WHEN FRICTION RUBS RETAILERS THE WRONG WAY

Photo of Adam Herman
Date: 2017-08-02 00:00:47
By: Adam Herman
Date: 2017-08-02 00:00:47

If you could boil down marketing to its core, it is the process of making the purchase experience as frictionless as possible. There are three legs to this stool: make your product and brand easy to remember, clearly explain the value, and provide the simplest path for the product to be found and sold when the consumer needs it most. Then to grow, continually repeat these steps with both new and current customers. Unfortunately, marketers add friction or fail to deliver on at least one of these legs, and then wonder why sales lag.

The first two legs – building memorability and value – center on positioning and Brandtailing and when marketed creatively will enable consumers to know about, see the need, and have desire to buy your product. While those parts are critical for success, I want focus on the third leg, the importance of Omni-channel environments to drives sales.

Today brands are obsessed with forcing consumers down the purchase path they want to maximize, predominately eCommerce, often creating needless friction for consumers who want choice and to do things on their terms. While eCommerce represents an ever-growing mix of sales, and is the future for so many brands, brick and mortar is still very much alive and kicking because of the unique experiences it offers. A recent study, “Mood: The State of Brick & Mortar 2017,” shows the top reasons why consumers value the in-store shopping experience:

• 72% cite the ability to touch, feel and try products
• 66% say the convenience of getting it instantly
• 48% cite the ability to browse and discover new things

It is these reasons, among many others, that eCommerce brands, such as Amazon, are making huge bets on Brick and Mortar to give consumers Omni-channel choice and reduce friction on how, when and where they want to make a purchase. It is not about favoring one channel over another, but recognizing that the consumer journey isn’t a straight line, but a meandering pathway with many stops along way. And the friction caused at each stop during – online search, online browsing, in-store shopping, curbside pickup, finding sizes in stock, redeeming digital coupons, customer service calls, etc. – is often the difference in completing a transaction or a competitor getting the sale.

Integrated messaging and media, especially when activated in digital and mobile, can play an integral role in reducing friction and enhancing the in-store and online purchase journey by:

• Providing product information, pricing, reviews, social engagement, and a transaction channel at every step
• Sending hyper-targeted, value-driven messaging to consumers at each stop along the path when they are showing buy-sign triggers
• Using paid, owned and earned media to reinforce the first two legs – reasons to buy at every step
• Conquesting to remind consumers of all the friction the competition has in its purchase journey

There are already so many bumps along the road to purchase. We can show you how to best use integrated messaging and media to give consumers a more frictionless shopping experience and, in the process, turn you into one smooth operator.

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