From Furniture World News
For many local businesses, the turnkey strategy for spreading the word about an upcoming holiday or seasonal promotion is through TV commercials or print ads in a local newspaper. However, these traditional forms of advertising and marketing are becoming prehistoric—especially to a generation of consumers that are almost exclusively on a mobile device. In a world of smartphones, tablets and laptops, the way local furniture retailers need to communicate with consumers has changed.
Online search, thanks to Google and other search engines, has revolutionized the path to purchase for today’s consumer. It’s crucial that furniture retailers create a noticeable footprint for themselves in the digital arena as more than 97 percent of consumers research a future purchase online before visiting a physical store (Donnelly & Scaff, 2013).
Although daunting, being found online does not need to be a one-man journey. Working with national product brands, who have co-op marketing dollars to offer, can help make the process more efficient and seamless. A robust digital marketing strategy will be imperative as local businesses try to capture the attention of local consumers.
Make Digital Marketing Count
Local businesses and retailers are presented with an array of challenges and opportunities in 2015. Consumers—one third of who are under the age of 35—are using the Internet more than ever to research future purchasing decisions. Take note; this is an important generational habit that is greatly influencing the path to purchase.
According to comScore, more than 90 percent of consumers are using online search as the first step in a purchasing decision—one of the 24 digital touch points the average consumer has on their way to making a purchase (Think with Google). As a local business considers how to drive traffic in store, the Internet is a key arena that a business should have a presence in.
Is there a payoff to having a website? Yes. IDC estimates that annual revenue for businesses with a website is more than $1.5 million when compared to those without a website. Building a presence online—for both desktop and mobile devices—is just one part of the digital marketing equation. As the shift in consumer habits trends towards mobile devices and electronics, a local business can be implementing things to target and address local consumers in their neighborhood.
Buddy up with National Product Brands
The fight for gaining visibility locally and regionally does not have to be a lonely journey. The national product brands local businesses work with set aside co-op marketing funds specifically to help a business enhance local marketing efforts.
Through these programs, a local business marketer can synchronize efforts on messaging, special promotions and campaigns – all of which can help drive foot traffic in store and ultimately, increase sales. This is particularly true around the holiday season when many brands host seasonal promotions.
One example of this is a Black Friday campaign America’s Mattress, a division of Serta, put on in collaboration with their retail partners and Netsertive, a digital marketing intelligence platform. America’s Mattress was able to drive traffic to campaign-specific landing pages on the local retailers’ websites through targeted campaign keywords that they knew consumers would be using in online search queries.
In just seven days, America’s Mattress’ holiday campaign advertising was seen 1.86 million times and resulted in just over 11,000 clicks. The website traffic was 448 percent higher for those seven days when compared to the previous year. The weekly website traffic was about 5.5 times higher than the average weekly website traffic and over 60 percent of website visits could be attributed to the campaign’s digital marketing efforts. Most importantly, sales at the participating local retailers increased by 8.7% between the months of November and December.
This campaign demonstrates the impact local digital marketing can have for both product brands and local retailers. The synchronized efforts at both the brand and local business level help establish a formidable marketing strategy that’s sure to compete with Big Box retailers.
In today’s mobile world, thinking digitally can result in impactful results for your business.