While you might not think of digital marketing as the primary driver of bricks-and-mortar sales, it is a growing area of importance. While online shopping has created huge transparency in price and availability, brick-and-mortar shoppers are increasingly demanding a better experience, and they expect price retailers to evolve to meet that demand while still maintaining the appropriate margins. The evolution of brick-and-mortar networks will require greater cost control and a true multi-channel retail operation. The evolution of digital marketing will require a more sophisticated cost-control model and a truly integrated omnichannel strategy. In the process, experts stress the importance of data and insights, but data without a solid strategy does not equal a sustainable strategy.
Brick-and-mortar retail is facing a serious challenge. According to the National Retail Federation, as many as 7,567 stores have closed this year, and the final tally is expected to reach over 12,000 stores by the end of the year, the physical retail industry faces an even greater challenge. With consumers increasingly demanding personalized, real-time information about their favorite brands, brick-and-mortar retailers must develop new tools to remain competitive.
In the near future, customers will no longer choose between in-store and online shopping. They expect a seamless experience across both physical and digital channels. The digital channels that retail companies use can complement each other, enabling brick-and-mortar operations to act simultaneously as a showroom, warehouse, community hub, and online store. Digital channels will be critical for retailers to listen to their customers. In addition to enhancing in-store customer service, digital channels can help businesses increase their overall revenue.