April 10, 2013

Keeping shoppers in your store with digital marketing

Written By Martin Sandhu
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Between the recession and the rise of ecommerce there has been much talk of “the death of the high street”. But if you head to the shopping centre in any major city on a Saturday we’ll guarantee you it’s still busy!

Bricks and mortar stores may be starting to take a backseat, but the majority are still achieving enough footfall to remain open. One problem they are having though, is encouraging shoppers to make a purchase in store, rather than getting a feel for a product and then finding it cheaper online.

If you’re still one of those people who goes out shopping on a Saturday, you’ll know just how useful smartphones can be, whether it’s for checking prices, reading reviews or finding out if the item is available is a different store. The amount of people using them in store is increasing rapidly.

This graph form the Econsultancy blog shows exactly how shoppers use their phones:

 

It’s the fifth result that interests us most. Digital marketing is not just for those who are sat on their sofa browsing your website. It can be used to combat the growing problem of ‘showrooming’.

Building an app that is for use on the high street will not only encourage more shoppers to come to you, it’ll also encourage them to make the purchase. Utilising exclusive offers and loyalty schemes not available online gives shoppers a reason to leave the house! Both B&Q and the Nectar Card apps are great examples of this. Nectar offer bonus points weekends, when you use your app in store and B&Q give their app users exclusive seasonal offers, some of which are really rather good, making them hard to be beaten online.

Now, before you go off and plan an all singing all dancing app, there are a few considerations. Simplicity really is key, the app will be largely used in store so shoppers will be walking around, perhaps pushing a trolley or carrying products so it needs to be straight forward with easy calls to action and navigation, otherwise they’ll get frustrated and give up! Unless you’re offering your customers free wi-fi, then the app should also be quick and easy to load too. Most customers will be connecting to it via 3G perhaps some by 4G, so load speed is key to success.