In the past 20 years, buyers have gotten used to convenience. They’ve also come to expect variety—and even custom-tailored products. Today’s leading product providers, like Amazon, have made shopping simple, contributing to the sale of over 480 million products alone. That’s why digital marketing and sales are directly related. Let’s talk about selling in the digital age.
So, what about brick-and-mortar stores? While eCommerce powerhouses like Amazon are making the consumer world more digital, physical stores are still catching up. Still, a lot of retailers don’t believe in digital selling—or even digital marketing.
The Myth of Digital Marketing and Sales
From their perspective: Online sellers control ecommerce selling. Brick-and-mortar stores should stay in the real world. Some retailers have sworn off digital marketing altogether—considering it to be irrelevant, or even ineffective, to their sales strategies.
This is a mistake, and potentially an expensive one. Digital marketing isn’t reserved for ecommerce retailers. The digital landscape is big enough for everyone—and it’s more fertile than ever. Because the Internet is interconnected with real-life places, things and even people—due to mobile and voice-activated technology—the virtual world is an invaluable resource to any retail outlet.
Unfortunately, digital marketing and sales might not be seen as the powerful duo they really are. The Big Four—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—have made online marketing popular, and their presence can be intimidating for physical and digital sellers alike. Nevertheless, real-world businesses can get involved with digital marketing. They can even thrive with it.
A lot of myth surrounds digital marketing, scaring business owners away from the Internet. This is unfortunate, because digital marketing is a powerful driver of in-store sales. Virtual and physical environments go hand-in-hand, but the following rumors might make this hard to see. Let’s see them for what they are, debunking them for either their inaccuracy or incorrect assumptions about the partnership of digital marketing and sales.
Myth #1: Email Marketing Doesn’t Drive Sales
Let’s talk about email marketing, first. Email-gifted coupons, promo codes and website links are a digital marketing mainstay, but they’re valuable to brick-and-mortar retailers, too.
Email is used everywhere. By 2020, Radicati’s 2016 Email Statistics Report reveals, over 3 billion people will use it. The return on email marketing is massive: For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a $38 average return on your investment—regardless of whether you’re a physical or online retailer.
Where brick-and-mortar businesses are concerned, email marketing is one of the most useful tools around. Myths suggest that email marketing doesn’t work with real-world stores.
These days, emails can be hyper-personalized. Just like the old days of mail-merging formal letters in Microsoft Word, HTML code lets you merge your email addresses with the content of a message through a few key taps. When a reader sees their name or a product they recently purchases or may be deciding to purchase, they feel more invested and connected to your store. You can even push them content and promotions that are specific to their previous purchases. When you give the impression that you know what they want they are more willing to listen.
Using Store-Only Deals to Drive Traffic
An email campaign is a great way to promote in-store deals, offers and seasonal discounts. 72 percent of buyers prefer email as a source of business communication, as it is. They want brick-and-mortar updates sent to their inbox. They also want exclusive sales. As it stands: Businesses are already promoting their best deals through email—as it’s always available.
Email-specific deals, QR codes, and exclusive offers are also quite popular. Emails are great tools for custom-tailored offers, too. In fact, personalized emails are six times as successful as regular emails. Even if you lack an ecommerce platform, you can still promote your best products through email marketing.
How Cross-Channel Marketing Works
Many believe email to be the connective tissue which allows multi-channel marketing strategies to work. 88 percent of smartphone owners check email via their devices. They also use these devices to quickly browse store locations, use social media, text and call their friends. Beyond this, email is still flexible enough to be incorporated into a content strategy—giving your campaign incredible reach.
Myth #2 Pay-Per-Click Doesn’t Drive Sales
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC), is another valuable avenue for digital marketing and sales. Those who aren’t familiar with PPC’s power or Google AdWords, however, might be intimidated by its digital intricacies.
The biggest myth about PPC which scares away brick-and-mortar sellers concerns ad positioning. Even ecommerce sellers get tricked by the supposition that PPC campaigns are only “worth it” if they can get their digital ad into a top position.
This isn’t always the case. A Hallam Digital study even reveals that ads which follow behind top-position ads generate between three to four times as many conversions. PPC is a powerful brick-and-mortar marketing tool thanks to Google. Consumers who see display ads are roughly 155 percent more likely to search for the brand’s information.
The Power of Remarketing
A good PPC campaign might lead customers through online portals, but it ultimately brings them into a brand’s storefront. In the physical world, you can use display advertisements to reflect your PPC advertisements. A cohesive design is an effective design, resulting in remarketing and more awareness.
Customers who’ve seen your store—but who haven’t purchased anything—are great resources to a PPC campaign. You can create online ads which are immediately recognizable to these customers. 86 percent of customers use the Internet to locate local businesses – you increase your chances of making a sale when these undecided customers see your PPC ads. Thus, a memorable digital-and-physical ad campaign is invaluable to brick-and-mortar sellers.
Myth #3: Local SEO is Just For My Website
Basic SEO is popular on its own, but local SEO needs more attention. It’s a great way to market your business online, and it can even be used to direct customers to your store. In many ways, local SEO can be considered a brick-and-mortar marketer’s sharpest tool. Check out these quick facts:
- 80 percent of Google’s “near me” searches come from smartphones.
- SEO helps four out of five consumers find local business information.
- Within 24 hours, 18 percent of local business smartphone searches lead to in-store purchases.
Google My Business is Your Business
Local SEO wouldn’t be much without Google My Business. You can edit your business’s listing in Google, helping customers find it. You can also update your business’s SEO information to better attract customers. Google My Business is an arsenal of digital marketing and sales tools—helping marketers tell the story about their business in a highly visible digital environment.
Google My Business is also FREE! Signing up for free marketing is a no-brainer solution. Once you get your authorization code, your business can input your NAP information (Name, Address, Phone) and your website, store hours, images, and a short description that tells your brand story. The more information you provide to potential local shoppers, the better off you’ll be when ranking for those searching locally.
Myth #4: Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Drive Sales
Social media lets marketers segment their audience into specific consumer types. Because of this, it’s possible to gather data about your customers. Several myths surround the viability of social media marketing as part of a brick-and-mortar location, however.
Primarily, some business owners may feel that social media marketing simply isn’t useful to a physical location which is already on social. Others believe that a strong Facebook marketing campaign will be far too expensive to justify the outreach.
Nevertheless, social media marketing has proven to be an invaluable resource to digital marketing and sales alike. Facebook and Instagram now offer live-streaming services, giving brick-and-mortar stores a little more visual marketability. Facebook, itself, is the most used social media marketing platform.
Plus, about 80 percent of a person’s social media time takes place on a smartphone. Social channels, like email, is a connective thread which empowers the modern buyers’ decision-making process.
Social Media as an Affordable Solution
Marketing with social isn’t expensive, either. It can even be free. By recycling graphics you designed for print mailers or posting about in-store events or promotions, you’re reaching a wide social audience without spending a cent. Also be aware that you need to give to get. Give free information to your social audience by providing design tips or facts about the latest industry trends. They will see you as an engaging resource, rather than a company only looking to sell them goods.
Meanwhile, paying for a Facebook ad campaign can help you grow your business’s social media community. You can target social ads by filtering the exact demographics you’d like to speak to. Get the most from your money and messaging when you get specific.
Myth #5: Data and Analytics Don’t Matter for Brick and Mortar
While retail operators might not consider data to be a real-world sales resource, data is starting to drive modern businesses. Google Analytics lets business owners collect data from web properties. Experts and novices alike can use its powerful tools to determine customer needs—even if their customers are shopping brick-and-mortar locations.
The use of data comes from the value of organic search—which businesses often use during local marketing efforts. Organic search results land users 94 percent of the time, existing as a return-visit resource for shoppers in need. By analyzing customer data, your business can better rely on these organic searches—boosting your real-world visibility from the Internet.
Here are just a few ways you can use data and analytics as part of your real-world digital marketing and sales platform:
- Tracking organic business direction searches
- Tracking customer call inputs
- Attributing specific product sales to buyer types
- Tracking coupon code usage
- Tracking trending products on your website
If you can figure out who’s buying what—and why—you’ll be able to make better deals. In-store offers presented due to data analysis are incredibly successful.
63 percent of marketers have increased their data-driven spending due to its growth opportunities, last year. Another 53 percent of marketers consider the customer-centric, data-first approach to be one of today’s most valuable investments.
By using collected data to make better promotions and manage your inventory, you’ll increase your shopper opportunities and sales conversions. By analyzing the needs of your customers, you’ll redefine the way your business offers products.
Digital Marketing Drives More Sales
Today, the world’s best brick-and-mortar sales strategies utilize information, technology, and online social spaces. The myths surrounding digital marketing stem from over a decade ago, when digital marketing was still young.
Digital marketing is the bread-and-butter of effective sales strategies. Our retail world isn’t entirely physical, anymore. If you haven’t yet, adopt a digital marketing strategy to boost your traffic, define your customers and offer great deals. An entire world of sales-boosting campaign options await, and it’s right at your fingertips.