6 Strategies for Reaching Customers at the ‘Zero Moment of Purchase’

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aisleTargeting consumers at the “zero moment of purchase” — that is, while they’re shopping inside a store where a brand’s product are sold — is a proven way to increase conversion rates on mobile coupons and other discounted offers. Unfortunately, getting this type of high-impact marketing program off the ground can involve much more than a typical offline campaign. Brand marketers have to understand the limitations of indoor location technology, as well as the desires of their target audiences, if they want their targeted promotions to drive in-store sales.

To find out more about what marketers should know, we consulted with experts in the field of purchase-based ad targeting. Here is the best advice.

1. Use mobile to understand buying intent. With more than half of the population owning smartphones and 82% of owners using them to assist with their shopping, retailers have a great opportunity to make strong connections and influence purchase decisions. By having a shopping list in your mobile app, for example, you can understand your customer’s current buying intents before they even leave home. Or, you can set up your app to let you know when customers come into your store. Both options give you opportunity to deliver highly personalized and targeted offers. (Todd Sherman, Point Inside)

2. Check-ins and QR codes are so 2010. Retailers should say goodbye to check-ins and QR codes. Indoor positioning apps know a customer’s exact in-store location, and they can automatically deliver relevant offers to a customer’s smartphone. This eliminates the hassle of check-ins and QR code scanning for retailers, and ultimately results in higher conversion rates. (Lise Murphy, Wifarer)

3. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. If you’re looking to drive growth or profitability, you definitely need to be able to measure data relative to a baseline number. Understand the metrics that are key to your business. To do this, start with basic traffic counting. Average retail in-store conversion rates are around 30% — what are yours? Second, make sure you have deep data collection capabilities, keeping a close eye on the number of transactions, units per transaction, the value of units, and the average time products sit on shelves. Finally, have the capability to do analytics on that data, and slice-and-dice it in a way that makes sense for your business. (Carmen Amores, Indoo.rs)

4. Be present at all stages of the purchase cycle. The line between physical space and virtual space is blurring. Leading retailers are building “store mode” apps that can sense a customer’s in-store location and deliver location-aware offers, coupons, and product information. Retailers that provide the right information at each stage of the purchase cycle — from at-home research to in-store browsing to location-based coupons at the point-of-sale — are the ones who will see the biggest lift in sales. (Lise Murphy, Wifarer)

5. “Eye level” is no longer “buy level.” Studies have shown that more than half of buyers check prices online before heading in store. This impacts the way physical retailers need to strategize. Old-fashioned trade is being held over a barrel in the battle for prices, service, and customer loyalty. Personalized experience is therefore imperative. Applications developed to address this predicament are becoming an increasingly popular element of any business model. As a result, end-users become more aware of a company’s services, products, and special events, and they are more inclined to “walk-in” on an impulse, or after receiving a special offer notification. (Anna Majek, Sensewhere)

6. Rely on technology partners. Retailers know their businesses best, but they can learn a lot from technology partners, as well. Technology partners have better access to best practices, they know the pitfalls to avoid, and they can help clients understand how hyperlocal marketing will continue to develop. They also have a vested interest in getting business owners out of the gate quickly, and making sure they’re successful in their promotions along the way. (Carmen Amores, Indoo.rs)

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.