In today’s socially driven, instant (eat cake/want cake too) society, shopping is a lot like dating. Consumers want the touch and feel of in-store shopping, but crave the instant savings and convenience of online shopping. Everyone has their type, but big retailers are struggling with finding that customer sweet spot between in-store personal experience and online love connections.
Though nearly 80% of consumers still prefer brick-and-mortar buying experiences, 72% of Millenials are first researching products online before they walk into stores to purchase. Smart advertisers are using hyperlocal marketing strategies to help retailers make more interpersonal connections for both in-store and online shopping.
Earlier this year, the Weather Company, which operates the Weather Channel and B2B division, WSI, announced it will be integrating its data with IBM Cloud services, creating opportunities for retailers to include updated forecasts into their messaging. For instance, Walgreens may use the forecast analytics to create a targeted ad with a clever message prompting you to go buy their B1G1 frizz-resistant hairspray because it’s raining outside and they know you’re driving past a physical location. Another brand like Walmart may send you a coupon for 20% off for snow boots because they know you’re a 25-year-old shoe shopper living in Denver that will purchase if offered an incentive. This is how big brand names can customize their messaging to create a hyperlocal shopping experience for consumers and fill the gap between online and in-store.
Hyperlocal marketing can also work well in conjunction with retail grand openings. For a brand that’s nationally recognized such as Party City, celebrating a grand opening may seem more about the big name than its local neighborhood. Using a hyperlocal approach like geo-fencing, marketers are able to set up a parameter around the new location and push out mobile announcements and invitations that entice the customer to attend; therefore, establishing a worldwide consumer relationship with a provincial feel, like Party City truly wants them there as one community.
Hyperlocal marketing, like speed dating for consumers, will help big brands make deeper connections with their customers and incentivize loyal partnerships for both in-store and online shoppers at rapid speed. Just think of it this way…your first date is always about getting to know the person, like you do when you step into a store for the first time, then follows the flirting. Pushing out targeted coupons and personal messages is a lot like courting a customer. Finally, there’s the monogamous relationship, where shoppers love a brand and stick with it.
Hyperlocal marketing strategies provide consumers with customized shopping for every type of buyer because they feel like they’re a part of the big picture experience at a localized level. This is forward thinking. Marketers should start transforming themselves into hyperfocused matchmakers, and in the end, put a ring on it.