Turning Printed Circulars Into Digital Opportunities
For generations, retailers have relied on store circulars to give consumers special offers and to promote products in a way that moves inventory most efficiently.
These circulars aren’t going away anytime soon. According to a recent Nielsen report, “The Evolution
of Circulars: From Print to Digital,” retailers continue to invest more than half of their marketing budgets in circulars because consumers still use them to make purchase decisions – even before they enter the store.
Circulars reign as an effective marketing tool embedded in the consumer consciousness and shopping ritual. Nielsen research shows that the majority of shoppers, across generations, income segments and ethnic groups, still want access to paper circulars for the foreseeable future.
Nielsen predicts that this pattern is changing as more consumers gain access to mobile smartphone where offers can be delivered electronically. But the migration to electronic media is expected to be more gradual as retailers and consumers alike get more comfortable with digital media.
Interestingly, the influence of print media is still very high, even among the “millennial” generation as this chart shows.
But the added lift that retailers gain from circulars has been in gradual decline and there’s ample evidence that digital channels will continue to mature and consumers demand more offers that address their unique needs.
And you don’t need extensive reach to gain high leverage promotional opportunities. For example, while only 20 percent of store shoppers visit a grocery/drug retailer’s website, those that do spend 30 percent more when they shop at the store.
Where digital does it better
Nielsen identified six attributes for developing an edge in digital communication:
- Customized experience with a personalized interface and content that reflects specific consumer interests
- Consumer sharing, an essential social media aspect that includes sharing “likes” with friends, recipes, reviews, etc.
- High levels of engagement through location-aware features for researching and purchasing products
- Lower costs through effectively using search on Google and Yahoo!
- Specific offers tailored to specific purchase histories, demographic profiles, interests, and more
- Environmental sensitivity by eliminating waste and taking advantage of consumers’ desires to “go green.”
Using multiple digital pathways – including search, keywords, local, mobile, video, and more – will become more essential to enhancing the customer experience. And it’s likely to accelerate as technology and device adoption rates continue to climb.