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Takeaway: For many years, retailers believed that a vendor's social media activity did not drive in-store sales. At best, it built brand awareness. However now, data suggests social media DOES inspire in-store purchases. Specifically, with the influence peer networks have on pre-purchase behavior.
Your Action To Be Taken:
Send this study to your retail buyers to showcase your expertise and add value to your relationship. Include in your email a synopsis of what your brand is doing to help retailers "win", specifically how your social media is helping to drive traffic and purchases in their stores.
Ever since the dawn of online shopping and shoppers' ability to compare store prices on mobile phones, omnichannel has been a vital focus for brick and mortar retailers. For brands like yours, this meant having to reassure retailers you would manage your online channels to prevent "showrooming".
But now that we understand how consumers really purchase (which is, using online for product research, than buying in person), retailers are now revisiting the omnichannel concept.
For those who aren't familiar, omnichannel is about connecting different channels to give shoppers the ability to keep shopping, whether in-store, online, or on mobile. But a new report from Deloitte suggests that omnichannel may be an antiquated way of thinking. Instead, retailers need to adjust their mindset and start thinking of their business as one entity.
"In a world where nearly everyone is always online, there is no offline," the report reads. "So it is not about the digital business, it is just business. It’s not about eCommerce, it is simply commerce."
What does this means for you?
Your mastery of and investment in social media can directly drive in-store sales of your brand.
The report findings suggest that mobile is the beginning and end of the a shopper's purchase journey. Post-purchase for one shopper is a pre-purchase for another. For example, I return from the mall and post a picture on Instagram and Facebook to show off my new shoes. A follower sees the shoes, is inspired by them and maybe does a little more mobile research before deciding to buy that same style. Rinse and repeat.
So brands, lay off the channel-silo'd marketing tactics. Instead, integrate mobile with social media with online with in-store. For example, build a tribe by fostering relationships with your followers and then encourage them to interact and share. And make it easy for your tribe to find where to buy your products. This becomes increasingly important as people look to their peer networks for product inspiration.
So it is the end of the omnichannel world as we know it. We're ushering in a new era where mobile is king and no longer a separate tactic. Mobile is now an integrated part of your marketing plan.