Go Digital or Go Home

GoDigital

YOU Technology discusses how to build shopper loyalty through digital offers.

By Cheryl Black, CEO of YOU Technology

More than 20 years after the Internet revolution, consumers have developed strong expectations for the ease and convenience it delivers. The most successful retailers navigated the Internet’s initial disruption by balancing the needs and realities of physical stores with growing consumer interest in digital experiences.

Over time, top retailers and new competitors met the challenge of evolving technologies and turned the disruption into a huge opportunity for themselves. The companies that didn’t are no longer with us or are shadows of their former selves. We see a similar challenge and opportunity in digital offers.

Very few people imagined the world of mobile as it exists today and no one can tell the future. But one thing is clear: The online world continues to evolve in unexpected and exciting ways. And so do the expectations of retail customers.

Take brand marketing in retail. Coupons, promotions and discounts are time-honored retail tools. The basic framework hasn’t evolved much since the invention of the shopping cart – or has it? Paper coupons still abound so they must be working, right?

Not exactly. More than half of consumers use a smartphone to find a coupon when they’re in a store, and more than three-quarters spend at least $10 more with each mobile coupon. The pace of digital adoption is skyrocketing. In January 2016, we reached three billion offers downloaded on our platform. By October, we passed four billion downloads. Just a few weeks later and 300 million more offers have been downloaded as consumers speed towards digital options that far surpass the paper world.

As with most Internet-related changes in business, the value is in the information. Integrated digital offers enhance the competitive stance of retailers through the basket-level transaction history they have been building for years. Who has better insights than retailers into the regular patterns of shoppers and their families who have built their lives in the community? Retailers can apply this knowledge to reward and support their loyal customers and attract and retain new customers.

Digital technologies and expertise let retailers reach shoppers when and where it makes the most sense in their lives. That helps to make customers and retailers happy at the same time. Based on our data, here are three key insights we’ve learned over the last 10 years at our integrated digital offers company, YOU Technology:

1.Ordering offers by their relevance to each shopper is an enormous advantage in attracting customers with what they want. We personalize about a dozen offers for our retailers to an audience of more than six million people each week. Shoppers love retailers who help them save money. Retailers who personalize offers see tremendous increases in conversion rates – a 101 percent increase in the offer redemption rate above non-targeted offers.

2. Emailing shoppers the best current offers for them is not only helpful, it’s also very motivating to your customer. Retailers powered by YOU Tech saw a 13 percent redemption rate last year instead of just 0.4 percent with paper coupons. Emails are also a great way to personalize content and build strong relationships with new and existing customers.

3. Including specific callouts for digital offers in your ads drives customers to your site. We see the highest traffic to our retail partners’ sites on the first day that coupons are live. Running digital offer promotions gives YOU Tech retailers a 3.4x lift in redemption volume compared to days that have no promotions. Show the customer that you anticipate their specific needs and they’ll be delighted.

By using these and other strategies, the retailers will find that digital couponing is dramatically different from paper couponing in a very important aspect. Instead of unloading vast amounts of paper coupons, retailers who use digital coupons with granular information, big data analytics and accumulated expertise develop trusting, loyal relationships with consumers who then become ongoing brand advocates.

So, what’s next as digital offers are adopted by more and more retailers? Get ready to see the emergence of better terms, measurements and KPIs that will improve and expand the industry’s best practices. We’ll also see more integration of technology and analysis across the shopper’s journey as our retailers take full advantage of emerging opportunities in new technology.

Paper coupons don’t provide any insights and only limited analytics. Digital offers can help you understand your shoppers and provide them with more relevant brand content to further enhance the retailer-shopper relationship.

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