With the recent happenings across the news spectrum, the global story of Amazon acquiring Whole Foods was a bombshell and we’d like to offer our take on what that means in the world of CPGs and mobile marketing. And who said Snapchat was just for millennials to goof around with? We’ll discuss the countless opportunities Snapchat has in the retail world and how some brands are already taking advantage. Finally, with many stating that omnichannel is the future of retail, traditional eCommerce giants like Amazon are taking note as they expand their business offline into physical stores nationwide.
“The physical store is where retailers can validate and strengthen their relationships with customers, communicate their brand value in a full way, and make the types of personal connections that can’t happen online.”
Tom McGee states that Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is validation of what has been evolving for years: online shopping sites and physical stores are converging to create a better offering for all shoppers. For too long, we were told that the growth of online purchasing was coming at the expense of physical retailers. The real story is that physical stores are just as valuable as ever, and that’s only becoming clearer in the digital age. This means that when we do actually set foot inside a store, it has to be with good reason. And as always, we expect Amazon to have some pretty cool things in store to entice us.
Our Take: The $750 billion grocery market is somewhere Amazon needs to be, both because it represents a tremendous growth opportunity and because it’s so high-touch. The average American family visits the grocery store twice a week, making supermarkets prime selling territory. Amazon has been testing the waters in brick-and-mortar operations over the past several years as it looks to increase its market share by being where its customers want in whatever form they want. While e-commerce has expanded at a higher rate than brick-and-mortar stores, in the world of fast moving consumer goods, physical retail locations still reign supreme.
“Across the board, retailers are starting to recognize this behavior and bring Snapchat into that shopping journey. We’re seeing more and more retailers geofencing their stores so customers can frame that moment while [they’re shopping].”
Lauryn Chamberlain speaks about how while organic content shares are always desirable, brands are attempting to leverage the existing behavior of Snapchat users while shopping to drive more store visits and sales. With these impressive figures, it’s simple to see why Snapchat is so important; 60 percent of Snapchatters create content every day, for a total of one billion daily snaps. As these users send images on to their friends, the brands featured receive not just exposure but implicit endorsement — something that’s quite powerful when it comes to activating the audiences of Gen-Zers and Millennials on the platform.
Our Take: For many, Snapchat is seen as just a millennial social media app which allows for sending and receiving of messages and photos that expire within seconds. Initially used to share selfies that were explicitly short-lived and self-deleting, Snapchat now has over 165 million daily users and have added features such as live video calls, featured stories from celebrities and news outlets, and the newly introduced Snap Map, a feature that broadcasts the user’s location on a map.
But with millions of users, the key for marketers is to leverage the location-specific component of geo-filters and lenses as one element of an event or campaign to drive foot traffic to the desired areas. And, as a bonus, every customer’s followers will then be able to take in the action on social media. In April 2017, Snapchat introduced a “Snap to Store” advertising tool that lets companies using geo-stickers to track whether users buy their product or visit their store in a 7-day period after seeing the relevant geo-sticker.
“Consumers want brands that are accessible — not in terms of affordability, but in terms of their character — and smaller brands provide that in spades.”
Brendan Wallace discusses that what many in the retail world once gleefully ignored was that e-commerce, especially on the scales of Amazon, can have a neutering effect on brands — often to consumer chagrin; and that physical retail will continue to be an important player in our personal lives and commercial decision-making long into the foreseeable future.
Our Take: The physical storefront and retail experience gives consumers an opportunity to connect with the product live. Mall owners and big-box retailers recognize this and are actively courting to expand their presence both online and in stores. As Amazon acquires Whole Foods, they aim to buy community, to buy intimacy, and to buy into a channel that not only complements its hallmark distribution, but also helps it crossover into clear consumer and branding trends. Simply put, brick-and-mortar retail is not dying, not even close, but the future of retail is in omnichannel which combines eCommerce with physical retail to bring customers the best of both worlds.