5 Ways to Make Digital Shopping Tools Work for You

The shift from analog to digitally influenced shopping at brick-and-mortar stores is the most important change in shopper behavior that marketers need to act on today. Ryan Partnership surveyed over 8,000 consumers this year to find out which digital tools they use, and which are really driving impulse purchases, increased spending and choice of retailer. Ryan’s proprietary Impact Score uses that information to measure each tool’s influence on shopping behavior. The results provide guidance on the best ways for retailers to use digital tools this holiday season. Here are five of those tips:

1. Actively reach out to shoppers digitally. The tool with the single highest Impact Score is email. For those shoppers who use them (53 percent), emails from retailers aren’t a bother; they’re useful and motivate them to act. If you’ve invested in building an email list, this is the time to use it. The more you personalize the communications based on your knowledge of shopping patterns and preferences, the more effective your messages will be. Even if you know nothing but a consumer’s email address, make use of it to remind them of all you have to offer this holiday season.

2. Encourage shoppers to share. Forty-two percent of the shoppers Ryan surveyed said that product reviews and recommendations influence their choice of retailer. Encouraging shoppers to share their positive experience on your website, mobile app, social media pages, etc., will pay off in increased traffic. Consider awarding loyalty program points or discounts for sharing. Provide free Wi-Fi to enable tweeting and sharing on Facebook right from your store.

3. Make sure mobile is part of your mix. Tools such as mobile coupons and SMS tripled in usage between 2010 and 2012. Mobile marketing messages can reach shoppers both while they’re planning their trip and in-store. According to Prosper Mobile Insights, the No. 1 activity for mobile shoppers this holiday season will be comparing prices with another physical store, not checking online pricing. Communicate your key point of difference from your usual competitors, whether it’s low prices, better selection/service, etc., so shoppers can make an informed decision when they’re comparing prices.

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