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Engaging shoppers in stores is more important than ever, but retailers and brands must team up or miss important perspectives their partners can provide, according to “Enabling the Shopping Process: In-Store Marketing for the Empowered Consumer” by Miami-based RSR Research.
The report is based on a survey of 88 retailers and manufacturers this spring. It reveals that without working together, brands “get too promotional and miss the bigger picture of consumer engagement in the store, while retailers lack the more nuanced shopper insights that brands can provide.”
While creating targeted in-store offers and communications is a top priority, many retailers are too focused on optimization and offer-creation rather than promotion-delivery capability, noted Paula Rosenblum, RSR Research managing partner and co-author of the report.
“Winning retailers, those that outperform their peers in year-over-year sales, are more focused on making sure they can deliver targeted communications before they try to get more personal with shoppers,” she said.
The top three in-store marketing tactics are promotions, such as weekly sales (used by 86 percent of respondents); loyalty-based promotions (61 percent); and store-level promotions such as manager’s specials (53 percent). “Winning retailers are far more interested in the local opportunity than their peers,” the report noted. “This [is also true] in other areas, particularly the localization of merchandising and pricing.”
The most successful retailers are more likely to rely on technology-driven promotional vehicles, like digital signage and store-provided handhelds, though use of such tools is still fairly low. Nearly one-third of the winning retailers surveyed use in-store digital media, vs. 17 percent of the “laggards.” Fourteen percent of the winners use mobile coupons or incentives (compared with 9 percent of the laggards), and the same percentage provide customers with store-provided hand-helds (vs. 4 percent of laggards.)
These kinds of customer-facing technologies play key roles in creating a complete, consistent shopper experience, the study noted, because they enable personalization and help increase the chances of in-store promotional compliance. But, because the technology is expensive, the biggest opportunities lie with retailers and brands collaboratively funding efforts.