It’s somewhat ironic that as the economic model for brick and mortar retailers continues to sour, 71% of consumers would prefer to shop in an Amazon store over its dot.com cousin, citing the desire to “touch and feel “products prior to purchase. Given how impactful the in-store experience remains in the customer journey, how can forward thinking retailers halt this downward slide to extinction?
Storefront as Media Publisher: Attributing Monetary Value to In-Store Customer Behavior
The first step for retailers is to move beyond storefront as simply a product distribution outlet and reimagine its purpose as more akin to a media publishing platform. This change in perspective allows them to focus on a new matrix of success, which places a monetary value on the actions that affect conversion both in and outside of their store.
To better understand, consider the following scenario: A shopper enters Bloomingdales intent on a Burberry handbag. Passing a Rebecca Minkoff display, they stop and are introduced to a new line. A sales associate approaches and answers a few questions. Later, still in-store, the shopper goes to rebeccaminkoff.com to explore greater selections; opting into the brand’s newsletter and social feeds, perhaps adding the handbag to a shopping cart. Leaving Bloomingdales without making a purchase, that evening the shopper returns to Minkoff online and completes the purchase of that very same handbag. Clearly, Bloomingdales should participate in that sale. But how?
By attributing new value to the in-store shopper experience, Retailers can spark a paradigm shift that will give them the opportunity to financially benefit from any transaction, across any channel, in which they influence.
Cost Per Action: Calculating the engagement premium and downstream “score card”
Housing a myriad of products, brands, and channels and keeping in mind that the value of an in-store “touch and experience” impression is greater than that of any ad or marketing message, retailers must begin to create the benchmarks for administering an in-store Cost Per Action (CPA) model. Calculating metrics of impact should mirror accepted web-based KPIs such as unique visits, page and product views, and engagement, but in this case, the in-store CPA model would assign a value to store visits, sales associate interactions and in-store user flow.
Referring again to the above example, Bloomingdales would designate a price per action, billing against a pre-defined budget set by Minkoff until it has expired. Additionally, similar to Paid Search today, Bloomingdales could impose additional premiums on placement in high traffic sections of the store, with payment being made in real-time or 30/60/90 windows that mimic cookie windows in digital marketing today.
By quantifying the experience they deliver and the subsequent downstream sales they influence, Brick & Mortar Retailers have an opportunity to transform their locations into OmniPresent hubs that provide multiple revenue streams and channels of fulfillment.