The New Face of Multi-Channel Retail Marketing
By Peter Koeppel
|In today's highly competitive and rapidly changing retail environment, it's more
important than ever to utilize a multi-channel direct marketing program to maximize sales across retail
platforms. There are several proven and evolving marketing models that are being employed by savvy retailers,
who understand how to optimize retail sales through direct marketing. We will explore some of these strategies,
so you can consider how they can fit into your marketing mix.|
Many online retailers are utilizing a combination of offline media including, direct response television, print
and radio to drive online sales. This type of direct marketing campaign is often referred to as a drive to web
campaign. Online retailers are finding that consumers, who initiate a search online, after being exposed to an
offline ad, are converting into a sale at a much high rate than those who come to their site through an online
media channel. Many online retailers are deploying a paid search campaign that runs simultaneously with a DRTV
campaign, in order to capture consumers who initiate a search after viewing a DRTV ad. At the same time, they
are also implementing an SEO campaign, to help move up their site organically in the search listings.
Another multi-channel retail marketing approach is a hybrid drive to web/drive to retail campaign, to increase
both online and store traffic. Frequently, a multi-channel direct response ad campaign is used with this
approach. Various media channels need to be tested to find the ones that deliver the optimum ROI. Offline
media and online advertising, including paid search, email marketing, affiliate programs, behavioral/contextual
and demographic targeting, and rich media can all play a role in a successful multi-channel direct marketing
campaign. Social networks and blog networks are newer online mediums being explored by more progressive
retailers. Remember that messaging needs to be consistent throughout the various mediums to maximize the
impact of the campaign.
Understanding the Target Customer
In today's more competitive retail environment, it's increasingly important to understand who is your target
customer and to make their retail experience both online and at the store level memorable and enjoyable,
in order to increase your sales conversion rate and customer retention. Try to create a retail shopping
environment/experience that is easy to navigate, appeals to the target customer and engages all their senses.
Remember that online the consumer is always one click away from leaving your site. Retailers also need to
understand the lifetime value of their customers and employ customer retention strategies to create customer
loyalty and repeat purchases.
Multi-channel retailing is much more complex today, since it often takes place on several retail platforms,
in order to gain the optimum results. Direct marketing programs need to be customized to reach target customers
in a range of mediums and the shopping experience needs to be tailored to appeal to the target audience.
Employing these strategies in your retail-marketing plan will help ensure a more successful 2008 for your