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.
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.
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.
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.
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 For national chains, outdated location data can lead to frustrated shoppers and missed opportunities for sales.
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.
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.
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.
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.