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Future Focus: How Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Can Shift for Success

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Far from making brick-and-mortar retail spaces obsolete, the explosion of e-commerce has simply reshaped, and repurposed, the ideal deployment and leverage of retail spaces. That’s according to Alexandra Sheehan on Shopify, who explains that despite the looming challenges of evolving technology, increasing competition, and changing consumer behaviors, smart brands can plan for these changes and create opportunities from them by “future-proofing” their businesses. Let’s take a look at a few key areas poised for forward-looking success.

In-Store Experiences: Driving More Sales

In-store experiences – that is, creating fully immersive multisensory displays that engage with your customers – are becoming increasingly important for multichannel retailers.

“Unique store experiences give shoppers a compelling reason to visit a location and engage with a brand,” Sheehan explains. Beyond the normal value-adding propositions of promotional marketing materials, unique in-store experiences help drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar stores and more revenue through your physical channels. They are a clever way to diversify your revenue streams across a multichannel business model.

What’s more, they create an immersive “identity” for your brand, one that sticks with customers and contributes enormously to brand loyalty. The ability to quickly create dynamic in-store experiences that change to fit your marketing messaging and brand identity will set retailers apart.

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In-Store Events: A Marketing Bonanza

Hosting in-store events are becoming an increasingly popular – and effective – way to increase foot traffic and buzz around brick-and-mortar stores. Fitness apparel retailers, such as Lululemon, have begun hosting yoga classes, complete with branded giveaway mats and water bottles. Anthropologie, the apparel and home goods retailer, hosts pop-up “markets” in its stores and provides shoppers with free, branded tote bags.

The key to the future of physical retail is creating value that online shopping can’t offer. With an agile and reliable marketing supply chain to make sure everything arrives on time, on price, and goes off without a hitch, in-store events are a great way to do just that.

New Customer Behaviors, New Possibilities

One of the most unique phenomena of the age of digital commerce is the rise of “showrooming.” Showrooming is the practice of visiting a brick-and-mortar store to see or interact with a product with the intention of buying it online later.

This requires a fundamental re-thinking of best practices for in-store marketing materials and displays. Before e-commerce, with physical as the only or primary channel, it was important to devote floor space to as many of your available products as possible, and to make that space easily navigable. Now, with digital analytics, creating high-conversion, engaging, narrative in-store displays for the most in-demand, best-selling, or highest profit-margin products can lead to greater revenue and marketing ROI. Brands must invest the time, effort, and resources towards understanding these new and changing marketing best practices, because they truly are an investment in ongoing future success.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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How to Sell More with High-Conversion Retail Displays

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Online shopping and e-commerce continue to shift the way savvy retail marketers approach their business models, especially as they pertain to the optimization of brick-and-mortar retail stores.

That’s according to Humayan Khan at Shopify, who explains that more and more retailers are treating their physical storefronts as “experience centers,” designed to use “visual merchandising best practices to help the products sell themselves.”

Khan takes a look at some of those best practices, as well as how agile marketing operations and supply chains can help create high-converting product displays that catch shoppers’ attention and sell more.

Show Your Customers, Don’t Tell Them

Customers want to be able to truly envision how they could use your product in their lives, and they don’t want to have to guess. That’s why creating effective displays that show what life with your product looks like is so important.

Kitchenware stores, for example, don’t just feature the kitchen counter tile that is for sale. They build out an entire display kitchen, featuring their beautiful countertop at the center of it. “Can’t you imagine hosting a cocktail party in this kitchen?” they ask. “Wouldn’t your life be so much more stylish with this countertop tile?” Displays sell a lifestyle, a vision, not just a product. Use your in-store visual displays to create this compelling experience for your customers.

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Engage Their Senses to Draw Them In

The key to immersive shopping, Khan says, is to create a “multi-sensory experience,” which he calls “sensory branding.” While customers consciously associate your brand with your visual marketing materials, like colors schemes and logos, they also subconsciously associate your brand with their four other senses, as well.

Sight

This is the most important sense to capture. The average customer spends no more than eight seconds looking at a display. Leveraging captivating and engaging visual cues like lighting, symmetry, and contrast all factor into the visual effectiveness of your marketing materials.

Sound

A movie is only as compelling as its soundtrack, and the same goes for retail stores. Slower, more relaxed music facilitates a slower shopping pace, while Top 40 hits engage the attention of teenagers and the 18-34 demographic. Further, if you have an exciting new product you can’t wait to share with your customers, pair its display with equally exciting, dynamic music. Trying to convey the premium, luxury factor of your products? Classical waltzes and “upscale” music help convey your brand essence.

Touch

Touch is extraordinarily intimate, and tied strongly to memory and recall. If at all possible, retailers should feature physical samples and examples of their products within in-store displays so customers can touch it, hold it, and feel it. Even the best-designed marketing emails can’t move your product from abstract to tangible in the minds of your customers as quickly as tactile interaction.

Smell

Scent is the sense most closely tied to memory, and it is a powerful tool to keep your product and your brand top-of-mind with your customers. Whatever attitude you are trying to convey – ruggedness for outdoor equipment, coziness for furniture, deliciousness for baked goods – pair it with a scent that conveys it directly to your customer’s brain. There is an entire field known as “scent marketing” which focuses on the psychology of scent, and marketers who understand it can leverage it to their advantage.

Taste

Obviously, this is more practical for consumable goods, but allowing your customers to sample edible products is exactly the same as allowing them to try on clothes. It is a massively effective best-practice.

Change and Adapt, Always

As society changes, so too will your customers and their demands. To stagnate is to die in retail marketing, and agility and adaptability are the keys to longevity.

Brands that can not only execute on the above, but do so frequently, and to new and different specifications over time, can continue to meet their customers’ needs. This way, they remain indispensable to their customers, and win their long-term loyalty.

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By partnering with a trusted marketing supply chain expert like NVISION, your brand can leverage the power of high-converting in-store displays and win more revenue.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Retail Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

2018 is set to be a big year for the retail industry. New tax laws mean many brands are reinvesting in their marketing efforts and looking for ways to stand out from their competition this year.

By keeping a few select trends in mind, and properly prioritizing the efforts that add value for their customers, retail marketers can stay ahead of the pack and realize more revenue. That’s according to Pamela Danziger of Forbes, who shares the most important marketing trends that retail experts have predicted for 2018.

Shifting Roles for Brick-and-Mortar

Brick-and-mortar stores for decades were by default the main revenue source for retailers, and online and e-commerce avenues supplemented these operations. “In the early days of the internet, retailers incentivized shoppers to spend money online by offering lower prices at their websites,” says Danziger.

Now, customers simply expect to find lower prices online, as well as a more convenient point-and-click shopping experience. “To justify the expense of their brick-and-mortar stores, retailers need to start giving time-starved consumers a reason to travel and shop in-person,” writes Danziger. These “reasons” now often include gifts with purchase and special in-store promotions.

Further, brick-and-mortar stores are poised to continue shifting towards becoming “experience” centers, with “experiential” marketing booming in importance. “Giving customers a deeper and more differentiated brand experience,” writes Danziger, is the new big value proposition for brick-and-mortar retailers. Using eye-catching displays, print and promotional materials, and special point-of-sale branding will help draw customers back into brick-and-mortar stores.

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The Rising Role of Marketing Logistics

As Danziger describes them, logistics are “not the sexiest topic in retail, but logistics will be a defining issue in 2018.” She explains that “as shoppers come to expect that all of the best stores are omnichannel, the ability for brands to deliver products quickly and painlessly will separate the strong from the weak.”

Well-managed marketing logistics, made possible by a highly-optimized marketing supply chain, allow brands to be truly responsive to customer demands and proactive about upcoming trends.  It also enables them to offer their customers value-adding perks, like in-store pickup, promotions, and branding mirroring what they’ve experienced online, and engaging, easy-to-navigate displays. “Nobody wants to revisit a brand that makes shopping feel like work,” Danziger writes.

By partnering with a trusted marketing logistics expert like NVISION, your brand can consistently deliver these high-value retail experiences on-time, within budget, and in a way that builds loyalty among your customers. That’s one 2018 trend that everyone can get behind.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

In-store Displays

Shopping mall with signs and stores-Featured

E-commerce and online shopping may be the hot channels getting the majority of media coverage these days, but cultivating engaging in-store experiences for customers is one of the most important keys to continuing to drive growth in brick-and-mortar revenue.

That’s according to FierceRetail’s Jacqueline Renfrow, who cites new research which suggests that in-store displays, decorations, and promotions all critically contribute to both shoppers’ preference for brick-and-mortar shopping, as well as up to 54% of in-store impulse buys.

The research, which surveyed over 11,000 consumers in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia, found that promotional displays and in-store visuals not only create a more pleasant shopping atmosphere for customers, but allow stores to create their own unique brand identities and help put consumers in the “mood” to shop there. In fact, 54% of U.S. shoppers reported that in-store promotions are the “biggest influence on their impulse buys,” while 37% of U.S. shoppers cited a store’s ability to make them “feel in the right mood” as their biggest impulse buy driver.

people walking in the mall - retail continuity

But it’s not just promotions that allow retailers to make their in-store experiences stand out to customers. In-store visuals, like displays, end caps, standing booths, hanging decorations, branded apparel, and print materials all contribute heavily to the atmosphere of a store, and 70% of consumers surveyed reported that those visuals help them “connect to the brand.” Further, a full 84% of consumers claimed that said visuals make the in-store shopping experience “more enjoyable.”

In fact, when a store adds marketing materials to the in-store experience like smells and visuals, 59% of U.S. shoppers surveyed are more like to revisit that store. That number leaps to 72% for shoppers ages 18-24, and those same Millennial shoppers reported being 60% more likely to shop for longer each time they visit.

As Renfrow explains, even in an omnichannel world, each specific channels has its advantages and appeals. For the brick-and-mortar channel, the appeals are ancient: instant gratification, and overall entertainment. Yes, we may have grown beyond our teenage years, loitering at the local mall, but the fact remains that in-store shopping is still a form of entertainment for most of us, and we reward those brands that invest in creating a dynamic, entertaining in-store experience with our hard-earned dollars.

“Consumers, particularly younger consumers, aren’t just buying a product when in-store; they’re buying an experience. And their expectations for a positive, emotionally engaging experience are quite high. Those businesses who deliver an elevated customer experience witness greater repeat visits, a greater number of recommendations, and longer in-store dwell times,” says Scott Moore, global vice president of marketing at Mood Media.

And while crafting these compelling in-store experiences is crucial to retail marketing success, they require a highly-optimized and efficient supply chain to ensure each promotional material arrives on-time, in-place, and on-budget. Further, companies need to have insight into which marketing materials are actually driving revenue, and which are detracting from their carefully cultivated brand image. The proper in-store marketing materials are powerful; the wrong materials are ineffective and overpriced, and the right materials delivered too late are worthless.

Brands that take their in-store promotional and visual materials seriously stand to claim a powerful advantage over their competition, and those that understand, prioritize, and optimize their marketing supply chain can realize unprecedented success.

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE