When most people think about online advertising, they assume that it is used for e-commerce sales only. The fact is, however, that SmartPhones today are not just a way to shop online, but are also widely considered a personal ‘shopping assistant’ for those who are in brick and mortar stores as well. It has been shown that shoppers who use their smart phones have reduced buyers’ remorse, better expectations and faster transactions.
According to a recent post by AdWords about their Shopping Assistant features, 68% of shoppers surveyed said that they were happier with purchases they made in a store if they researched the product online first. 71% expect clerks to be able to find information faster thanks to smart phones.
Many major companies including Staples, Sears and others have seen significant increases in not only the total number of sales in their retail stores, but also in the average amount of each sale. This is made possible through a number of great features included with Google ads and other marketing efforts. You can see an example of what someone might see when shopping in a store (or preparing to shop) on their smart phones here:
With the obvious ability to increase local sales, Google Ads has recommended the following five things to any brick and mortar retail location, whether big or small:
- Local Inventory Ads – Promote your inventory to people who are searching for it locally. This can show people in your area who might be interested in shopping online that they can get the products faster by picking it up from your location.
- Store Information – You always want to list your physical store locations as well as your hours of operation and phone numbers whenever displaying online ads.
- Mobile Optimization – Digital advertising is only effective if it gives the user a good experience. Since so many people do shopping research on smart phones and tablets, it makes sense to ensure your site is optimized for mobile traffic.
- Customize for Local Information – If a customer is sharing location, you can customize your ads to help them. For example, you can display how far away they are from your store, or how long it will take to get there.
- Omni-Channel Approach – Combine efforts from mobile to retail locations to get the best results possible. Shoppers should have a seamless experience from the time they search for a product to the time they walk in your store and make a purchase.
For years people have been saying that the internet was slowly killing the brick and mortar stores, but the reality is, the Internet has the ability to increase sales and customer experience. Companies that properly harness the power of smart phones and digital advertising will quickly see that their brick and mortar stores can do better than ever.