5 Brand Activation Tips For Retailers To Cross The Digital-Experiential Divide

1Luis Camano GrupoGallegosIn order to drive consumer actions in the moment, it is essential that brands pay attention to where consumers have been on their journey and where they’re going next, be it online or to the mall, and find creative ways to engage.

To quote Amanda Hansen’s article in Ad Age: “Brand activation that resonates with customers and achieves results calls for strategic planning that starts with ‘why.’ Why will your target audiences care? Why would they engage? Then focus on the how.”


Does Facebook Messenger Signal More Automated Customer Service Ahead?

While social media has become an important retail vehicle for marketing and consumer engagement, Facebook’s new API for Messenger brings a different twist to the concept of retail customer service. Rather than simply enabling one-on-one interactions, retailers can leverage these apps to produce live automated messages for consumers who are browsing e-Commerce sites on their mobile phones.

Newegg has already gotten in on the action, partnering with Facebook to add Messenger to its online customer service offerings. E-Commerce retailers Everlane and Zulily actually began testing with the app early in 2015, allowing shoppers to purchase products within interactions and receive periodic order status updates.


Rock/Creek Unites Digital And Store-Based Customer Tracking

Rock/Creek has a lot to gain from learning about its customers — particularly their plans for outdoor adventures. The retailer's most valuable shoppers are those who are about to "graduate"— set off on a backpacking trip across Europe, hike the length of the Pacific Coast Trail or scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Knowing exactly when these trekkers are prepping to leave allows Rock/Creek to supply them with everything they need to enjoy the trip (and hopefully survive to return and buy more products). The total "spend" from these customers easily can reach $5,000 to $6,000 per adventure, including items like specially designed shoes, GPS-enabled watches and emergency communicators.


Communities Influence The Next Wave Of Customer Engagement Strategies

As more retailers adopt content marketing strategies to differentiate themselves from the pack, they must not lose sight of the goal to connect with their consumer base — particularly those shoppers who already are "fans" of the brand. In fact, embracing the concept of “quality over quantity” can build strong communities, which can promote the brand even further.

Focusing on these top consumers — as opposed to taking time to concentrate on casual shoppers — enables retailers to gain a greater understanding of their highest spenders and, in turn, boost engagement. In building these robust relationships, retailers can create relatable content marketing programs that influence shoppers beyond their current community, and deliver a strong ROI.


#CCSeries Webinars Chart Roadmap To Retail's Future

In the fast-changing world of retail, the future is never very far away, and preparing for it is a full-time job. The Retail TouchPoints Connected Consumer Series, held March 14 to 17, featured nine webinars that provided attendees with a detailed, data-filled roadmap to a fast-arriving future.

Speakers from Accenture, RSR, EKN Research, Bronto, Aptos and other industry leaders shared actionable insights into such hot topics as:

• Personalization;

• Bringing Digital Convenience Into The Brick-And-Mortar Environment;

• Leveraging The Internet Of Things (IoT) in Real-World Retail; and

• Using New Tools To Engage With Connected, Time-Starved Consumers

Recaps of the sessions' highlights follow this complete list of the #CCSeries 2016 sessions, which are available on-demand:


REI #OptOutside Campaign Results Show Power Of Sincerity Plus Engagement

While REI’s decision to close its stores on Black Friday as part of its #OptOutside social campaign prompted debate on whether it was a smart business move, the retailer’s year-end results indicate that the campaign has certainly paid off.

REI reported a 9.3% increase in revenues and a 7% increase in comparable store sales in 2015, but its biggest accomplishment was a 23% uptick in digital sales.


Z Gallerie Asks Customers ‘What’s Your Style Personality?’

Home furniture and décor retailer Z Gallerie wants to find out the true “Style Personality” of each of its consumers in order to provide them with more personalized content. The campaign, which uses the kind of self-assessment quiz popular on many social media sites, has already generated:

  • 1.5 times more engagement via display ads featuring personalized product images;

  • 1.4 times more average order value for customers engaging with the Style Personality quiz; and

  • 100,000 customers signing up for Style Personalities, 40,000 of which are new customers.

As part of its overall strategy of appealing to a broader group of consumers, Z Gallerie created a Style Personality quiz that asks consumers about their shopping, fashion, design and decorating preferences. The retailer created five Style Personalities, aligning each one with tailored product assortments designed to appeal to a wide range of consumer aesthetics. The Personalities include:


St. Frock Achieves 480% Return on Social Spend With Ad Retargeting

When online fashion retailer St. Frock decided to double down on its social media strategy, it expanded on a plan to re-engage recent web site visitors and provide context to online promotions. In combing Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads with the Brand Networks social advertising platform, the retailer was able to build out a retargeting strategy that ultimately:

  • Boosted return on ad spend (ROAS) by 480%;

  • Lowered Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) by 70%; and

  • Helped the retailer generate $5.5 million in revenue in 2015.


No Review Is A Bad Review At PureFormulas

With as much as 65% of revenue coming from repeat customers, consumer satisfaction is vital to the PureFormulas online brand. While retailers often look for positive reviews to bolster their brand, they can even discover benefits from reviews that don’t speak as highly of the product experience. In the case of PureFormulas, the retailer uses all reviews to specifically address feedback in a timely manner.

With the implementation of consumer review platform Trustpilot, PureFormulas outsourced its review process to a third party, enabling the retailer to build additional transparency and trust with the consumer. Using Trustpilot, PureFormulas has been able to generate customer reviews that can:


Instagram Tops E-Commerce Engagement Despite Tiny Share Of Traffic

  • Published in Social

While social media sites only account for 6% of all web traffic diverted to e-Commerce business, Instagram manages to lead the pack when it comes to keeping these potential shoppers engaged with a retailer.

Users accessing an e-Commerce site via Instagram spend an average of 192.04 seconds on the site, marking the longest rate of any channel, according to research from Yotpo. After Instagram, the next longest set of services include:

  • Email (188.65 seconds);

  • Referrals (184.01)

  • Direct, or typing the hyperlink in the search bar (181.53); and

  • Search engines (164.20).

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