Between the popularity of mobile platforms like Instagram and the increasing availability of WiFi in public spaces, a unique blend of technology and advertising has created endless opportunities for retailers. As a result, marketers should implement innovative, and somewhat discrete, digital strategies that serve multiple ads to customers across devices. This will inspire customers to visit marketers’ brick-and-mortar stores—an experience online shopping simply cannot replace.

“It’s an exciting time to be an e-commerce marketer. New technologies have made reaching shoppers with personalized creative easier and more profitable than ever. E-commerce marketers can now focus on partnering with strong vendors that have proprietary technology, specific retail expertise, and incentive alignment. When working with AdRoll, you can be confident that there’s an amazing team of account executives, data scientists and engineers driving your performance to the next level.” -Zack Swartz, head of industry, retail, AdRoll.

With all of this in mind, we’ve identified three key challenges modern day retailers face and how to overcome them.

1.) Embracing Multi-Device Lifestyles

We live in a world dominated by screens. From work computers to smartphones, and even iPads. In fact, 67% of consumers move between devices when shopping online, with smartphones accounting for 81% of spontaneous purchases.  

As a result, retailers have to embrace the various mediums customers are using to access their sites. Luckily for AdRoll clients, our platform is made to maximize performance and drive results across channels—regardless of customers’ devices. We help build campaigns that run higher in the sales funnel to properly align vendor and advertiser, bringing increased revenue.

COO and head of finance at Beyond Yoga, Jesse Adams, stresses how important it is for marketers to “[engage] customers with the right ads across platforms and devices.” Jesse and his team invested heavily in proven cross-device mobile retargeting. They were also early adopters of new products and integrations such as AdRoll for Instagram. You can find statics on their results and other retail customers in our customer success book, Ads That Win.

2.) Intelligent Customers = More Work

Shoppers are smart. They recognize ads when they see them. As a result, shoppers need up to 8 touch points before converting.

The path to closing a lead is far from straightforward. Necessary information like personal data, customer needs, and costs are all key factors in determining the quality of a lead. Yet, most of this information comes about only after multiple touches. As a result, every touchpoint with a prospective customer must be strategic, accurate and timely, making them as valuable as possible.

To combat these complications, AdRoll aims to strategically serve touch points at each stage in the purchasing funnel. This makes it that much more likely that prospective customers will convert—a primary use case for successful retailers like Benefit Cosmetics. Similarly, Velasca, an e-commerce retailer, uses AdRoll’s email retargeting product SendRoll to deliver the right message at the right time to each section of the sales funnel, drawing further customer engagement and conversions.

3.) Funneling Digital Leads to Brick-and-Mortar Locales

E-commerce has reinvented consumer spending habits. Instead of wandering from store to store at a local mall, customers are starting their shopping online and later deciding if a store merits a visit. In fact, retail giant Target recently discovered that three-fourths of their customers began their shopping journey on mobile devices—not in stores.

For example, I recently called my favorite retailer to ask when their semi-annual sale began and the attendant advised me to go online. They encouraged me to browse their site, find everything I’m interested in, and come into the store to purchase. Convenient for me? Absolutely. Strategic for the retailer? Probably not…Digital marketers should focus on strategically and creatively bringing shoppers inside their stores and not limit sales to online shops.

Seth Weisblatt of Sam’s Furniture had experienced similar problems when online furniture retailers like Wayfair become the norm. Seth uses AdRoll retargeting to keep customers returning to his site by implementing loyalty programs that bring them in store. This enables customers to develop a genuine relationship with the brand. For more insights on Seth’s solution, check out his Customer Corner Q&A here.

While digital marketing proves to make retail marketers’ lives easier in many ways, it’s evident that despite its evolution, various challenges still arise. Having a reliable, flexible, and adaptable advertising solution in place is crucial to combating these challenges and surviving in the competitive retail industry.

What solutions do you have in place to combat these three digital challenges? How are other companies in your industry addressing these issues?

For more inspiration, take a look at our Customer Success book, Ads That Win, and contact us.