At this point, there’s no hiding it.

Shopping. Is. Changing.

And with Amazon’s small (uh-hem!) purchase this summer, that pedal is to the metal.

Wait though.

Yes, in some cases online shopping is easier, sometimes quicker, possibly cheaper.

Yet there are many millennial change-makers who still enjoy a physical experience. Who still want to get the feels during a seemingly mundane shopping trip. A laugh, quizzical interest, a slight tug at the heart string.

Whatever it is your brand is trying to do, make it happen.

A Retail Connection

This connection is possible, if you do it right.

That’s right, even in a store. Or rather, especially in a store! Even with 89% of people webrooming — researching products online — 73% still purchase in a retail store.

The fact of the matter is — don’t just give up on in-store retail because of the rise in e-commerce. If you’re succeeding in bringing a shopper to a store, make it worth it!

First: What not to do

  • Don’t try throwing today’s greatest athlete or top-rated TV star on the display. Nope. Only 3% of today’s consumers trust these guys.
  • Don’t just duplicate your package graphics and call it a day. Build your brand, make a strategic decision on what visual message to focus on. Copy-then-paste doesn’t work.
  • Flashy offers might work. But show, don’t tell. A shopper in a retail environment needs visual rest. Add your yelling to the chaos of the store and you’re sure to be deselected.

Ok. So how, you ask?

  • Shift your ad-thinking — the big-ideas, the head-turners — to the store. The chances of your commercial running, grabbing attention and hitting someone in a moment of purchase — near impossible. Doing this in the store, bingo! But don’t disregard logistics.
  • Apply visceral, sensory design. Understand key human truths — the WHY — driving your brand idea and work hard to bring those to life in-store, simply.
  • Integrate early. Display and merchandising should be as important as every tactic you’re considering as you build your go-to-market plan. If a big idea doesn’t have legs in retail, start over.

I’ll leave you with this

From 2012 to 2016, “58% of consumer packaged goods categories [saw] reduced [retail] promotion impact.” The commentator in this article in AdAge, The Big Agenda, echoes my point.

The reasons for this decline aren’t quite clear but there’s one thing that is, “brands [are] running the same promotions year after year and expecting consumers not to get bored.

We need a new approach to promotion.” New ideas. New tactics. Unique experiences.

Amen sister, we hear you.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared on Medium and is reposted here with the author’s permission.