Beginning in November, Macy’s will roll out a proximity-marketing platform that helps shoppers find the specific item they’re seeking — and will also offer recommendations about merchandise in their local Macy’s that they may not be aware of.
The program works with Google’s proximity marketing platform that taps into the marketing and sales possibilities of using GPS to give consumers promotional stimuli at times that it can be most impactful: while they’re either in or near retail outlets.
“We’re trying to encourage omni-shopping behaviors in consumers,” Jennifer Kasper, group VP-digital media and multicultural marketing at Macy’s, told Ad Age. “We know that we have great opportunity to build a longer, more loyal relationship with them if we are successful in communicating…and encouraging discovery.”
With this new feature, shoppers can search for an item on their phones and see exactly what Macy’s locations have it in stock. Along with images of the items, shoppers will be able to view product details like price, size and color, directions to the store, and a link to the item on the retailer’s website.
The program will also suggest other items in Macy’s stores on a customized basis.
“This is a great opportunity for us to shine a light on what’s in our stores,” Kasper says. “It’s getting more credit for the inventory that’s in our stores through digital.”
Macy’s has been testing the local inventory ads in various markets over the past year and so far, the results have been encouraging.
But while search-based mobile marketing does hit the consumer at a great time — while they are actively seeking products — this does not, by any means, eclipse the importance of other types of location-based brand campaigns.
There are ways to know if a customer is in-market for a product without them having to type it into a search engine. You can obtain rich consumer profiles and achieve very precise targeting for rich media brand campaigns that deliver on strong KPIs. And there’s no partnership required to do so.
Take, for instance, a rich media ad unit that dynamically populates the ad with products based on where the user is located. This product, called Shop Local, lets advertisers customize the design of the interface of that unit to match their ad branding, too. It’s a complete solution that allows both map and list display, sorting of entries by either price or popularity, dynamic feed of offerings per specific location and a swipe-able product gallery. It’s like a shopping experience – all within an ad unit.
Understanding the impact of these types of units is actually fairly easy, too. Through Shopper Insights — a reporting technology that analyzes billions of locations from the largest opt-in panel in the industry and measures the data signals shift to confirm in-store visits — it is possible to determine exactly how many unique visitors went to a retail location after seeing an ad. Retailers will also be able to understand the characteristics of their audience exposed to mobile ads, indexed against U.S. population.
And now is the time to be thinking more about the mobile opportunity for retail. With the holiday season fast approaching, shoppers are more likely than ever to turn to their mobile devices to view offers, comparison shop in-store and purchase goods and services.
According to the Ipsos Holiday Shopping Study, more than 75% of all smartphone owners will use their device for holiday shopping and that 1 out of every 4 will make a purchase on their phone.
Consumers are starting their research earlier than ever and retailers are expanding their Black Friday promotions across the entire month of November. What used to be a one-day special is now a month-long event, making location-based campaigns more important than ever.
Shoppers are also spending more time researching and consulting more sources before making a decision. In 2010, consumers used an average of five sources of information before making their purchase. That number has more than doubled, with shoppers consulting at least 12 sources last year. That means that October through November has become a pivotal window for retailers to reach their consumers, present them with offers, information and other valuable content.
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