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The digital shopping street |­ how do I reach my ideal consumer?

foto van Tom van der Woude
Tom van der Woude
Data Translator

April 8th, 2020

Shopping streets have become apocalyptic in recent weeks. Although retail in the Netherlands is not obliged to close its doors, many retailers have decided not to open the physical stores for the time being to respond to the call for social distancing. After all, everyone is advised to stay at home as much as possible, including the shoppers who normally wander the streets. As a result, purchasing behavior is shifting to the online channels. For many retailers, this means that they have to reach the consumer in other ways. That sign that normally appears on the facade and the nicely laid out shop windows that attract shoppers must be replaced by well-targeted campaigns. But how do you make sure that you also digitally get the right consumer into your store?

Strong branding, visibility and a deep understanding of customer profiles play a crucial role in ensuring that your digital channel also flourishes.

A strong brand connection

It often starts with a strong brand. A high brand value and a strong connection with your consumer usually lead to a higher loyalty and ensure that your customer easily switches between different sales channels. Loyal customers have a strong preference for your brand and will easily move from the shopping street to your web shop. For example, if you always do your shopping at Albert Heijn, there is a good chance that you will automatically switch to the online web shop to do your groceries there with the same ease. You probably don't even think about another supermarket as an alternative. When this loyalty is less high and customer retention is less obvious, it becomes all the more important to take action. After all, you will have to remain visible in order to continue to reach the consumer. This can be done in the first instance very easily by proactively informing your customer base - e.g. from your loyalty program - and perhaps making a personal offer in the web shop to make them aware of your online activities. But in the end, you also want to reach new customers, just like that casual passer-by who bought from you on a Sunday for 64.44 euros when the shop was still open.

Find your ideal customer profile

Of course, you also want to increase your digital reach and continue to attract new consumers. A successful digital strategy therefore starts with defining your ideal customer. The consumer you can really make happy, who will appreciate your brand and products and therefore generate turnover. By analyzing consumer data from both your offline and online channels, you gain insight into the buying behavior and loyalty of your consumers. By linking this data to, for example, demographic characteristics, you will quickly get a well-founded profile of your ideal consumer. If possible, add the surveyed customer satisfaction and you will have insight into which consumer (segments) you can offer the most value and effectively address in the digital shopping street.

Be visible and remain relevant

In the online environment, there is a lot of noise, distractions and competition from advertisers screaming for consumers' attention. Therefore, first of all make sure that you are visible to your consumer. Know where your customer is digitally located and make sure that you too are present in those places. If you continue to interact with each other regularly, the chance of being forgotten is the smallest! Just being present in the digital landscape is often not enough, and we can't say it often enough: to attract the consumer's attention, relevance is crucial. This can be achieved by thinking from the consumer's point of view and working in a very focused way, both in terms of content and timing. Many online campaigns are still focused on sending content, and the offer is based on the common sense of the marketer. This while there are many technologies available that can reinforce these strategies with analysis and predictions. By mapping needs based on transaction history and click behavior, among other things. Based on these predictions, a one-to-one approach can also be achieved online.

In order to be successful in the digital shopping street, intelligence is decisive. Gain insight into which consumer is most valuable to you, through which channels it can best be reached and understand what content the consumer needs. From here you will be able to set out a data driven strategy and reach your ideal customer in an online environment.