According to a recent report published by Reuters, department store sales have declined by 17% since 2009, while e-commerce brands have more than doubled their share of the retail industry. If you're a housewares brand who relies on brick + mortar locations to engage with and sell to consumers, what does this mean for your business?
Don't become too discouraged yet. Even though e-commerce is taking more and more share of the retail market, it still accounts for a fraction of the total industry. However, smart housewares brands should recognize and embrace this trend of purchasing online by ramping up their content marketing strategy to attract, convert, and delight their shoppers.
Gain a Better Understanding of Your Consumers
Google's VP of Marketing, Lisa Gevelber, shares that search and social media, both strong components of content marketing, are
important indicators of intent. Understanding your consumers' thought processes from the moment they jump online to research until they purchase your product, allows you to better understand your consumers and tailor your products, services, and campaigns to better suit their needs. There has been a 37% increase in people searching for product information while shopping in department stores. Harnessing the power of search data like this, gives your housewares brand a major advantage. Gaining a better appreciation of what customers want and how they discover it is something that physical retail stores do not easily track. Web driven data, such as Google Analytics or Facebook Insights, provides a 360° look at the ins and outs of an entire consumer's lifestyle and the micro-moments that lead them to buy.
Unify Your Brand Voice
Building a strong content marketing strategy creates a unified voice across all of your digital and non-digital platforms. With 81% of consumers starting online to research a product, it is imperative that your brand has a pulse on the web, and the foundation of that begins with great content. It's important to drive marketing campaigns and initiatives across all your platforms in order to keep a strong, consistent voice to consumers. Some of these include:
- Blog Content
- Social Media
- Mobile Apps
- Website Content
- In-Store Advertising
Blending your content marketing that is done online with the traditional marketing that's taking place in the physical retail stores, ensures that you are speaking consistently to the consumer at every touchpoint, thus keeping top of mind awareness, increasing engagement, and converting more sales.
Connect with Shoppers
Content marketing should tell a story that inspires and educates consumers. Shoppers are moving away from the traditional promotional and sales driven in-store campaigns and are moving towards branding that speaks to their lifestyle and interests. Your content should be based around topics and channels that speak to your audience and captures their attention in the right moments. Think with Google shares that the most common I-want-to-buy moments where consumers are ready to put their dollars behind their decisions happens with shopping products, like housewares. Of those moments, 71% of consumers visit a retailer website or app. When shoppers visit your website, you need to make a connection with them in order to convert. Content marketing allows you to do just that.
Elevate your online marketing strategy to coincide with the shifting retail paradigm. It's important that your traditional and digital marketing strategies create a cohesive, interactive, and engaging message for shoppers.