What Brings Shoppers to Stores – And Keeps Them Coming Back?

ksm-most-influential-channels-driving-in-store-visits-dec2016Surprise! Not only is TV advertising an effective way of driving consumers into stores, but it’s also a top factor for Millennials, according to research from Kelly Scott Madison (KSM) [pdf]. Based on a survey of more than 1,000 US adults, KSM found 30% of US adults stating that TV ads are extremely or very influential in encouraging them to shop in stores rather than online. That trailed only store circular ads (40%) and email ads/coupons (37%).

With the exception of email promotions (which do wield strong influence on consumers’ purchase decisions), the KSM survey found that digital marketing initiatives generally trailed traditional advertising in consumers’ perceptions. For example, direct mail ads (26%) and print ads (24%) were each considered more influential than social media posts and ads (15%), online video ads (14%) and mobile alerts (14%). Other research has similarly found consumers more likely to report influence from print ads than social campaigns, though that study also had print ads topping email in influence.

The KSM report also draws attention to Millennials’ responses, which could be considered “myth-busting.” Indeed, beyond email, TV ads and exterior store signage (each at 35%) were the next-leading influencers according to Millennials, with store circulars and direct mail rounding out the top 5.

When looking into visiting a particular store, the most helpful information for shoppers are prices of items (83% citing as extremely or very helpful), availability / in-stock inventory (78%) and store location details (73%). Respondents, by comparison, factor in less value in knowing busy times of the day (41%), getting personalized product recommendations (29%) and seeing photos of the store (27%).

Finally – and not too surprisingly – getting shoppers back to stores depends more on offers (sure to be a few this holiday season!) and rewards than on technological innovations. Indeed, the elements most likely to keep a shopper coming back to a brick-and-mortar store regularly are exclusive in-store sales, discounts and coupons and exclusive rewards for shopping in-store or loyalty programs.

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About the Data: The KSM findings are based on a survey conducted among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,011 adults, comprising 503 men and 508 women. Completed interviews are weighted by five variables: age, sex, geographic region, race and education, to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population 18 years of age and older.