Top challenges faced by local retailers

Top challenges faced by local retailers

The past two years have pushed retailers to their limits, with many unfortunately not surviving. This has also created a push towards switching to online shopping in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Reading and adapting to quick market conditions have often been the key to retailers surviving the crunch. 

There’s a myriad of other elements impacting retails, such as the following:

  1. Staffing issues due to COVID-19: With new variants emerging and rules constantly changing, it’s difficult for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. As infection rates continue to fluctuate, staff often need to be furloughed, creating problems for rostering and shift scheduling. 
  2. Expensive deep cleaning: The cost of cleaning is likely to have increased for most retailers, and they fight to keep their stores safe and hygienic to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect both staff and customers.
  3. Less foot traffic: Due to lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and general caution, people are choosing to spend less time in crowded retail locations like shopping malls or busy high streets. Instead, they’re opening for shopping online or limiting shopping to their necessities. 
  4. eCommerce: The pandemic and various lockdowns have pushed many businesses to migrate online to survive, creating an environment of intense competition as companies fight for their share of voice. This has also driven up the cost of marketing and ads in a crowded digital marketplace.
  5. Marketing on a budget: Marketing has become a more significant challenge for retailers because of increased online competition and tighter budgets due to lower revenues. Many retailers rely on foot traffic, but there are fewer entry barriers when that’s removed. It puts everyone from independent retailers to major chains and franchises on an even keel.
  6. Privacy changes: Facebook, Apple, and Google are making widespread changes to privacy policies that give consumers greater control over what information is shared with advertisers. This, of course, is a good thing for consumers but makes digital marketing more challenging and less accurate. This leads to increased ad spending with lower revenues.
  7. Supply chain issues: Keeping an accurate gauge on sales and demand is crucial for planning stock orders and maintaining stock levels. This balancing act can be challenging because retailers have enough stock and don’t miss significant trends without over-purchasing too much inventory. Additionally, the timing of orders is essential as delivery times are constantly changing due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With so many new and emerging challenges being faced by retailers going into 2022, it’s hard to see an end in sight. However, business owners should focus on customer loyalty, providing a delightful customer experience, and get creative with ways to connect with their audience. 

It’s predicted that the next big thing in marketing for 2022 will be a focus on social selling, which is a great place for retailers to start targeting. 

Social selling has many benefits for brick and mortar businesses, including helping you reach new audiences, boost your search rankings and online traffic, and help establish your business in your local community. 

To support your local marketing efforts, Mobeo drives online traffic in-store with our suite of solutions, which can be customized to fit your individual business needs.

Talk to us today about how we can help boost your digital footprint.

Top tips for increasing conversion in your store

Top tips for increasing conversion in your store

The art of increasing the number of people who visit your store, whether physically or online, into paying customers is called “conversion rate optimization.”

Your conversion rate is calculated as the percentage of purchases compared to the total number of people who came into your store on a specific day. 

There’s a few different tips and tricks for how to improve the conversion rate for your store:

  1. Upselling and add-ons: Selling products in a package or complete solution rather than a single SKU. The profit margin generally comes from the second product sold because marketing expenses and fixed costs eat away the margin from the first product. Also, at the point of checkout, either the counter or at the website checkout, provide a range of commonly purchased items as impulse purchases. Another principle of retail merchandising is to place one main product with two companion products next to it, making it easier to upsell.
  2. Staff Scheduling: The best way to schedule staff shifts is around the peaks in shopping behavior throughout the day. This helps ensure that customers receive the proper attention during these busier periods. Additionally, staff deployment to serve customers instead of tending to routines like stocking shelves or pricing is equally important. Finally, staff must be available to shoppers to encourage sales and improve conversion rates.
  3. Staff Development & Training: Helpful sales associates who listen to customers and make recommendations can significantly boost conversions. Effectively training employees to help a shopper explore product options, ask about concerns and make helpful recommendations pays dividends. It’s always a great idea to create a collaborative environment by holding regular staff meetings to get everyone involved and on the same page. Incorporating weekly or monthly sales targets with incentives is a great way to boost morale and get staff excited. Employees are the most effective at upselling because they are on the ground, talking to customers, building trust, and making recommendations to the customer based on their needs.
  4. Keep it moving: Reducing lengthy queues is vital because sometimes customers will avoid stores with long lines because they perceive the wait time will be too long. Unfortunately, long wait times often harm the customer experience. You can overcome this hurdle by placing registers at the back of the store or having multiple checkout counters so that there are numerous shorter lines instead of one long line. An alternative to this is ditching POS all together by going mobile.
  5. Plan the layout: There’s proven consumer psychology at play when a customer steps into a store. These insights can be bolstered by clever retail merchandising to improve conversion rates. For example, your store’s first 5-15 feet is the “decompression zone,” whereby the customer soaks in the store environment and decides whether to continue their journey. Additionally, studies have shown that people tend to turn to whichever side they tend to drive on when they walk into a store. For example, people in the US, you’re more than 90% likely to turn right when you enter a store, whereas people in Australia, the UK, or New Zealand turn left. This means the direction that customers turn towards is your “power wall,” where you should display high-margin goods and ensure it’s well-stocked, clean, comprehensive, and easily navigated. You should also aim to remove excess merchandise from the store by having just one size of each product on the floor to keep it from looking cluttered.

As a note, if you’re starting conversion rate is truly abysmal (think 15% or lower), you should check your marketing. You may be mis-marketing your store, bringing in shoppers expecting something completely different than what you offer.

With these tips and tricks in mind, you should rethink your marketing and communications if your starting conversion rate is 15% or lower. 

Mobeo provides a powerful way to utilize hyper-local ads to drive traffic in-store and pick your products off the shelves; talk to us today.

The Rise and Fall of Direct-To-Consumer

The Rise and Fall of Direct-To-Consumer

There’s mounting evidence that wholesale remains more profitable regardless of the mass shift towards the direct-to-consumer model due to Covid.

It’s been found that wholesale provides greater control, access to data, a higher revenue per item sold, and total gross margin when compared to similar businesses that utilize a DTC model. This can be further demonstrated when comparing these businesses’ EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes).

Contributing Factors:

  • Increasing competition – as more businesses migrate to the virtual space, more noise is created as more businesses bid for a share of voice.
  • Privacy – The inception of GDPR and CCPA regulations has limited the capacity for businesses to communicate unsolicited messages to potential customers. 
  • Ad blockers – due to the noise created by the increasing competition and bombardment of ads at various audiences, installing ad blockers have become more commonplace, making it harder for DTC brands to be seen. 
  • Returns and free shipping: e-Commerce spent its early years highlighting widespread “30-day return policies” and “free shipping,” which is taking a toll on DTC margins. 
  • The rising cost of ads – with more DTC competitors in-mark than ever before, the cost-per-click is skyrocketing. This can eat into the merchant’s profit margin or even exclude them entirely if their user acquisition cost is too high.

Although DTC profitability benefits from reduced rent and labor costs, other expenses add up over time. For example, fulfillment, logistics, heavier marketing, technology, and high returns. 

Ultimately, both DTC and wholesale have pros and cons, so it’s up to the brand to decide which model is best for their business.

Why are brands attracted to DTC in the first place?

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have created an environment of comfort and necessity around online shopping. People worldwide have adapted to “stay at home” orders that require many purchases to be made online. Even as the world starts to reopen, some of that online shopping behavior will remain. 

Additionally, DTC provides companies greater control over their brand, customer relationships, sales channels, and fulfillment. 

When does DTC make sense:

While wholesale has a clear edge over DTC when comparing EBIT most of the time, there are some situations where DTC makes sense. However, this often depends on the product.

To determine whether DTC suits a brand, two questions need to be answered:

  1. Can we accurately target the right customers?
  2. Are these customers happy to shop online and from a single-brand source, or would they prefer to shop in-store where there’s a variety of brands available?

If both of these questions are yes, it may be worth exploring a DTC model.

However, keep in mind that, based on data, only brands who also sell their products via bricks-and-mortar stores do well in DTC.

Support for Wholesale brands:

Talk to us today if you’re looking for a powerful way to utilize hyper-local ads to drive traffic in-store and pick your products off the shelves.

Why Local Marketing Should Be A Priority In 2022

Why Local Marketing Should Be A Priority In 2022

Local marketing involves businesses with a physical storefront or those who sell their products via retail stores using digital marketing strategies to target new and existing customers in the vicinity to drive traffic in-store. It’s also commonly referred to as “neighborhood marketing.” 

Having the ability to target locally can be potent if executed well. This article will highlight some of the most prominent benefits of including local marketing in your strategy for 2022.

1. Cost-effective

Paid hyperlocal ad campaigns are a fantastic way to target your local audience. However, there’s also a lot of other creative and cost-effective ways to generate visibility in a local area. For example, local directories, community pages, message boards, local newspapers, or events are great ways to get your business name out there. 

2. Highly targeted

Given that most customers choose to shop within 10 miles of their home, the geographic area that businesses need to focus on can be limited to that radius. This helps keep budgets down and allows retailers to focus on very clearly defined personas.

3. Attract more customers

With leaps forward in geo-targeted and hyperlocal advertising, it’s easier than ever to attract a crowd and add ‘buzz’ to your business by combining buyer intent and the customer’s location. This is one of the best ways to convert online and foot traffic into new customers because once a customer is physically close to your business, there’s a much higher chance of coaxing them into making a purchase, especially if you have introductory promotions available.

4. Smooth-out lulls

Many businesses experience peaks and troughs throughout the day. For example, a cafe might experience lunchtime rush hour but could be much quieter in the afternoon. In addition, scheduling location-based marketing campaigns helps to smooth out the flow of customers throughout the day. For example, it’s common to see restaurants or bars offer “happy hour,” which usually runs during the quieter afternoon hours from 3 pm – 5 pm.

5. Improved brand affinity

Having your local community as your audience means you will have a clearer understanding of their needs, wants, interests, and trends. This increased understanding will enable you to create marketing messages and promotions that will appeal to your community more meaningfully.

6. SEO implications

Search engine optimization and your organic search ranking are affected by many factors, but one of the most important is the number of backlinks your site has. Backlinks are external websites that link to your website. If you list your business on local directories and social media platforms, this will contribute to the number of backlinks to your site. For example, you are listing your business on Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, and other directories.

Conclusion

Local marketing has many benefits for bricks and mortar businesses, including helping you reach new audiences, boost your search rankings and online traffic, and help establish your business in your local community. 

To support your local marketing efforts, Mobeo drives online traffic in-store with our suite of solutions, which can be customized to fit your individual business needs.

Talk to us today about how we can help boost your digital footprint.

Why retailers need to get on the mobile wallet steam train

Why retailers need to get on the mobile wallet steam train

Mobile wallet marketing is an effective way for brands to engage customers without installing any other apps or opt-in for notifications. To do this, the brand creates digital loyalty cards or coupons that customers can access and use on their mobile devices.

Mobile wallets present businesses with a new channel to communicate with their customers and improve brand loyalty. Urban Airship, one of the most powerful platforms in the world, reported that “Mobile wallets are now among the top four ways consumers prefer to stay updated on sales, offers, and coupons, alongside decades-old channels including websites, email and text/SMS.” 

However, it is still early days. Given that this is a very new marketing strategy, an average of 19% of consumers report noticing retailers implementing offers and loyalty programs in their mobile wallets, but this percentage is expected to skyrocket. 

So, you might be asking yourself, “what does mobile marketing involve?” and we’re here to answer that question:

1. Coupons

This allows businesses to create various promotions or coupons and send them directly to a customer’s mobile wallet to give them a nudge or encourage them to purchase from your store or location the next time they’re looking to make a purchase. Once the coupon is added to the customer’s wallet, the business can share updates about it through notifications.  

2. Location-based

Mobile wallet marketing allows businesses to send notifications and coupons to customers based on their location. This is done via hyperlocal ad campaigns or sometimes even geo-fencing campaigns. When the customer enters the vicinity of the business, the wallet sends a notification to the customer’s phone with a coupon, and clicking this notification redirects straight to the mobile wallet. 

3. Cashback

Cashback offers have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. This is attractive to customers because they receive a rebate of the retail price when they purchase using their mobile wallets. In addition, this is a great way to incentivize repeat purchases and brand loyalty.

4. Notifications

Mobile wallets provide businesses with numerous notifications that they can schedule according to time, date, frequency, and other triggers like the customer’s purchase behavior. For example, notifications can be sent in a push notification, SMS, or in app-message. A lot of the time, the customer can manage the types of messages they wish to receive in the settings section, which helps ensure that they get to digest information in the way they choose to.

Now that you know how mobile wallet marketing works on a practical level, some of the benefits include:

  • Mobile-only experience: No need for printing or clipping coupons. Keeping the coupon digital and stored on the mobile device ensures it’s always accessible to the customer.
  • Right time and place: Because mobile wallet marketing can be geo-targeted, you can send reminder notifications about the coupons they have available when they’re within a set radius from that store. Research indicates that up to 63% of customers are likely to enter a store if they receive coupon expiration reminders when they’re nearby. 
  • Real-time offer updates: Due to mobile wallet marketing being an entirely digital customer experience, businesses have the power to update promotions and offers in real-time by simply pushing updated offers straight to the customer’s wallet. 
  • Personalization: Thanks to the highly detailed customer analytics with mobile wallet marketing, coupons can be targeted and personalized based on triggers such as previous products they’ve purchased, timestamps for when previous purchases were made, and more. This ensures that you’re delivered promotional offers for products that you know the customer already likes.

With more and more people using their mobile wallets, it creates a win-win between businesses and consumers. It gives customers access to the best deals while driving brand loyalty and repeat purchases. 

Mobeo offers the ability for businesses to create scalable, personalized digital coupons that are seamlessly added to shoppers’ wallets, allowing for online-to-offline conversions, driving traffic in-store. 

Talk to us today about how we can help boost your digital footprint.

Everything You Need To Know About Local Retail Marketing

Everything You Need To Know About Local Retail Marketing

What is local retail marketing?

Local retail marketing involves utilizing the “4Ps” (product, price, place, and promotion) to attract customers in-store and drive sales. 

Local marketing is vital because it’s likely that the vast majority of retail customers live within 10 miles of where they shop, so getting brand exposure to these people is crucial. 

Here are a few tips and ideas to help boost your brand awareness in your local area:

1. Understand Your Community

To connect with your community, you need to understand their needs and wants. Focus on understanding things such as:

  • What activities are popular in the local area?
  • How do people here like to spend their free time?
  • What is the demographic and psychographic makeup of the community?

The answers to these questions will help you create the right messaging and marketing activities.

2. Invest in Local Search Ads

As Adweek points out, 45% of all searches on Google now include local intent (i.e., finding nearby businesses), and 84% of those local searches result in a purchase.

For more information on local search, read our blog about “Hyperlocal Marketing.” 

3. Talk to local journalists

Media coverage is a great way to build credibility, trust, and brand recognition. It gains a lot of visibility quickly and has the added benefit of helping build your website backlinks and improve your SEO. Thankfully, this process is pretty straightforward (albeit a bit time-consuming). 

4. Consider exploring the wild side with Guerilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is a strategy whereby a company uses surprise or unconventional interactions to promote a product or service. It’s a type of offline marketing that uses public places to get the word out about your business. If executed correctly, it can be a great way to boost your store’s visibility in a fun and creative manner. A bonus is that guerilla marketing is usually pretty cost-effective.

5. Participate in or sponsor local events

Local events are a great way to connect potential customers, the press and gain backlinks to your website. So, if something is happening in your neighborhood that you think might be relevant to your business, find ways to get involved.

6. Your team can be your greatest asset

A happy workforce is better for business. That’s why companies should strive to keep their employees engaged and motivated. The key is to hire the right people and provide ample training and competitive compensation. This leads to happier employees who feel connected to the business and will perform at higher levels, which means better retail experiences for consumers and increased sales.

7. Leverage social media

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for gaining visibility amongst your ideal audience while engaging existing customers. Have strong engagement on social media; you need to do the following:

  • Post content regularly, which creates value for the reader 
  • Consider running paid ads
  • Use social media to help communicate your brand essence
  • Include hashtags to make your content more searchable

4. Leverage video

When used correctly, video provides an excellent way to showcase your brand and products. Video content should be:

  • Relatable: Feature people who look like your target customers and make them as relevant to the audience as possible.
  • Have a clear call-to-action: Mention the CTA in your video, add a link in the description or embed the link directly into the content.
  • Please choose the proper format and platforms: Decide which platforms to publish your videos where your target audience is most likely to see them (e.g., Instagram, TikTok, Youtube…etc.). Ensure the video length and file format suit the channels you’re publishing to. 

5. Focus on email marketing

Email marketing can be a highly effective marketing activity if appropriately executed. To set yourself up for success, make sure you segment your audience customers from non-customers so you can send “first-time offers” or “win-back” campaigns. 

6. Run a referral campaign

Referral campaigns are a great way to stimulate word-of-mouth marketing. Again, you can determine what structure works best for your business, but essentially, the idea should be to provide an incentive for your happy customers to spread the word about your brand to their friends and family.

7. Loyalty program 

Slightly different from referral campaigns, loyalty programs reward existing customers for their continued patronage—for example, discounts on subsequent visits, free products, birthday discounts…etc. Up to 77% of shoppers participate in loyalty programs and help consumers choose where to spend their money, so having a program set up will keep your business competitive.

Conclusion

Without focusing on local marketing efforts and strategies, your business can miss out on customer growth and loyalty. Local marketing is ideal for any business because it focuses on targeted marketing campaigns in a specific area. These tactics can help create customer engagement and loyalty.

As consumer experts, Mobeo understands how important local retail business is for a community. Customers want to support their local stores. We help connect the two through digital ad localization, which results in increased traffic and sales.

Talk to us today about how we can help boost your digital footprint.