Montana retail expert Connor McMahon takes questions on click-to-brick marketing strategies.
Q: What’s a big trend you are seeing pop up for retailers?
A: Omnichannel marketing or this click-to-brick concept. This is a fusion of online and brick-and-mortar shopping that leverages every channel available to the consumer, including social media, web, and mobile avenues, to maximize in-store and online sales.
Online shopping draws the consumer to the store or something in the store keeps the consumer engaged with online shopping. Omnichannel marketing revolves around the consumer experience, working to deliver a consistent experience both online, in the app, and in the store. For a long time we heard that online shopping was going to be the death of brick-and-mortar retail. However, it turns out that people really value a good store experience. Omnichannel helps bridge those two platforms where they no longer compete but one supports the other.
Q: What’s an example of omnichannel marketing?
A: There are a lot of retailers using this Omnichannel approach however one of the pioneers is Starbucks. Consumers use the app to augment their in store experience. You can send gift cards or make an order on your phone, and then use it to pay when you get to the store. They’ve even integrated Spotify playlists for each store, as well as seasonal games, into the app. The customer experience at Starbucks is all about personalization and the app takes that to a whole new level.
Q: Which Montana stores are practicing omnichannel marketing?
A: Apricot Lane Boutique in Missoula’s Southgate Mall does a good job with some pretty basic tools. They post “this or that” quizzes on the Instagram stories, which not only encourages customer engagement but also keeps the user interacting with their sales content for longer. And, while not solely a Montana store, Scheel’s
is another great omnichannel retailer. They have a broad digital marketing strategy, a slick online shopping platform, and Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store options work to sync up on the online and in-store experience. You’re also likely to see them sponsoring local youth sports and hosting events like free hockey skate sharpening or hunting expos.
Q: So, why should retailers think about using a click-to-brick strategy?
A: From the Amazon effect to the global pandemic, retailers have seen their fair share of challenges. Despite this, consumers have shown us that an in-store experience is still valuable. Exactly why Amazon is now rolling out book stores and grocery stores. Retailers that can use every tool at their disposal from old fashioned print ads or affiliate marketing to savvy mobile apps, appealing websites, and engaging social media and integrate all of them into one smooth customer experience will be much better off than those only utilizing maybe one or two avenues to reach the consumer.
Contact Connor McMahon for more info on buying, selling, and leasing retail properties in Montana. Or, get more info on Montana click-to-brick strategies.