Online Marketing Gets Help from Traditional Marketing

Your favorite online brands may be showing up in a store in a neighborhood near you. That’s right…

Digital and traditional meet…

In today’s digital world, many customers do most—if not all—of their purchasing on their favorite online sites. This might make it seem as though brick-and-mortar stores will be a thing of the past. Not true! In fact, a definite trend has taken place and is getting stronger: Brands that sell primarily over the Internet are supplementing their sales by establishing stores in a physical space.

Signs of the times—figurative and literal

As reported earlier in the year, the “manifestation” campaign—where mobile-sized Twitter posts were being copied and spread out across billboards for viewing by passerby—showed that digital and traditional advertising worked together (very well, it should be added). These signs made an impression.

The evolution of shopping, from traditional to digital…

In the early days of e-commerce, well-known brands set up their own online stores. This step was taken to help boost sales from brick-and-mortar venues as well as to be prepared for the future of how customers wanted to shop. And their predictions were right. Over time, customers grew to prefer making purchases online and having merchandise conveniently delivered to their homes. As mentioned above, however, the presence of an actual store where customers visit and shop and interact with members of the sales force is not over. 

What goes around comes around

In what may be an example of “coming full circle,” brick-and-mortar stores—which once upon a time developed an online presence to improve sales—are now becoming relied on by the more popular form of online shopping. How and why is this happening?

How traditional is helping digital

In a recent article for The New York Times, Ellen Rosen points out the reasons why stores with strong online visibility are opting to complement their digital presence with traditional physical locations: 

  • Some online brands want to maximize the effectiveness of an omnichannel strategy, where shoppers have the best of all worlds via desktop, mobile, and traditional in-store options.

  • Brands and businesses are establishing an in-store presence to offset the increased costs that can accompany digital advertising.

  • Updates to Apple’s operating system last year have made it difficult for marketers to send targeted ads to prospective customers. (With this in mind, and with Google’s promise to eliminate third-party targeting technologies by the end of next year, it will be interesting to see if even more online stores will open up parallel brick-and-mortar operations as a result.)

Brick-and-mortar presences will be there, but for the short-term

While some brands that mainly operate online are adapting and expanding to sell their products in physical stores, their presence in a particular location may be on a short-term basis. Ms. Rosen points out insights from Naveen Jaggi of commercial real estate company, JLL, who stated that in order to appeal to brands and businesses that want to rent space, landlords are becoming open to signing them to shorter lease terms. So, one favorite online brand might set up shop and place their familiar logo in the window of a storefront—but it may stay for a shorter period of time than the neighborhood supermarket around the block. And then, another brand will move in for a while. And so, the cycle continues…

Once again, the trends of marketing and advertising continue to change in ways we may never expect. If you own a business and are unsure about how to showcase your goods and services to the best advantage, give EGC a call. We provide a range of services that include digital marketing, creative, as well as consumer research and media planning and buying. Whether you want your presence to be seen online or in-store—or both—EGC can help.