AN INTERESTING CONCEPT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON: OFFLINE SHOPPING
Bed Bath & Beyond Introduces A Novel Idea
With the most chaotic shopping day of the year upon us, the business world is watching to see how brick and mortar stores will perform against the ever increasing allure of online shopping. Some marketing teams are taking a more proactive approach.
First, a reference point. Committed content creator and commercial connoisseur Catie brought this cheeky commercial to our attention a few weeks ago, and its relevance couldn’t be any more immediate. This spot from Bed Bath & Beyond introduces us to a novel idea this holiday season: offline shopping!
This cute and well-executed spot shows a (halfway) interested couple creating a registry where they can “touch the things before they register for them.” While the demeanor is comedic, it touches on a pain point many online shoppers research endlessly for a definitive answer.
As a person who buys things, it certainly strikes a chord for me. I’d be curious to see if the creative team who put together this ad cited this study by signs.com for the script. According to a poll of 1,000 American shoppers, 73% of them cited being able to “see and touch the product before I buy” as the main reason for shopping in-store.
Even though Amazon and Walmart have established the two-day delivery system, it isn’t quick enough for some consumers. Nearly that same amount (72%) said that the reason they shop in store is so they can have that product immediately.
So, it seems while online sales continue to rise year after year, it’s not necessarily taking the place of in-store purchases. A study I referenced in a recent article about Toys R Us’ resurgence shows online sales AND retail sales are on the rise. It’s also worth noting how little e-commerce makes up of overall consumer spending. Even as the percentages of e-commerce sales rise annually, so does the amount of total revenue for the retail side of things.
This should help ease the minds of shop owners who might fear a digital surge could cut into their revenue stream. If they were smart, they might follow Bed Bath & Beyond’s lead and work some of that messaging into their marketing efforts.
Reminding potential customers why they like coming in to the store in the first place seems like low-hanging fruit as far as messaging is concerned. As referenced in the Bed Bath & Beyond ad, we’ve probably all been burned when the thing we ordered online wasn’t quite the quality you expected it to be once you held it in your hands two days later. The message certainly resonated with me.
I think having messaging echoing the other top reasons people shopped in store instead of online would intrigue others potentially on the fence. Here were the top four:
Touch and feel items before making a purchase.
Being able to possess that item same-day.
Avoiding shipping costs.
Being able to first try on an item before buying.
Of course, there are other methods that stores use/could use to increase brick and mortar traffic. One of which will drum up quite a bit of business this Friday.
Many stores are already doing their own form of “offline shopping marketing” this week, whether or not it be consciously. As Black Friday looms near, we will see first hand (well, not me) one sure-fire way to get more customers in store: offer them a deal so good they will be willing to wait in line and fight crowds, but hopefully not people, for a chance to get it!