Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



From Digital Promotions to In-Store Traffic: What You Need to Know

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/15/15 11:00 PM
Topics: social media, retail technology, textbook affordability, omnichannel

Savvy retailers have used tools like digital sales and social selling to reach customers from beyond their store walls for years. For many store operators, however, bridging that gap and translating into in-store sales have proven more complicated. While it's important to have a strong omnichannel solution to make sales online as well as in your store, the prevalence of smartphones means many of your students are effectively carrying a coupon book that can be updated in real time around in their pocket. Jonathan Treiber of digital offer analytic service RevTrax offers his insight into how embracing digital promotions can push in-store sales. Read his full story here.

From Digital Promotions to In-Store Traffic: What You Need to Know 

Digital as an omnichannel tool

In the past, retailers predominantly viewed digital promotions as a tool for driving online sales. Smart phones and consumer demand for a consistent omnichannel experience have changed this dynamic, however retailers have still been slow to think about digital promotions as an effective tool for driving (and tracking) in-store sales. Currently, about 90 percent of the top 100 retailers participate in digital promotions and marketing, but probably less than 10 percent are using these promotions to drive in-store sales.

Moving forward, the adoption of iBeacon technologies and growth of wearables will continue to break down existing perceptions and internal structures that relegate digital promotions to online sales. In the future, these technologies will allow retailers to distribute targeted digital promotions and offers to shoppers based on their in-store location and proximity to certain products. Wearables such as the Apple Watch will mean consumers can easily see and view this highly relevant content while carrying a basket or pushing a cart.

A social affair

Similar to mobile, social offer traffic is increasing at a phenomenal rate. RevTrax customer data showed that in 2014, more offer traffic originated from social media (40 percent) than email (26 percent). This is particularly impressive when one considers that email is the most popular form of digital promotion.

This social shift in the promotions space will result in more campaigns that encourage consumers to share offers and interact with content in these channels. A warning: While social media is an effective way to expand the scope of offers, it opens marketers up to increased customer scrutiny. The offers shared in this channel will have to extend real value to customers and limit exclusions to avoid backlash on social media.

On the flip side, retailers will have to commit to controlled offer management to prevent particularly high-value offers from going viral and blowing out their promotion budgets. Social media could be integrated into the in-store shopping experience in the future as well. This would mean using social contacts to alert consumers if friends have purchased or reviewed products they’re buying or standing near in the store.

Digital promotions and coupons would likely be used to track these activities and incentivize consumers to opt-in to such efforts.

Change is certain

Of course – the only thing certain is change. The introduction of a new retail or consumer technology could completely change the landscape in a few short years. Marketers don’t have to adopt every new thing they read or hear about in order to keep up, but they shouldn’t let fear of change dictate their digital outlook.

About Dean Asher

Dean Asher is a former copywriter with MBS. Though he no longer writes for us, he is still proud of having helped this blog continue to evolve as an industry-leading resource of news and original content.

Article comments