Moving forward from an incredibly tough year on our families, communities and local businesses will necessitate focusing our efforts with empathy and practices rendering immediate tangible results. We must find new ways to rebuild in what remains a fluid situation with COVID-19 and work to help one-another, especially our local businesses which are the fabric of our communities.
While by no means will changing our marketing fix all of our businesses, a shift in our focus and methods will offer a new path forward. With that in mind, let’s first acknowledge that local context is now king. Simply put, good marketing practices never push people where we want to be but meet them where they are. Today, people are staying local and online more than ever, however, that means businesses will need transactional, cross-channel capabilities as in-store retail sales grow in 2021.
A Local Focus
According to Colliers International, while online retail sales jumped about 36% during the pandemic, they will decrease 8.5% in 2021 with a shift back towards in-store retail which is expected to grow.[i] This online-to-offline tug of war will also be played out locally and brands and retailers alike know it with Ad Age reporting marketing spend to increase year-over-year, to about $137.5 billon nationally with a revived focus on local advertising taking a greater slice.[ii]
Whether you’re a direct-to-consumer brand, service provider or retailer with multiple locations, you need to shift your market focus in 2021 and that means capitalizing on your local advantage and the overall dynamics and forces in the marketplace today.
In 2021, gaining brand or product awareness isn’t enough; businesses must bring shoppers into their local marketing funnels by meeting their interest’s half-way when they’re searching online for what you’re carrying offline near them. Today, more than ever, consumers understand why supporting their local businesses is crucial to our communities’ survival. Consequently, businesses that can provide the right products and services to these online local audiences in those “moments of truth” (when they’re searching) will not just survive but thrive in a marketplace that wants just that.
Whether you’re a brand who sells through brick-and-mortar partners or a multi-location retailer, you’ll need a local marketing partner with more advanced technology and services in 2021. Today, online presence management providers, like Yext, who tout their core listings and reviews management offerings as “the best way to get discovered online,” will struggle moving your business forward with those solutions alone.
Lastmile is the only technology company focused on transactional marketing for all your local businesses that will:
- Drive highly qualified traffic of “high-intent” shoppers directly to you
- Engage first with what the shopper wants, like available inventory you’re holding nearby them
- Provide compelling content, such as store-level promotions, that immediately extends your brand into product and category considerations
- Enable multichannel engagement features to bridge online-to-offline purchases (Buy Now, Reserve, BOPIS, Appointment Booking, AI Chat, Intelligent Q/A, Mapping / Directions, Call, etc.)
Does this comprehensive transactional marketing approach work for local businesses? We’ll let the results speak for themselves:
- 20,000+ Digital Storefronts and rapidly growing
- 10+ million daily in stock items under management
- Consistently over 20% of visits convert to leads and sales
- 10x conversion rate boost to e-commerce and BOPIS sales from our local marketing and microsites
Power Local Sales
Just having a basic online presence for your business isn’t enough in 2021 so don’t be fooled. Rather, your business deserves a partner who’s uncompromisingly focused on transactional marketing that’s proven to power local sales.
Only Lastmile offers next generation tech and cost-conscious models to fit multi-location retailers of all sizes while on-boarding all your locations in just a few weeks. We also work directly with brands who sell through brick-and-mortar partners, tying into inventory held through retail chains to power local sales.
In the end, 2021 cannot be a “business as usual” year where we employ the same technology and marketing playbooks and hope for better results. Rather, rebuilding our local businesses will necessitate leveraging new capabilities to create tangible results now so we can all get back to work and help economies speed recovery.
Learn more today so we can together rebuild, starting locally where your customers live.