Omnichannel or Multichannel? Which One And Why

Omnichannel creates a smarter shopping experience that benefits both consumers and brands. Data is shared across all channels, enabling stronger engagement and moving the consumer toward a purchase. For the customer, it creates an easier shopping experience and a stronger brand connection.

At I/O, Google Offers a New Vision for Local Search

The notion of “helping you get things done,” emphasized by Sundar Pichai in his I/O keynote, provides a through-line for many of the event’s announcements. It struck me watching the presentations how thoroughly Google has become a consumer electronics company, a marketer of devices where search is more a central feature than a standalone product. Google, in other words, has become thoroughly dedicated to marketing its famous search capabilities in the context of devices that help you perform daily tasks. In the process, it is transforming local search and how we relate to the world with electronic devices.

Will Google Ask Businesses to Pay for Listings?

Google recently sent surveys to a number of Google My Business (GMB) users, asking a range of questions about their local marketing activities and their level of interest in certain paid features within GMB. The survey suggests that Google is at least thinking about a paid version of the GMB feature set. For the local search industry, a paid GMB product offered to businesses of all types could be quite disruptive, especially if it ended up gradually degrading the value of organic listings.

Report: Consumer Expectations for Brands Higher than Ever in Age of Convenience

With the omnichannel age upon us, the impact of bad customer experiences is unprecedented. The main fear for businesses should no longer be a standoff between the worker behind the customer service desk and the angry customer who failed to get his discount; it should be the rant that hits social and is shared or liked a slew of times, dragging digital reputations through the mud.

5 Ways Businesses Can Leverage Location Intelligence Beyond Marketing

Michelle Zhou: Location data can provide far better optics into consumer behavior than traditional data streams. Data from smartphones, social media, and other sources can track consumer purchases and migration in real time. Using data trends and insights, businesses can develop a comprehensive understanding of their customers and make the most informed business decisions.

Crack-of-Dawn Black Friday Lines Are Already a Thing of the Past, Data Shows

How is the increasing appeal of e-commerce and other digital options such as BOPIS—buy online, pick up in-store—affecting retail’s biggest day of the year? One consequence, data from Reveal Mobile indicates, is the end of the notoriously colossal lines that used to mark the beginning of Black Friday. 

The Secret to Alibaba’s Singles Day Success? Brick-and-Mortar

We’ve all heard by now that Alibaba’s Singles Day—think of it as the Chinese Prime Day—shattered sales volume records, recording over $30 billion in revenue for Jack Ma’s retail giant. What you haven’t heard is that brick-and-mortar retail played a key role in that windfall.

Happy Returns Expands Into College Market

Startup Happy Returns, based in Santa Monica and founded by alums from HauteLook and NordstromRack.com, offers a way for shoppers to return e-commerce purchases at real-world kiosks. Beginning this fall, Happy Returns will be setting up kiosks—which it calls “Return Bars”—at five campuses around the country to capitalize on the returns generated by back-to-college online shopping.

What Happens to Local Data When Physical Stores Close?

More than 8,600 brick-and-mortar stores are expected to close this year. But long after the doors have been shuttered for the final time, much of the local data for those stores remains online. For national chains, outdated location data can lead to frustrated shoppers and missed opportunities for sales.

Placed and Captivate Partner to Measure the Reach of Digital Elevator Ads

Digital media company Captivate announced today that it is teaming up with location analytics firm Placed to measure when consumers visit in-store locations after seeing digital ads in elevators. Consumers exposed to Captivate’s digital screens are cross-referenced with Placed’s app users to offer a new location visit measurement KPI.

How Brands Can Get More Out of Their Brick-and-Mortar Marketing

Marketers that fail to see local storefronts as a critical channel are missing out on a rich sales opportunity. Brands invest $70 billion in local markets each year, but a significant portion of that spend often goes to waste because they fail to work collaboratively with their local partners.

Black Friday Weekend’s Unreported Story: The Rise of ‘Bricks and Clicks’

The mostly unreported story of Black Friday weekend is that much of the ecommerce growth came from “bricks-and-clicks” retailers, not pure-play e-tailers. The reason: Physical stores offer a critical customer experience and serve as a “brand anchor,” both of which support ecommerce for traditional retailers. Stores drive online sales because they instill a sense of confidence and trust in the consumer.

Case Study: Mattress Retailer Captures Millennials with Digital Strategies

The vast majority of mattress sales still take place in brick-and-mortar stores. However, America’s Mattress of Onalaska owner Dave Weinberger says he’s found that millennial shoppers are increasingly doing their pre-shopping research online. In response, he’s begun shifting his advertising budget away from offline channels and toward digital tactics, like call tracking and recording, search marketing, and online promotions.