Is geolocation marketing the solution to save street retailers from closure?
As we enter the holiday season with its unavoidable shopping madness, it does not surprise me that more and more people turn to online shopping in order to avoid crowds, lines at the cashier, parking problems, out-of-stock items, etc. Let’s face it, even though we are propelled into the holiday mode from mid-October, it does not make it easier to gather the long list of presents that we have to buy. There is still too many of us frustrated & impatient as we have to go through this ordeal every year. I have not yet turned into the Grinch, however, unlike many girls that I know, I pretty much loath the whole shopping experience. I am excited to get new garments, however, the “getting it” stage does not excite me one bit!
Now that we have access to so many online shops, I am in heaven! I can do the shopping from the comfort of my own home (sometimes office) without too much pain. The variety of products available, the suggestions and constant promotions are significant incentives to purchase online. Recently, we have witnessed the alterego to “Black Friday” with “Cyber Monday”; It is no surprise that this behavioral trend is now a threat to storefront retailers. Just to name a couple, we have seen this year the closure of Jacob Stores and, soon to come, Smart Set. Retailers have to find solutions in order to stay in the game.
I think it is rather ironic that the threat could be as part of that solution. If we consider that virtual shopping poses a major problem, a “hair of the dog” cure might just be what the doctor ordered! Consider “mobile shopping” for a minute. Our smart phones have become the extension to our hands, and most of us couldn’t live without. They are our cell, mp3, entertainment console, social media hub, GPS and many more. I no longer have a use for my 2005 Christmas Present (Garmin), as I just use Google Maps from my beloved iPhone. With apps like Foursquare, we already get personalized recommendations of the best places to go from our current location. Wouldn’t be handy to get “e-coupons” as we just pass by our favorites restaurant & stores? The integration of mobile marketing strategies for specialty shops (especially fashion boutiques, bookstores and restaurants) could be a solution to reinvigorate some commercial avenues in decline.
According to Leger (The Research Intelligence Group), fifty-eight percent of Canadians are interested in receiving promotion and product notices as they are looking at a product in a brick and mortar store. Groupon has, in a reverse way, understood this tactic. They had the coupon idea first, then they match them to your location. With the Groupon App, you get to know what special offers are in your area.
Do you think this is the future? I would like to know where most of you will be shopping for your Christmas purchases this year, online or on-foot? Is using e-coupons a part of your shopping ritual?