We know that loyalty marketing is important to turn shoppers into repeat customers and brand advocates, but how can companies connect the dots between walking through a store and online shopping?
Maybe it’s my mutual love of shopping and social media, but recently I’ve begun noticing social cues in stores and around town, and thinking about new ways to complete the sales cycle and turn in-store shoppers into social advocates online.
At Adpearance, as a digital agency, we work with clients to increase organic traffic and first-time visitors, but also enhance brand awareness and turn consumers into repeat customers. Social media plays an important role in the online sales cycle, creating a personality for the company and keeping the brand top-of-mind for followers. It also provides engaging content and ongoing opportunities for customers to learn about new products or company initiatives. With the ability to track clicks, analyze conversions, and calculate the value of a ‘Like’ or ‘Share,’ the real difficulty with digital marketing can often lie in understanding what’s happening offline, when customers actually walk by a storefront or visit a brand’s location.
Social Media for Brick & Mortar
If you’re a brand with a physical location, as well as an online presence, it’s important to provide a consistent experience through both on- and offline marketing efforts, but how do you connect to your audiences and ensure that there are no missed opportunities online or in person?
Target provides one of the best examples for engaging consumers and providing a consistent experience in-stores and online. The brand has recently started incorporating Pinterest tags (in addition to calls to visit the website and QR codes) on popular items in stores. These tags not only let customers know if certain items have been popular online, but they also remind shoppers that Target is active on Pinterest, encouraging them to connect with the company, browse additional products, and view design ideas (filled with Target products) online.
If you’re in stores or online, and are interested in seeing more popular items on Pinterest, Target has also created a microsite called the Awesome Shop that updates daily to display popular and trending pins.
PROMOTE YOUR MOBILE APP
Target has also begun promoting their Cartwheel app in-stores and online. Whether you’re walking down the aisles or browsing digitally, Target does a great job of letting their shoppers know how and where to connect with them online.
Not only does this sync their on- and offline marketing, it also encourages shoppers to remain in the Target network, guaranteeing they’ll be exposed to new products and sales, as well as shopping and sharing opportunities.
If you’re not an e-commerce company, there are still opportunities to market your online communities and expand your local reach.
For example, Portland police cars now include their Twitter handle on the rear end of their vehicles, after a recent push by the Portland Police Bureau to expand their online engagement.
Numerous other local businesses have begun marketing their social channels on their storefront, in catalogs, and on print materials. Taking social integration one step further, restaurants such as Tilt are even including social handles in their menu.
Finding Everyday Inspiration
So what prompted this investigation into offline social media signals?
After a recent walk down Division Street, I looked up Anders Printing online after noticing social icons and a hashtag displayed on their windows, and scrolled through their various channels and Pinterest boards.
Although it was a Sunday afternoon and their store was closed, the inclusion of social media icons on their storefront windows allowed me (and I assume other curious passersby) to view their products online and familiarize myself with the brand. If that’s not a successful conversion between on- and offline, then I’m not sure what is.
What other social calls-to-action have you seen in stores and around town? Have any of these social cues caused you to look up a brand online?