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Omnichannel Archives - NVISION

Holiday Spending Will be Jollier in 2018: How Retailers Can Engage Shoppers to Increase Sales

woman holding shopping bags walking

As the air turns colder and the year winds down, many retailers’ thoughts are on one thing: the holiday season. The holidays are a critically important time for the retail industry, and businesses have reason to be excited for 2018: the National Retail Federation is projecting a 4.5% increase in retail sales over 2017. That’s thanks to many factors, including consumer confidence being high and unemployment being low.

Steven Barr at Forbes recently wrote about the upcoming 2018 retail holiday season, and what trends brands need to keep a sharp eye on if they want to capitalize on more than just tinsel and snowflakes this year.

Shoppers Are Spending More, Especially Millennials

According to a recent study by PwC, consumers plan to spend 5% more on average than they did last holiday season. Across the entire retail industry, that works out to approximately $1,250 per shopper. When you narrow that figure down to high-earning millennials (incomes over $70,000), retailers will be competing for over $2,000 of spending from each and every shopper. In fact, the same study found that millennials will pay more this holiday season for brands that will offer quality, convenience, speed, and personalized experiences.

Millemmial Marketing

Brick-and-Mortar Retail Will Work Together with E-commerce

When it comes to retail this holiday season, some things haven’t changed, and nothing beats the experience of walking through a store or shopping mall for picking out holiday gifts. 91% of holiday shoppers plan to make purchases at a physical retail location this season, so brands will need to invest in creating winning customer experiences with their retail signage and promotional materials. Creating positive, inviting store experiences encourages shoppers to linger for longer and, ultimately, spend more.

But in today’s digital world, that’s not the whole story. 75% of shoppers “expect an integrated experience across digital and physical locations,” so maintaining brand consistency and creating omnichannel customer experiences that track the buyer’s journey will be critical.

Create Memorable, Shareable In-Store Retail Experiences

As online shopping gets more and more convenient, retail brands will need to find ways to create customer experiences worth coming into the store for. While digital integration will be critical (promotional QR codes, email campaigns with in-store coupons, etc.), even more important will be what Barr calls “grammable” moments, after the popular social media platform Instagram. 

Barr highlights the outdoor apparel outfitter Canada Goose, who designed and created a “cold room” for their flagship retail store in Toronto where customers could try out puffy coats, gigantic scarves, and oversized hats. As intended, the cold room led to many shareable photos, and with a custom hashtag already in place, the campaign took off, and Canada Goose enjoyed a massive boost to its retail sales. 

Shoppers want a holiday filled with cheer. Brands can give it to them by creating these unique and engaging in-store experiences.

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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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Millennial Marketing: It’s a Whole New Ballgame

Millemmial Marketing

The world is changing, thanks largely in part to the efforts, habits, and preferences of “millennials.” And the field of marketing is no exception.

Millennials, those of us born between the early ‘80s and early 2000s, are now the single largest age demographic in the United States. There are currently 87.5 million millennials living in the U.S., compared to just 83.7 million “Generation X” Americans (those born between the mid-‘60s and early ‘80s) and 66.4 million “Baby Boomers.” This means one thing very clearly: to be successful in marketing today, you must engage with these millennials, and savvy marketers must understand their psychology.

Which is why NVSION has gathered some of the latest data on the psychology of millennial shoppers, and how marketing organizations can leverage this information.

hand holding mobile phone with AR

Millennial Spending Preferences: What Marketers Should Know

Due to broader differences in modern culture and values, millennials show distinct preferences for certain industries when it comes to how they spend their hard-earned money. By understanding this fact, marketers in these industries can feel confident in strategically focusing their efforts on capturing this millennial audience and allocating their marketing budgets accordingly.

Here are the Top 5 areas where millennials spend their money.

  1. Socialization. Whether nights out on the town, social organizations like recreational sports leagues, or just fun, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, millennials spend the lion’s share of their disposable income on socialization. Fun is on the menu for them.
  2. Education. We’ve all heard horror stories about student loan debt and for-profit colleges. But millennials are also spending their money on personal continuing education opportunities, like language courses, classes that teach specific skills (like cooking or brewing), and other opportunities to increase their knowledge.
  3. Apparel. We all want to look our best, and that’s especially true for millennials. Clothing retailers and marketers would be wise to closely study the psychology of millennials’ shopping behaviors.
  4. Services. The most precious commodity to millennials is time. As such, they are more willing to pay for time-saving services than any generation before them.
  5. Eating Out. Similar to the Services industry, millennials love to get their food out because it saves time and effort. They’re willing to pay a little more for it. Just look at the success of on-demand food delivery services like GrubHub and Uber Eats.

When you compare these trends to the top areas of spending focus for Gen X shoppers and Baby Boomers (things like pensions and insurance), it becomes clear that a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy just won’t work. Personal insurance marketers should be investing their marketing budgets differently than socialization marketers because their audiences – and their audiences’ preferences – are different.

Best Practices for Marketing to Millennials

Keeping the above spending preferences in mind, here are some best practices for marketers to leverage and increase millennial engagement.

Millennial Personalization

According to a study by the University of Southern California, millennials are 85% more likely to purchase a product if they have been exposed to it via personalized content. Whether this is with marketing promotions based on their personal shopping history or unique materials segmented for their unique buyer persona, millennials prefer highly personalized marketing.

In fact, a 2018 SuperOffice study found that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product if marketed to them with personalized experiences. And that trend will only continue: customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator among consumers by 2020. Agile marketing operations that can accommodate the creation of personalized experiences will win more millennial business for your brand.

Multi-Channel Marketing to Millennials

More than any other generation, millennials engage with brands across multiple different channels, including digital, mobile, in-store, and direct mail.

A recent study by the Harvard Business Review found that 73% of consumers regularly engage with their preferred brands via an average of four (4) different channels. What’s more, retail brands that engage their customers with a multi-channel marketing strategy see an average increase of 89% in customer loyalty and retention.

These numbers only increase for millennial shoppers, who own on average 7-8 internet-connected devices each. In fact, 60% of millennials expect a consistent experience across all of that brand’s channels. By working to establish well-organized, agile marketing operations, marketers can create the unified, multi-channel marketing experiences that win over millennial shoppers.

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The millennial generation becomes a larger portion of your marketing audience each and every day. By understanding their unique preferences, spending habits, and preferred methods of engagement, marketing teams can capture more of their business, increase overall revenue, and improve brand loyalty.

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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

Integrating Direct Mail Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2018

Direct mail has long been one of the most trusted tools in a marketer’s arsenal. But as the digital revolution in marketing continues to grow and evolve, so too do the possibilities that direct mail presents. By understanding some of the newest and hottest trends in integrating digital and direct mail marketing, savvy CMOs can position their brands for ongoing success well into an unpredictable future. That’s according to Jason Sullock of IT Pro Portal, who breaks down a few of the most promising trends in direct mail for 2018.

Omnichannel Integration

It may be surprising to think of direct mail as a way to unify your multi-channel digital marketing efforts, but it’s actually a fantastic opportunity to do so.  By incorporating printed QR codes into their direct mailers, marketers can make it extremely simple and convenient to direct recipients to the landing page, product demo, or special promotion you want them to see. You can also include unique URLs linked directly to your mailers. That way, when your customers visit that URL, you can track the fact that the mailer sent them there, and you can better measure the impact of your direct mailing efforts

thinking girl with digital shopping symbols

Programmatic Personalization

Programmatic mail links your direct mailing efforts to each customer’s specific online activities, but in the opposite manner of the omnichannel integration we discussed above. By using digital tracking and analysis of customer behavior – things like what pages they’ve visited, what products have they’ve searched for, and what items they’ve abandoned in their shopping carts – marketers can then send direct mailers that speak to these specific interests and talking points. An email reminder to complete your online checkout? Easily ignored and deleted. A colorful, eye-catching piece of mail delivered right to your front door? That’s much more effective at converting shoppers into customers.

Augmented Reality

As more brands try to provide a truly unique and engaging customer experience by venturing into augmented reality (AR), the possibilities for using AR to supplement direct mail, and vice versa, are growing. Marketers can design even rudimentary AR apps so that when a customer scans a QR code included in a direct mailer, the brand’s logo appears or a product video plays. In more advanced versions, scanning a direct mail QR code in an AR application can display three-dimensional virtual versions of your products, creating lasting and meaningful impressions.

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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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The Omnichannel Future of CPG

How CPG brands can prepare for changing customer expectations.

Digital disruption has already begun to come to food retailers, and smart brands are adapting to these new realities.

That’s according to Julia Russell at SmartBrief, who states that today’s consumers, many of them digital natives, want on-demand, omnichannel access to their food that mirrors the level of responsiveness they’ve come to expect from other industries. Many of them prefer to look up a product online, then go find and purchase it in the store. Similarly, many of today’s consumers prefer to check out a product in person in the store, then buy it online at their convenience.

As Bobby Marhamat puts it, “Consumers want to be able to have access to merchants and information on their terms. It’s a matter of being available where the consumer wants to access that information and/or purchase from that merchant.”

But while many CPG brands count omnichannel transformation among their top priorities, there are important steps they must take to have a truly effective approach looking to the future.

A Uniform Foundation

One of the most important things a CPG brand can do to prepare for omnichannel success is ensure their customer experience is uniform across all channels.

Your brand’s mobile, online, and in-store experience should be set up the same way, so consumers can shop exactly how they’re used to, regardless of channel. This establishes a consistent brand experience and builds brand familiarity.

people looking up-crowd

Determine Your Brand Target

Brands should take the time to conceptualize their target buyer, and let that determine whether to pursue a mobile or online experience first. Further, ensuring that each channel is deeply embedded with the same experiences brands cultivate on their shelves is critical.

Russell says, “This is essential for allowing the brand to track their customers all the way throughout their buying experience.” As she explains, brands that let their customers make purchases via the channel they naturally prefer have a much higher occurrence of brand loyalty.

What’s more, brands that have a strong, uniform omnichannel strategy can allow their customers to purchase online, as well as in-store, and they can track those shoppers, analyze their behaviors, and market to them more effectively.

Partner With a Trusted Expert

CPG logistics are complex, and that complexity is increased tenfold when pursuing an omnichannel strategy.

But with complexity comes a multitude of opportunities to optimize, trim costs, and eliminate waste. A trusted partner with experience facilitating CPG marketing efforts can find those opportunities, and work with you to continue to improve critical flows, save you time, costs, and give you the ability to be responsive and ready for whatever your customers demand.

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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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Shoppers’ Emotions

Shoppers’ Emotions and the In-Store Experience

As more and more customers opt to conduct an ever-larger portion of their shopping online, brands are realizing the value of shifting, rather than diminishing, the role of their brick-and-mortar retail stores.

That’s according to a new report conducted by YouGov and GPShopper, which examined shoppers’ emotions as they browse retail stores and what brands can do to leverage shoppers’ emotional responses to increase revenue and brand loyalty.

“Retailers must deliver a convenient shopping experience that also sparks a little excitement and brand loyalty,” says Maya Mikhailov, CMO of GPShopper. She’s absolutely right, and this is how brands can – and should – use print materials, in-store displays, and point-of-sale marketing promotions to drive that valuable emotional response.

The Value of Retail-to-Online Revenue

According to the survey, 86% of shoppers will give preference to a store where they can try out products in person and then make a purchase online. As we’ve discussed before, the increased shift to online shopping is compelling retailers to re-think the role of their brick-and-mortar stores. More and more shrewd brands are discovering and leveraging the value of using their retail spaces as showrooms for their products, treating them as fully three-dimensional branded experiences.

By using relevant and compelling print materials, in-store displays, and point-of-sale materials, brands can use their retail stores to drive revenue through omnichannel marketing efforts, even if that revenue is eventually realized online.

cashier handing credit card back to customer - sales person

Which Emotions Should Retailers Cultivate In-Store?

First, it’s important to understand what shoppers are currently feeling. According to the survey, 10% of customers report feeling “frustrated” upon walking into retail stores, with confusing displays and promotions that don’t always match the ones they saw online. This disconnect between a brand’s different shopping channels hurts brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. By taking steps to make sure that the physical marketing experience is aligned and consistent with the digital experience, brands can ensure continuity and help reduce customer frustration.

Perhaps worst of all, the single-most reported emotion according to the survey was “Nothing” (40%). While a lack of emotion is not strictly the same as a negative emotion, this statistic is concerning for a different reason: it indicates that retailers are failing to maximize the value of their retail space through dynamic and compelling display materials. In hyper-competitive retail markets, “beige” is death for brands that need ways to stand out.

In fact, only 20% of customers reported feeling “excited” about their retail experience, and barely 12% felt “satisfied.” These are exactly the emotions brands should be trying to create in their brick-and-mortar spaces.

What Can Stores Do Better?

“Retailers need to begin experimenting with new, innovative options for their locations, because this is ultimately what consumers are looking for,” Mikhailov advises. And the results of the survey bear this out.

85% of shoppers like to see product recommendations based upon customer reviews. Retailers can win major brand loyalty and revenue by creating and deploying in-store displays that leverage their online reviews. This type of omnichannel synergy is exactly what retailers should be leveraging. “The research tells us that digital channels, like mobile, are still siloed from the in-store experience, rather than being used to augment the reality of stores,” Mikhailov says. “Consumers are clearly comfortable with ‘experience centers,’” that offer a three-dimensional, cross-channel experience.

Additionally, 80% of customers like being able to purchase a product online, and then be treated to an emotional “experience” when they pick it up in-store.

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“Developing an emotional connection with a brand, experience, or store staff can be the difference between creating a loyal customer and pushing them toward online or offline competitors,” Mikhailov concludes.

By harnessing the power of print materials, banners, and other physical point-of-sale marketing materials, brands can translate their carefully cultivated in-store experiences into significant online sales revenue, and vice versa.`

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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