THE SHIFT TO DIGITAL over the past 12 months raises questions about the ongoing relevance of stores and in-store marketing. Not to worry – even as more shoppers buy more of their goods online, stores remain the primary selling channel – for most categories.
Retail has never evolved faster. The ripple effects will continue to impact this industry for many years, even after the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic fade in memory.
For this expert roundup, our good friends at Tokinomo gathered some of the most influential voices in the industry to share what they expect is next for in-store marketing. I was privileged to participate and offer some detailed comments.
How will in-store marketers respond? My esteemed colleagues and I offer a range of observations and opinions, encompassing: “The Year Ahead”; “In-Store Promotions Tools”: “Hybrid Shopping”; “COVID-19 Impact” and more.
The discussion was a golden opportunity to share some of my best licks with some of the brightest minds in our industry. A few highlights to whet your appetites:
Tenser’s Takes on In-Store Marketing
Shoppers will likely maintain most of their new online shopping habits in the year ahead, but I would not anticipate expansion of those behaviors at anywhere near the rate we have just experienced. Many will welcome the opportunity to shop again in well-appointed stores on those occasions when it suits them. They will choose among channel options on each occasion according to their momentary needs or shopping missions.
Certainly, a larger share of promotion budgets will be transferred from stores to digital, but brands still battle it out at the shelves, displays, and garment racks. If trips become less frequent, then the effectiveness of each in-store encounter must improve. The wild card will be linking in-store with digital experiences via mobile devices – still very much an area of experimentation.
Inventory optimization competency may not seem like a marketing problem, but in fact, it is essential for understanding the true demand signal as well as the ability to forecast and evaluate promotion response. I believe it is a golden secret of the few best merchants.