Digital marketing and retail continue their ascent – see our previous post for just how much digital markets are growing for advertisers – but unfortunately that comes at a cost for traditional retail. The high street has had to absorb losses as people flock to buy online, and that’s had an impact. Lost revenue and low footfall can start a terminal decline for a business unless it’s ready to adapt to the digital age, as recent figures show: almost 3,200 bricks and mortar stores have closed down over the last four years. It’s not just affecting small retailers. Even big names like John Lewis have recently been involved in high profile redundancies and closures.
There’s more at work than simply competition from digital sources: declining wages in real terms, and high levels of consumer debt are also depressing spending on the high street. It’s a difficult time to navigate.
So how a bricks and mortar retail business survive in the age of digital sales and reluctant buyers?
For one thing you need a digital offering that complements your brick and mortar branches in both style and function. A ‘click and collect’ function blurs the lines between online shopping and high street stores in a way that makes both vital and keeps customers coming into your shops where they can make more purchases.
Making sure your brand has a clear aesthetic that can be expressed both instore and online means consumers link your site and your shops mentally, and rate each one as highly as the other: if your online shopping experience doesn’t look and feel like walking into your store then you’re setting the two up to compete rather complement each other.
Finally, you can tune your marketing to make sure customers are aware of just why you’re unique and worth visiting in person. The right marketing strategy targets customers who will see your ads and walk into a shop, rather than wasting money serving adverts to customers who don’t live or work near or branch, or simply won’t respond.
If you want to make sure the right customers are seeing your adverts, then talk to the professionals. Contact Illuminate today.