The effects of the pandemic might continue into 2021 even after vaccination, based on a recent study. The study showed that around 40 percent of Americans might shop at the same level or less after being vaccinated. This shows that the retail industry still has a long way to go before it can go back to pre-pandemic levels in terms of revenue.
Despite this, retail stores can still connect with their customers online. The situation highlights the importance of digital marketing to make increase their online presence. This is particularly true with retail stores that created websites only after the pandemic started.
Here are some digital marketing strategies retail stores can implement to reach their target market and build a loyal customer base.
Prioritize Visitor Identification
With an increasing number of consumers resorting to buying online, retailers should identify visitors to their online stores. These visitors might be new or returning customers who purchased anonymously. While the fact that they returned is already a good thing for retailers, it’s still important to identify them through the accounts they create on the website.
Encouraging visitors to create an online account is imperative since it allows retailers to recover the revenue they used to earn in their brick-and-mortar stores. Creating an account entails putting in the email address of the visitor. An email address in the system allows the retailer to promote new products that interest the visitor.
Additionally, when the retailer identifies every visitor on the website, it can create a personalized profile for the visitor and increase customer engagement depending on the visitor’s information. It also gives retails a way to understand the behavior of the consumer. Understanding consumer behavior is essential for retailers to prepare for any changes in the market in the future.
Engage In-Store Customers Online
Before the pandemic, retailers had customers who purchased products in their brick-and-mortar locations. Some of these customers were regulars, while others only visited the store once in a while. Retailers can integrate any in-store information they gathered into their digital marketing campaigns.
Even as these campaigns can focus on regular customers, retailers should also reach out to customers who visited the store once in a while before the pandemic started. The campaign can introduce these customers to the convenience of online shopping.
An introduction might be necessary for customers who are not yet familiar with the concept of online shopping. It’s also essential to increase the store’s online presence and show its customers that it has a website where they can purchase items they used to buy in the physical location of the store. The retailer can also offer benefits to its loyal customers and inform them of any upcoming promotions.
Using offline information that the retailer obtained before the pandemic allows it to continue serving its loyal customers. It also allows retailers to connect with these customers in case they have new product offerings available.
For instance, the retailer can connect with the customers to check if they are interested in getting a double-layer neck gaiter online. The retailer can offer this product if they go out of the house in the middle of the pandemic.
Use Product Alerts
The pandemic also affected the inventory of retailers all over the world. Even though some had excess inventory following a demand reduction, others experienced the unavailability of items that remained popular during the pandemic. The second scenario is frustrating for retailers and consumers alike. Retailers should set up a system that allows them to inform customers when the products become available.
In this situation, retailers can integrate product alerts with their inventory system to inform their customers when the product they’re looking for becomes available. It can alert customers through email or push notifications on their mobile devices.
Additionally, retailers can also use it to inform customers of price reductions. It can also provide recommendations in case the product the customers are looking for isn’t available yet. This can continue engaging its customers while they’re still at the website.
Be Flexible with Media
When the pandemic started around a year ago, some companies shifted from print, television, and radio advertising to social media and digital advertising. With the unpredictability of the situation, retailers should focus on flexible media arrangements to make the necessary adjustments depending on the situation.
The ability to shift marketing focus allows retailers to stay in touch with their target market. For the moment, online advertising is ideal, but it can change once the majority of the population gets vaccinated.
Even as the retail industry bore the brunt of the pandemic, retailers can still recover by implementing digital marketing strategies to reach their target market.