Digital Marketing: Digital Outreach Strong, Will Grow Stronger

While not everyone in the world of consumer packaged goods retailing has jumped on the digital bandwagon, a large number clearly have and intend to dig deeper here in the near future, according to the results from the latest exclusive Retail Leader survey. Nearly seven out of 10 retailers use digital means to deliver half or more of their outreach materials, broken down as 43.3 percent claiming equal parts print and digital, 20 percent claiming a ratio of 25 percent print and 75 percent digital, and 6.7 percent claiming 100 percent digital. These numbers are likely to increase, as a whopping 86.6 percent of respondents said they plan to grow digital outreach efforts over the next five years, while 6.7 percent said they don't and the same said they aren't sure.

Not surprisingly, websites are retailers' dominant method of digital outreach, with 75 percent of respondents saying they use their websites for consumer outreach. However, social media comes in a close second, with 68.8 percent of respondents saying they use social media to reach consumers. Third-party and house apps come in third and fourth place, not too far apart from each other, at 43.8 percent and 37.5 percent, respectively. Considering that a number of news sources are showing smartphones as being used more often by adults than computers, the market could see mobile apps becoming a more dominant method of consumer outreach, growing closer to websites and social media in terms of retailer usage.

Speaking of social media and mobile apps, of the 84.6 percent of respondents who use social media and/or mobile apps to reach consumers, Facebook, at 76.9 percent, dominates. Not surprisingly, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ follow in the double digits, at 53.8 percent, 38.5 percent and 23.1 percent, respectively. This order corresponds pretty well with the order of popularity, according to number of users, these apps have with Americans in general.

What kinds of coupons do you issue to consumers (print or digital)?
Do you offer click-and-collect service?
How would you describe current business conditions?
Where do you expect to see business conditions for the next six months?