The post-COVID consumer is still a mystery to marketers—there’s very little data on the just-emerging attitudes and behaviors of shoppers in the “new normal.” New research from geofencing marketing solutions firm Reveal Mobile is an early attempt to explore how digital marketers are getting customers back into retail stores as pandemic-related restrictions are being lifted across the U.S.
Because research on post-pandemic consumer trends is largely unprecedented, the firm’s new report, Let’s Go Shopping, provides a sneak peek into the strategies marketers are using to drive retail foot traffic and how they can augment strategies to earn more visits to brick and mortar stores. The report also shows how marketers are allocating ad budgets to get shoppers back to retail stores and which consumer segments are seeing a rise in foot traffic.
According to the report, 55 percent of marketers have increased their use of campaign data and analytics capabilities to weather the pandemic storm. Similarly, marketers are seeing the value of third-party data: 47 percent of those surveyed plan to use more third-party data in campaigns this year.
The report also reveals that paid social is the top channel used by marketers for driving in-store and online sales.
According to eMarketer, “the physical retail experience emerging in 2021 suggests that stores must still be able to adjust to rapidly changing conditions, and technology will be key to that flexibility.” eMarketer also predicts “brick-and-mortar retail sales will rebound from a 0.2 percent decline in 2020 to a 2.2 percent gain in 2021.”
With demand rising in nearly every consumer category, understanding how to get consumers in-store is more important now than ever. The NRF has forecast that 2021 retail sales—excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants—will grow between 6.5 percent and 8.2 percent over 2020 to between $4.33 trillion and $4.4 trillion. That could top 2020’s growth of 6.7 percent.
Using location-based marketing and geofencing marketing, marketers can directly tie ad views to store visits at the campaign level. This allows marketers to reliably and accurately attribute foot traffic conversions to paid media investments.