Why Digital Marketers Need To Focus On Physical Retail To Stay Relevant

E-commerce has been seeing incredible growth over the past few years. So well, in fact, that U.S. companies will nearly double their spending on E-commerce by 2019, according to Forrester’s US Commerce Platform Technology And Services Forecast report. Some Venture Capitalists have even made predictions that retail stores will completely die off, arguing that e-commerce will become so compelling and retail stores will become too costly.

Digital Marketers have mastered e-commerce and have developed strong frameworks and processes to drive efficiency and effectiveness online. Even as the future of the retail store is ever-changing, there are still many opportunities to grow out both online and offline revenue over the next five years. As more technology creates a digital layer in retail stores, the next wave of marketers should focus on the physical store and bring their online strategies to the physical retail world.

E-Commerce Growth is A Sliver Of The Bigger Opportunity In Physical Retail

Online marketers have tons of data on their customers and have a clear strategy of what they need to do in order to acquire and retain them. But shoppers aren’t only online; they are researching online before, during, and after they are in the physical store, and up to 90% of their purchases still take place there. By embedding retailers in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar locations, marketers have more control over the journey, you engage shoppers on your own terms, and you have the opportunity to push relevant content and improve the customer experience.

Physical engagement metrics in retail can also provide deeper, more human-level data on shoppers, which can, and should, influence how e-commerce attracts and retains shoppers. If online brands can tap into how shoppers physically engage with products in the store, they could use that insight to modify how their online shops interact with them.

Adoption of In-Store Tech Will Allow for Better Omnichannel Attribution

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 9.59.57 AMIn-Store Remarketing is paving the way for marketers to understand the real value of their customer’s shopping journey. As customer adoption of in-store technology grows, it will become easier for retailers to capture the value of shoppers in-store and connect the dots in the customer journey. This understanding makes it easier to continue the conversation online post-visit and create more personal experiences for the shopper.

Many of the digital experience metrics we know and love have direct in-store engagement corollaries: unique visits to your site are equal to new shoppers in your store, dwell time is equal to time spent in the store, online conversions are equal to in-store conversions. These physical metrics provide a fuller, more complex and data-rich shopper profile.

These Omnichannel Leaders Will Be Future Retail Executives

The people who go beyond preaching about omnichannel strategy and get their hands dirty will be the people that go on to become the retail leaders of tomorrow. While Macy’s omnichannel leaders might have come from a retail store background, we would make a prediction that the physical retail world is going to look a lot more digital over the next five to ten years. With that said, online marketers who have an appetite for data and analytics and can map out the correct digital to physical metrics will be the ones who drive retail strategy for the years ahead.