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[REPORT]: How Brands And Retailers Can Leverage Digital Content to Power In-Store Sales

Altimeter Group

cofactorreportCofactor today released new research with Altimeter, a Prophet company, entitled From Web Traffic to Foot Traffic: How Brands and Retailers Can Leverage Digital Content to Power In-Store Sales. The in-depth report, which surveyed 500 brand and agency marketers, including interviews with marketing leaders from PepsiCo, McDonalds, The Home Depot and Staples, highlights how brands can harness the power of digital content and media to reach consumers and influence their in-store buying decisions.

The study’s most noteworthy findings indicate that personalized content and localized digital activation must be a priority for brands looking to create fluid cross-channel relevancy with consumers and influence in-store sales.

“Reports on the demise of brick-and-mortar stores aren’t just greatly exaggerated, they’re simply untrue,” said Rebecca Lieb, former Altimeter analyst and author of the study. “Despite the rise of the internet, e-commerce and Amazon, in-store purchases still account for 90 percent of customer transactions. No matter how digitally savvy the customer, walking into a physical store to purchase has been, and will continue to be, not just a significant part of the shopping experience, but by far the most important touch point.”

The study further reinforces the challenges and need for building a unified content plan. According to the study, 60% of CPG and retail marketers said they created digital messages to drive in-store purchases. However, only 37% of those companies said they had a strategy in place to provide a unified customer experience in the path from online information to in-store purchase.

“When it comes to marrying online with offline efforts, technology is not a driver, but it is critical in making it happen,” said Alison Corcoran, SVP marketing North American stores and online, Staples. “What is essential are people who are focused on customer experience, and are strong advocates for making it happen across all areas, whether it’s in-store, e-commerce or digital marketing.”

“How brands plan and execute communications across an ever-expanding list of disconnected messages delivered through uncoordinated channels is still a challenge,” said Jeff Fagel, CMO, Cofactor. “Where before marketers always had to choose between promoting the brand or making a sale; today’s success necessitates marketer’s ability to eliminate the either/or proposition all together and bridge the digital content divide.”

Additional key findings from the report include:

  • The number of relevant and emerging digital channels will continue to increase. Instagram ads received the highest percentage increase -- from importance now vs. importance two years from now -- with a 19 percent increase in expected usage two years from now, ranking it in line with mobile search and just behind Twitter ads in perceived importance.
  • ‘Relevancy’ flexes more muscle than sales. When asked about a range of personalized and local content and communication types, ‘more relevant for consumers’ (74%) ranked ahead of ‘drives in-store traffic’ (68 percent) in benefitting customers.
  • Mobile maturity is still a work in progress. Only 51 percent of marketers feel that they have a mobile strategy that helps customers bridge the online to offline shopping experience.
  • Prioritizing local marketing is problematic. When asked about the challenges that hold marketers back from investment in personalization and local marketing, 56 percent of marketers cited ‘lack of budget’ with 54 percent citing ‘not a priority right now.’

DOWNLOAD the free report now (registration required)