Emerging Trend: “Showrooming”

Showrooming is when a consumer comes into your store to check out a product and then leaves, only to purchase the product on a website like Amazon. 35% of consumers who were surveyed in Q2 2012 admitted to doing this. And why shouldn’t they? In a tough economy, it is a prudent way to save money. But how can retailers stay ahead of the showrooming trend?

Easier options in-store. Amazon has one-click buying, which can be difficult to compete with. Focus on how to make purchasing easy for the customer. Some retailers are developing QR codes that consumers can scan in-store and purchase online (in case of stocking issues or undesirable lines).

Limited-time deals. Don’t wait until Black Friday to give your customers a good price. Offer flash sales and implement digital media to help get the word out (whether on your website or in your brick-and-mortar). Customers will be on their toes and are likely to purchase quickly if they think the deal will vanish soon.

In-store incentives. Have you noticed how Target has changed in recent years? They’ve traded stale popcorn for Starbucks and fresh grocery options. It is more pleasurable to shop there. Improving the quality of your store, along with a dynamite customer service, can encourage people to shop with you instead of at Amazon.

Headache-free shipping. Not everyone can ship for $2 or for free. But if you are selling products online, you can make sure your shipping is headache-free with easy returns (pre-printed labels) and no additional hoops to jump through.

Donating to a cause. Consumers might be willing to pay a small premium (and venture to your brick and mortar) if they are contributing to a good cause. Consider partnering with local charities and volunteering time or donating dollars on behalf of your business.

Continued Trend: Mobile Shopping

Mobile commerce is still on the rise. Keeping up to date with recent insights is paramount in developing a digital marketing strategy for the holidays. For example, mobile browsing is highest between 7-9pm, which consumers often describe as “me time.” Targeting mobile users at this time (display ads on sites your customers always visit, scheduling Facebook posts and tweets during this time, retargeting), especially with products they would buy for themselves, could lift sales.

via Flurry Analytics

Expected Trend: Explosive Development of Retail Apps

About 80% of mCommerce transactions happen in apps according to Andrew Lipsman, VP at comScore. Part of Amazon’s allure is that its app has easy check-out and gives you recommendations based on your purchases. If you are a larger retailer, consider implementing these things. Also recommended is the use of consumer reviews. If app development is not in your business’s immediate scope, improving your mobile site and mobile shopping is of the utmost importance.