Here's Why You Should Refresh Your Retail Marketing Strategy for Spring

With our broken New Year’s resolutions now in the past, springtime provides an opportunity for everyone to start anew. It also presents your brand with a chance to connect with your customers as they begin thinking about revitalizing their lives for the new season.

Studies show that 76% of Americans engage in household spring cleaning every year. Naturally, this activity goes hand in hand with buying cleaning products and home decor items. As they freshen up their homes, many consumers also refresh their wardrobes. Regardless of what they’re buying, though, GroundTruth research shows 67% of consumers prefer to shop in physical stores.

What this means is that making the most of location targeting can maximize your brand’s reach and boost in-store sales. As consumers embrace an “out with the old, in with the new” mindset, make sure you’re ready to offer them what they’re looking for.

Tidying Up for the Season

According to foot traffic trends, this year’s spring purge started early. Our data shows foot traffic to donation centers was 24% higher in January 2019 than every month in 2018 on average.

What sparked the spike? There’s a good chance it had something to do with Marie Kondo. Since the Japanese organizing consultant’s new Netflix series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” launched in January of this year, donation centers have been overrun with items as consumers work to declutter their homes. In the Tampa Bay area, Goodwill stores received an additional 5 million pounds of clothing, furniture, and other donations over the course of just one month.

As closet space begins to open up, shoppers inevitably hit the stores to rejuvenate their personal and home style with the latest spring trends. Based on our historical data, we predict foot traffic to department stores will gradually increase, hitting its first peak in March and its highest increase in May this year.

Among the behavioral audiences that shopped most last year were Children’s Store Shoppers, Moms, and Young Professionals. This isn’t surprising given spring also brings events like Easter and Mother’s Day, which warrant special purchases.

From the Great Outdoors to Discount Stores

In addition to these audience segments, our research suggests we’ll see increases in foot traffic to off-price retailers from Park Lovers and Fitness Enthusiasts. As they start thinking about the upcoming bathing suit season, warmer weather will inspire people to venture back outside for some exercise.

Although e-commerce has much to offer, our studies show the majority of customers still prefer an in-store shopping experience. Looking back at Spring 2018, Macy’s and Kohl’s took the largest share of foot traffic to department stores at 22% and 20% respectively. Ross Dress for Less received 32%, while TJ Maxx snagged a 31% share of foot traffic to off-price retailers during spring.

Do-It-Yourselfers Build Revenue

Last year, May foot traffic to home improvement stores was 27% above the yearly average. One potential explanation for this trend could be the weather. Forbes reports that bad weather at the beginning of 2018 “delayed spring garden and outdoor spending until Q2.” Not only is warmer weather conducive to home repairs and painting projects, but it also puts consumers in mind of backyard barbecues and what they might need for their homes before entertaining outside again.

According to our data, Home Depot captured the largest market share of foot traffic in Spring 2018 with 43%. Lowes was not far behind at 38% share. And while both businesses fulfill many of their customers’ orders online, there’s still a strong desire among consumers to shop in-store. Forbes notes that although Home Depot’s online traffic rose by 26% during Q2 2018, 47% of its online orders were picked up in stores. This behavior bodes well for retailers in this space since foot traffic from pick-up orders can drive impromptu sales of complementary items.

It’s clear there’s a huge opportunity to capture the high-intent DIY segment by reaching them at the right moments, especially through their mobile device.

Among the biggest home improvement shoppers last year were Recently Moved and Arts and Crafts Lovers location-based audiences. Big box stores also saw a bump in foot traffic during the do-it-yourself season, with foot traffic up more than 177% among the DIY behavioral audience. Couple this with the fact that almost a quarter of American consumers made home improvements over the last year and only 7% of them employed a professional, and it’s clear there’s a huge opportunity to capture the high-intent DIY segment by reaching them at the right moments, especially through their mobile device.

Spring into Sales

So how can your retail brand capitalize on the spring shopping trend? The answer lies with location targeting.

  • Location-Based Audiences. Inspire high-intent shoppers with data-driven behavioral analysis to ensure your brand connects with likely customers, thus increasing ad efficiency and engagement.
  • Weather Triggering. Connect with potential customers by leveraging GroundTruth’s dynamic creative offerings to deliver relevant messaging based on the environment around them.
  • Proximity. Reach audiences when they’re near key locations by offering spring-themed promotions and products. This strategy is sure to help them remember your brand and bring them to your door when they’re out shopping.

Learn more about all of our location-based targeting solutions here.

Evelyn Aguilera
Associate Director, Brand Strategy