Although global e-commerce is estimated to rise 20.7 percent in 2019 to US$3.535 trillion, it still only accounts for less than 15 percent of total retail sales worldwide . Most consumers would still want that in-store retail experience. While there are many digital tools to boost online sales these days, what about driving in-store traffic? The good news is, some of those same tools can bring people into your shop as well as help direct them to your website.
The most potent of these is an email marketing campaign. According to eMarketer , 80 percent of retail professionals say email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention – that is more effective than both organic search and social media. In Asia Pacific, email sales are almost equal to those sold through a company’s website (14.4 percent compared to 14.8 percent, respectively), according to Deloitte . So, how can you harness the incredible power of the email marketing campaign to drive footfall into your bricks-and-mortar stores?
No Limits: Why Email Campaigns Are Not Just for Online Sales
Because of their digital nature and convenience for customers, email marketing campaigns are commonly used to drive online sales, such as using online discounts and vouchers, remarketing advertising, sales reminders and new product launches. However, by focusing solely on online sales, you are only using half of an email campaign’s potential.
By delivering an email campaign with a voucher to use in-store, or an exclusive invite to an event in the store, you will be able to entice your customers to visit your physical stores, and offer them a more personalized retail experience, which could bring in more sales. This could be as simple as a pleasant exchange with customer service staff, seeing another product ‘in the flesh’ that they might like to buy, enjoying the facilities such as an in-store cafe or eatery, or having a dedicated personal shopper.
In-store retail experiences like these can help increase customer retention and return on investment (ROI), as well as make a real difference to your bottom line – according to PwC, companies that offer valued, great experiences can charge up to a 16 percent premium for their products and services compared to companies that do not. Bringing customers into the store in person is an obvious way to do that.
So how do you craft email campaigns that drive in-store traffic?
Appealing to Both In-Store and Online Customers
The trick is to treat in-store customers just as how you would treat online ones. That means utilizing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to crunch and unify data across all channels. These can be ones you own – like EDMs, content management system, your website and app – as well as external sources like third-party websites.
Using a capable data science platform driven such as AIXON , you can create a holistic, three-dimensional view of each customer including their habits and preferences, and then run AI models to predict their future behaviors. You can then target your marketing messages via email campaigns with pin-point accuracy to appeal to their likes.
This is a much more granular approach than traditional targeting. The traditional approach only takes into account customer demographics and geolocations, which put customers into very broad segments based on these basic metrics. AI-powered data science goes beyond this by analyzing customers’ internal and external behaviors and interests, and creates segments based thereon. That way you can appeal to what customers are actually interested in, instead of what you think they might like. It removes the guesswork, backing up each branch in the decision tree with hard data.
By tapping into this data-based enriched customer view, you can predict with a high degree of accuracy which items certain customers will be interested in seeing in-store, as well as which store is the most local and convenient for them to visit. The result? Hyper-personalized marketing messages that are highly likely to convert browsers into paying customers.
AI-powered data science is the new frontier for marketers. By exploiting its potential, you can create email marketing campaigns that simultaneously drive traffic both in-store and online, maximizing ROI and capitalizing on your in-store experiences.