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How to Increase Big Box Sales Using Geo-Location Targeting

It’s an interesting time to be a big box store.

On the one hand, physical stores are closing; a record-breaking 6,700 retail stores closed in 2017 alone, according to Fung Global Retail and Technology. At the same time, consumers continue to shop offline despite the ease and lure of ecommerce. Research shows that 82% of millennial shoppers prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores. “It’s about the three- to five-mile concentric circle around a neighborhood; it’s convenience retail versus destination,” Jay Rollins, managing principal of private equity firm JCR Capital, said of the current retail landscape.

Those neighborhoods are everything when it comes to retail marketing. Retailers that can effectively connect with consumers while they’re actively shopping in physical stores can turn foot traffic into sales and establish a steady stream of loyal customers.

GroundTruth research shows there are a number of ways that big box retailers can maximize location targeting and improve their in-store sales.

Let’s take a closer look.

Promote a In-Store Sale or Promotion

When you’ve got a limited-time special or flash sale to promote, time is of the essence: The faster you can get customers to your store, the more product you’re likely to sell.

With potential customers already shopping in your neighborhood, driving them to your store is just a matter of finding them and delivering a marketing message that’s relevant to both their location and their immediate needs. It’s important to understand the areas that your shoppers visit on a regular basis. Using Location Audience Targeting, you can reach big box shoppers that have been observed visiting your store, along with those of your competitors.

Our Neighborhoods solution, which combines unique geographical boundaries with visitation patterns and audience segments, is another valuable tool for big box marketers. It will allow you to target shoppers with the highest affinity for your store, so you can raise awareness of your limited-time sale among the consumers who are most likely to buy.

Drive Awareness of Your Store Offerings

When you’re competing with both other physical stores and ecommerce sites, it’s wise to promote the offerings that set you apart and provide the most value to your customers. Whether those offerings take the form of in-store pickup, curbside pickup, a delivery service, or something entirely new, letting your customers know what you’ve got going on will help to drive foot traffic at the time when your offer is available to them, and even attract customers from competing stores. In this scenario, hyper specific audience targeting that is relevant to your location will yield the best results. Using our Location Audiences and Neighborhoods products are again the right choice.

Keep Your Customers — Even if Your Store is Closing

If you’re closing a physical location, you can use location targeting to spread awareness of your remaining locations, steer the customers from your closing store to those other locations, and protect your market share from opportunistic competitors.

You can find your competitors’ customers by using Location Audiences, and reach them using Neighborhoods in the location where your store is closing to encourage them to switch to your brand. Be sure to leverage GroundTruth’s industry-specific foot traffic data, too. For example, we know that foot traffic to big box stores peaks at 3 pm, and is highest on Saturdays. This information can help you create the most timely and relevant marketing strategy, and connect you with the largest audience possible.

Protect Your Market Share From New Entrants

It’s crucial that you retain your customers when a store is closing, but to maintain your market share it’s also vital that you defend your business against new industry players.

To do this, you’ll want to target new entrant businesses and reach nearby customers before and after they shop, along with during their excursions. If you can successfully reach customers during their shopping journey, you can reinforce their visit to your stores — a must for building long-term loyalty for your brand.

GroundTruth’s Location Audiences enables you to reach the customers that are cross-shopping at your stores and those of your competitors, as well as throughout the consumer journey. Neighborhoods, meanwhile, lets you reach those customers that have been to, or are likely to go to, the new entrant’s store, so you can redirect them to yours.

There are so many opportunities to improve your brand’s position in the current retail environment. For more strategies, data, and insights, contact us today.

Danika Wong
Director, Sales Marketing