increase the perceived value of certain products. Festive packaging also adds to the overall look of the store and makes gifting easier for shoppers who do not want to wrap their gifts. Since convenience is important to many shoppers, this can directly impact holiday sales.

Deck out your store and online channels with seasonal and/or festive decorations

Put up inclusive holiday decorations to make sure that you do not alienate any customers while trying to create a festive spirit. A popular theme is decorating the store based on the seasons (example: Winter-themed décor and trinkets for December). Pinterest is a great starting point to get inexpensive DIY ideas if you’re on a tight budget.

Offer products that aren’t selling well as a gift with purchase

This is another way to move products that aren’t selling as well as expected. Make sure to have a minimum purchase amount to drive larger orders. This is also an easy one to offer in-store and online. Generally speaking, it’s good to have free gift offers with all channels but make sure your higher value gifts are reserved for in-store sales since shoppers buy when they can see everything you offer in person.

Use QR codes on your storefront window to keep selling even when your store is closed

Instead of turning off the lights and calling it a day, use your physical storefront to showcase holiday sweepstakes or promotions. One way to do this is by using QR codes in your storefront displays to make it easy for customers passing by to shop for items impulsively and learn more directly in your online store.

Once customers are in your online store and have added items to their cart, even if they don’t buy right away, you are able to send them retargeting emails (emails that remind them that they still have items in their cart ready for online checkout) and let them know about future promotions.


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How To Plan For Pre, Peak, and Post-Holiday Shopping

How To Plan For Pre, Peak, and Post-Holiday Shopping

October to December marks the peak shopping season for retail stores. It’s a time when many retailers plan for an increase in shoppers. As the world moves out of the global pandemic, retailers need to be ready for customers with new shopping behaviors.

Pre-Holiday

According to a Google study, 70% won’t consider purchasing something without seeing it online: whether it is an ad, browsing through a website, social media, or email newsletter. This means that retailers need to start ramping up on their online efforts early: whether it is sending weekly newsletters or updating social media on a regular basis, “online storefronts” are more important than ever to shoppers.

Think With Google, 2021

People often flip between discovery (window-shopping) and shopping (looking for products mainly based on functions or features) until they are ready to make a purchasing decision. Of the two, discovery is more emotional and can often override the rational thinking behind shopping. Which is why online “pre-shopping” discovery is so important to the entire shopping process now.

A Statista survey showed that up to 50% of people are planning to do their holiday shopping in-stores. This means that retailers need to be ready to showcase new merchandise and discounts online to shoppers even before they make it to the stores.

Retailers need to gather more customer reviews so that they appear higher than their competitors on Google searches. Read more on how to get more customer reviews here.

Peak-Holiday

In 2020, up to 79% of people left their holiday shopping until one-week before Christmas. This is good news for retailers because they are able to push their efforts to the very last minute. The same study showed that 64% of shoppers planned to shop in-stores. After more than a year of restrictions, people are eager to get out. This is great for physical stores that are able to target shoppers when they’re nearby.

Convenience plays a huge role in purchasing decisions today. “Now near me” searches have grown 100% worldwide. Options for store-managed e-commerce have also increased a lot. Because some shoppers will always leave holiday shopping until the last minute, local stores have a major advantage. After all, everybody has experienced shipping delays given the increase in online shopping. Instead, more local shoppers are searching for ways to buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS) to avoid delays.

The key to successfully offering store pickup for online orders is inventory accuracy. This means using store operations software that offers real-time stock information in-store and online. One way to make sure that your store appears online is to use Google’s free product listings and Local Inventory Ads (LIA). Learn more about how to increase foot traffic to stores with Google here.

For last minute shoppers, retailers can offer store pickup. Not only does this avoid delivery delays, it helps encourage shoppers to purchase extra items when they come to the store for their orders. Make sure that your order pickup area is well-merchandised with suitable impulse products. And consider switching to an order pickup system that will allow staff to checkout customers. There’s nothing worse than losing sales from a in-store shopper just because a customer doesn’t want to line up again to pay.

Post-Holiday

13% of all retail purchases end up being returned. This means that retailers could be juggling huge losses in January. In the US, 1.75 million packages were returned in January 2021, and that does not include returns in store!

Keeping the return process simple and painless is key. It is especially important for retailers to create an easy process as 89% shoppers who have difficult return experiences will not shop at the same store again.

As the holiday frenzy winds down, retailers should cycle back to the pre-holiday selling tactics and tips to gear themselves up for another selling season. Read more about our off-season marketing strategies here.


Want to know more about Post-COVID merchandising?

post covid merchandising checklist

Retail Marketing: Halloween Marketing Ideas

Retail Marketing: Halloween Marketing Ideas

Retailers are beginning to prepare for the holiday shopping rush, starting with Halloween. 

Prosper Insights & Analytics has reported that 2020 Halloween had an estimated spending of $8.05 billion which means that this is the perfect opportunity to kickstart your store’s marketing efforts before the holidays.

Halloween By The Numbers

Based on the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2020 Annual Halloween Spending Survey, almost 74% of shoppers aged 18-44 plan on celebrating the festive season this year – spending an average of $92.12 per person

The post popular items that shoppers are planning on purchasing include candy (95.66%), costumes (67%), decorations (76.16%), and greeting cards (39.66%)

With these numbers in mind, we’ve put together a list of Halloween marketing ideas. Keep reading to find out how you can take advantage of these insights and sell more this Halloween season!

4 Halloween Marketing Ideas To Help You Sell More

1) In-Store Merchandising 

pumpkin display halloween

28% of shoppers plan on gathering shopping inspiration from inside physical retail stores. 

Get shoppers through your door by displaying your seasonal merchandise (whether you plan on using an entire aisle or a single point-of-purchase display) at a prominent location.  Use proper signage to lead shoppers to your Halloween-themed merchandise and displays, will also make them more likely to purchase.   

Not selling Halloween-themed products? You can still decorate your store with some festive decorations and visual merchandising. Think about creating a window or point-of-purchase display that showcases products that you already sell – but with a twist. You can use spider webs, jack-o-lanterns, leaves, and fall colours (black, orange, red etc.) to spook things up. 

bats Halloween window display

2) Use Your Online Presence Effectively

Halloween pumpkins

35% of shoppers site online search as their source of Halloween shopping inspiration. Dress up your physical store for Halloween and add festive elements to your online presence as well. 

Completely revamping your store’s website is time-consuming and in some cases, it can be expensive. But adding a Halloween touch to your website can go a long way in getting shoppers in a festive spirit. Including Halloween images on your homepage, fixing themed add-ons, and adding pop-up designs are all cost-effective and easy ways to add a spooky feel. 

You can also drive more shoppers to your website by creating a separate page (a landing page) dedicated to Halloween. Here are a few tips: 

  • Create a Halloween gift guide for your shoppers that features all of your Halloween merchandise. If you don’t sell Halloween merchandise, consider posting helpful Halloween content. Some good content or blog post ideas include: “Halloween costume ideas for children”, “Halloween decor ideas”,”DIY costumes for adults”, and “tips for hosting a Halloween party”. 
  • Use Halloween keywords (this will help your store appear higher up in search). 
  • Promote any seasonal discounts or promotions that you are holding. 

Don’t forget to decorate your social media and email marketing campaigns for Halloween as well!

3) Google Local Inventory Ads (LIAs)

Google Local Inventory Ad

Considering that the majority of shoppers are planning to use a search engine as a source for shopping inspiration, it is also a good idea to run local inventory ads on Google. These ads are tailored to users based on their location. With these ads, shoppers will see in-stock product of local retailers in the area. 

Here are a few tips for optimizing your Google LIA campaigns: 

  • Target mobile shoppers: shoppers are searching on their phone before visiting physical stores to ensure that their trip is worth it. In fact, 86% of Canadian shoppers said they will go to the store to buy when that store has an item they need or want immediately. You can target mobile shoppers by placing a positive mobile bid adjustment to your campaigns. It’s best to boost ad groups/campaigns that have strong mobile performance. 
  • Adjust for high traffic hours: while you want to keep ads active 24/7, it is a good idea to boost ad performance during high traffic hours. This includes the hours that your store is open and when your shoppers are most likely to search. 
  • Consider physical location: Users closest to your store (20-35 km radius) are much more likely to visit than others who are. Target local shoppers by increasing bids for users that are closest to your store. 

For more information on how your retail store can easily implement Google LIAs to increase foot traffic and sales, click here

4) Add Halloween Products 

Halloween treats

If your store doesn’t sell any Halloween merchandise, you can consider selling seasonal items to boost your store sales.

The following are some good examples of how retailers can add in popular seasonal offerings: 


Want to know more about how Google My Business can help you rake in more sales?

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Sell More: Post-COVID Black Friday Marketing Tips For Retailers

Sell More: Post-COVID Black Friday Marketing Tips For Retailers

Thanksgiving weekend (from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) is one of the biggest shopping events of the year. Black Friday will look different this year as more COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted. It will be a chance for shoppers to re-emerge in store to do their shopping.

This is the perfect opportunity for retailers to attract more shoppers with Black Friday marketing to increase store visits and sales. To take full advantage of the holiday weekend, retailers need to be prepared to meet shopper demand and expectations.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, Black Friday sales in 2020 were surprisingly strong. Although brick-and-mortar stores saw a decline in foot traffic and sales, 2020 was a year for e-commerce. According to Adobe Analytics, online sales in the US went up by a whopping 21.6% from the previous year.

From the same survey, it was reported that 44% of consumers planned to shop small and support local retailers. Compared to previous months, local retailers did see a 545% increase in sales around Black Friday. This is good news for local retailers who want to take advantage of the spending season.

Keep reading to find out how you can take advantage of these trends and increase your retail sales!

6 Retail Store Marketing Tips

1) Improve Your Local Online Presence 

Review your online presence for Black Friday weekend

Research shows that shoppers are looking to Google and conducting searches even more now prior to visiting physical stores. This shows that valid and accurate online information make it easier for shoppers to purchase in-store. This means that, even without an online store, it’s important to improve your online presence.

If your business cannot easily be found online, there’s a large chance that you are losing out on potential shoppers to your competitors. Here is a quick checklist that will help you review how your retail store appears online: 

  • Check to see if you business information and holiday hours are updated on Google My Business.
  • You can use tools like Yext to run a scan of how your business appears on listings / online directories across the web (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc).
  • If you’ve moved or want to be found on more local directories, sign up for a one-time local listing service through services such as The Hoth or Fat Joe.
  • Encourage or even offer a small incentive to get your happy customers to leave a positive review on your Google My Business store profile. Make sure that you reply to customer reviews whether they are good or bad. You’ll want to ensure that your customers are regularly leaving reviews as 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business. Click here to find out how you can gather more positive reviews for your retail business. 
  • Retailers with websites need to make sure that their websites are mobile-friendly. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly test to check how easy it is for shoppers to view your website on their mobile phones.

2) Engage With Shoppers After The Holiday Weekend Is Over

Black Friday Sale

Over 56% of 2018 Black Friday shoppers still had holiday shopping to complete after the weekend was over. And the majority of shoppers (92%) believed that the strong deals offered over the weekend would continue or improve throughout the rest of the holiday season.

This means that in order to capture this chunk of customers, retailers should build on the existing interest and run promotions or events even after the Black Friday weekend. To reach as many shoppers as possible, run email marketing campaigns possibly together with digital marketing ads to promote your unique products and deals! 

3) Partner Up With A Local Business 

partner up with a local business during Black Friday

It’s hard for small retailers to compete with big-box stores on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Slashing prices in an attempt to increase traffic and sales just isn’t good for your profit margins. But with 65% of shoppers indicating that good deals are their main motivation for Black Friday weekend shopping, you still need to find ways to stand out.

By partnering with local businesses, you can provide unique deals that shoppers will have a hard time passing up. And this way, you don’t have to risk low profit margins. In fact, you can still sell products at regular price or even at a premium.

The best collaboration strategies include: 

  • Selling products in bundles: Packaging products that complement each other in one product bundle is a great way to increase your store’s average order value. For example, pairing three lipstick shades with a skincare product or, bundling sweaters with a free bag. In order for this strategy to work, it’s obviously a good idea to partner with another retailer that sells complementary products. 
  • Offer partner promotions / discounts: Another effective strategy includes cross-promoting. For example, shoppers will receive 10% off of total sale or free shipping at your partner’s business when they purchase $50 or more at your store. You can print promotional material on your receipts and customers can use this as a voucher. 
  • Host in-store or online events: You can also team up with local businesses to host special events. For example, you could partner up with a nearby restaurant to host a late-night open house or extended seasonal hours. Remember a good chunk of shoppers view Black Friday as something fun – 17% of shoppers see it as a group activity with their friends / family and 21% of shoppers say that it gives them something to do

4) Offer Exclusive Benefits To VIP Shoppers

Black Friday exclusive offers

Black Friday is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your most loyal shoppers. After all, they are best customers and the ones most interested in your products.

By adding exclusivity to your email marketing campaigns, you increase psychological rewards like a sense of belonging and importance. This is why exclusivity makes your promotional offers appear more attractive to shoppers vs. simply pricing and encourages them to visit your store.

Remember – shoppers receive too many emails during this time of year. So make your emails stand out with:

  1. Clear offers in the subject line (for example: Exclusive VIP Sale) 
  2. Personalized subject lines (personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened). Or, you could include the shopper’s first name in the email opening line. 
  3. A short, simple, and to the point message. 

 5) Promote Urgency

Promote urgency during black Friday

The majority of shoppers (92%) believe that strong deals will be offered all throughout the holiday season. And with so many competitors offering deals during the weekend, shoppers are left with a lot of decisions to make. That’s why it’s necessary to create a sense a urgency with your Black Friday marketing campaigns.

Urgency is a widely used marketing tool in retail. And for good reason – creating a sense of urgency in shoppers increases demand and ultimately leads to more purchases. Create an incentive for shoppers to take action by running your promotions for a limited time. One effective way to create time pressure is to include a countdown timer on your website or in your email campaign. Show your shoppers how many days, hours, and minutes are remaining for them to get a deal on their favorite items. 

6) Highlight Stock Availability

Google Local Inventory Ads for Black Friday

Stock availability is a type of FOMO or “Fear Of Missing Out” that encourages shoppers to take action. It’s a good idea to emphasize that certain items are limited or low in stock in your marketing campaigns or on your e-commerce site. If you do not have an online store, it’s a good idea to run Google Local Inventory Ads and take advantage of digital marketing that helps you promote automatically based on product availability. If your POS is linked directly to these type of Google Ads, stock availability will adjust based on real-time shelf quantities and save you the hassle of manual updates.

These ads work by targeting nearby shoppers who are searching online for products that your store sells. Google LIAs are effective because they capture shopper intent at the moment that they are looking to purchase.  Click here to learn how your store can easily implement Google LIAs together with your POS system to increase store sales and foot traffic. 

Omnichannel Shopping Are The New Reality Of Retail

It turns out that these shoppers are more valuable too. 73% of shoppers are not just shopping either fully online or in-store. These people are called omnichannel shoppers who go through their buying experience in more than one way. According to the NRF, shoppers who used more than one way to look for deals spent up to $93 more than the single channel shopper. And according to another study, multi-channel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those shoppers that only purchase from one channel.

Regardless of what stage you are at, moving your retail business online, consider the strategies above to improve how well you serve your customers online this year during the all-important holiday shopping season.


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Retail Marketing: The Benefits of Digital Marketing

Retail Marketing: The Benefits of Digital Marketing

As a retailer, you may be wondering “what is the best way to drive foot traffic to my store?” The obvious answer is that you need to focus your efforts on marketing.

 The not so obvious part is deciding how to spend your marketing budget to get the best results.

What Marketing Approach is Best for My Retail Business?

Over the past few years, the way shoppers buy from and interact with retailers has completely changed. Yet, the way many retailers are marketing to target shoppers has stayed the same.

Shoppers are spending more and more time on the internet. In fact, 87% of shoppers begin their product searches online!

This is why it has become necessary to have an online presence – no matter what you sell.

So if you are looking to increase store traffic and sales, you may want to consider implementing digital marketing in your business strategy.

But first, let’s go over the different marketing methods in detail.

online search

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing refers to the use of conventional (older forms) of media to reach a mass audience. It can be divided into 4 main categories:

1. Direct Mail (postcards, catalogs, flyers)
2. Print Ads (magazines, newspapers, newsletters, brochures)
3. Telemarketing (cold calling)
4. Broadcast (radio, T.V, etc.)

Traditional marketing uses interruption to gain the attention of shoppers.

newspaper

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the use of online tools to target ideal shoppers. It includes:

1. E-mail Marketing
2. Social Media Marketing (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.)
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Pay-per-Click Advertising (PPC)
5. Content Marketing

Rather than interruption, digital marketing focuses on delivering useful information at the exact moment that target shoppers are looking for it.

SEO image

What are the Benefits of Digital Marketing Over Traditional Marketing Methods?

Easily Measure Marketing Campaigns

Traditional marketing methods are difficult to track. For example, how do you know how many people saw your newspaper or magazine advertisement in a day? Or how many shoppers you attracted because of it?

Since traditional marketing is so difficult to measure, you won’t know if your marketing budget is being spent effectively.

On the other hand, digital marketing gives you the ability to measure results with advanced analytics. This includes:

  • The number of people reached (people who saw your content)
  • The demographics and geographical location of the people reached
  • Conversion rates (an actual sale, a completed download, a subscriber, etc.) Average session duration (the time spent looking at your content)Exit rate (where people left after viewing your content)
  • Bounce rate (the percentage of people who left after viewing only one page of your website)
  • E-mail open rate (percentage of shoppers who opened your e-mail)
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR) (percentage of shoppers who clicked on the link in your advertisement)

As you can see, digital marketing provides very useful, real-time data.

At the touch of a button, you know which methods are working and which are not, giving you the ability to adjust your campaigns to achieve better results.

marketing analytics

Effective Targeting

Traditional marketing methods reach a broad audience. Which means that there is no guarantee your advertisement will be seen by your target shoppers.

There is a chance an ad may reach your target shoppers eventually – but it’s like taking a shot in the dark.

Let’s say you are advertising your furniture store on a billboard. What are the chances that every person passing by it is actually interested in purchasing furniture?

Targeting capabilities are much more effective with digital marketing.

This is because you are able to select who sees your marketing campaign. Digital platforms (Facebook, Google, Instagram etc.) allow you to target shoppers based on their gender, age, geographical location, personal interests, their search results, etc.

This means your advertisements will only be shown to those who are most likely to be interested in your products! This way, you can be certain that your marketing budget is being spent more effectively.

store purchase

Cost-Effectiveness

Larger retailers have no problem spending millions of dollars on traditional marketing and advertising. This makes it extremely difficult for small retailers with limited budgets to compete.

That’s why digital marketing is the perfect alternative; you can create a similar impact at a much lower cost.

marketing graph

The graph above shows the cost per thousand impressions (often referred to as CPM in marketing) for 7 different marketing tactics. 6 of the tactics are traditional marketing methods while 1 is a digital marketing tool.

While the final cost will vary by industry, social media marketing still allows you to reach 1,000 potential customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing methods.

This means you can spend less money and still reach more shoppers. Or, you can choose to spend the same amount of money and reach even more shoppers!

Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing methods are generally more cost effective and can offer a higher return on investment.

Target Shoppers at the Right Place and at the Right Time

Think about the last time you needed information – where did you turn?

From planning a vacation, to looking for a nearby pet store, the majority of people turn to their devices when they are in need of information. In fact, 70% of mobile users who bought something in store turned to their devices first.

Why?

To look for information relevant to that purchase.

This is why digital marketing has a huge advantage over traditional marketing. It allows retailers to reach buyers directly – at the right place and at the right time. In other words, you can meet shoppers with relevant and useful information at the exact moment that they are looking for it!

With traditional marketing, you are reaching buyers indirectly through interruption. You can only hope that magazine readers stop to read your advertisement or that drivers notice your billboard on the highway.

But because advertisements are everywhere, most people find them annoying and as a result, they are often ignored. This is why traditional marketing is becoming less effective.

mobile marketing

Value vs. Interruption

Traditional marketing methods use interruption to gain the attention of an audience. This is why most people hate receiving sales flyers or inconvenient phone calls. It doesn’t feel authentic.

People just don’t trust sales-focused advertisements. They see hundreds of them a day and have gotten used to ignoring them.

Nowadays, shoppers are looking for valuable and useful information that will help them make purchasing decisions. This includes product reviews, blogs, and informative videos.

With digital marketing you don’t have to grab the attention of shoppers – because you already have it!

store owner

Want to know more about off-season marketing strategies for retail stores?