Today on the Shop.org blog, Ellen Davis talked to Terry Lundgren, the CEO of Macy’s department stores, and asked him what he will be talking about when he keynote’s Shop.org’s Annual Summit next month. Lundgren’s response was, perhaps not surprisingly: “the power of multichannel retailing–the convergence of stores and online.”
The fact is, multichannel retailing is hot right now. As eMarketer recently pointed out, Shop.org and Forrester Research have both reported that “multichannel retailers out-performed Web-only merchants in growing online sales, with 68% of multichannel retailers showing Web sales growth in Q1 2009 over the year before, versus only 39% of Web-only retailers.”
However, as eMarketer suggests in this article, the current performance surge may be due, in part at least, to a period of “catching up” during which tradional bricks-and-mortar retailers implement marketing strategies–such as segmentation and personalization–that some online pure plays have already begun to use. I know we are seeing accelerated interest in this area from bricks-and-mortar stores, driven in part by changing consumer demands. For example, I would go along with this observation by Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Multichannel Retailing: A Competitive Differentiator:
“Demanding consumers expect retailers to provide more convenience, flexibility and personalization by leveraging the synergies that come from multiple sales channels.”
I think the really exciting news for multichannel retailers is the potential to leverage location-based targeting, what I like to call geopersonalizing of content and messaging. For example, we are seeing good results from campaigns that geopersonalize messaging for site visitors who live or work near a retailer’s bricks-and-mortar premises. Conversion rates and average order values can both be lifted when the visitor is made aware of free in-store pickup of online orders and ease of in-store exchanges. This is “zero cost marketing” with no discounts required. As I see it, the question now is this: Which retailers will get on board with this technology and which will sit out the potential surge in revenue it can undoubtedly produce?
Want to talk more about this? Leave a comment or come see us in person. We will be at Shop.org Annual Summit 09 from September 21 to 23 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (hotel rates are still very reasonable). If you’re attending, please stop by Booth 547 and say “Hi” (after listening to Mr. Lundgren’s keynote, of course). We’d love to chat about multichannel marketing, about segmenting your traffic, or about the best places to eat in Vegas.
p.s. Shop.org retail members, remember to claim your company’s free pass to the Summit by August 14.