The restrictive nature by which everyone has been forced to live during the course of the past twelve months or so is, at least temporarily, changing the way we do things. For retailers, the repercussions have been monumental. Increased concerns related to health and safety combined with the ease and convenience offered by the online shopping experience has resulted in a massive spike in ecommerce sales and activity across the country. It’s also spawned a consumer who is more channel agnostic than ever before and who views the multitude of purchasing options at their disposal as one big marketplace. Retailers have responded through an acceleration of their digital strategies in efforts to meet this shift in preferences. It’s provided many within the industry with a massive task, challenging their agility, innovation and acumen. However, according to Matt Crowell, Founder and CEO of GetintheLoop, the current retail landscape is also presenting businesses with even bigger opportunities to create truly seamless omnichannel experiences, bridging the gaps between the online and physical worlds, and engaging local customers who want to shop with them.
“The pandemic has certainly impacted the retail experience and the way merchants across the country operate,” he recognizes. “That impact has been most obvious in the recent explosion of ecommerce. But with this increased and sustained activity comes new and increased customer expectations and demand. People want to shop with their favourite brands, whenever and wherever they want, whether in person, on their computer, or mobile phone. And, given the uncertainty of our current situation, proximity has also been an increasingly important factor in the purchase decisions being made by customers today. It’s resulted in providing retailers with a strong incentive to digitize their operations and connect with their local communities in order to drive awareness, engagement, traffic and sales.”
Cost-Effective Digital Solution
To help Canadian business owners achieve this outcome, GetintheLoop offers a cost-effective tool that complements their digital offering and supports their marketing and communications goals. The app, which is available for users to download via the App Store and Google Play, serves as a digital marketing platform for businesses, helping merchants tap into a flourishing local community, providing them with a highly-effective means by which to publish meaningful digital content and enticing offers. It helps facilitate connections for them, providing consumers with ever-expanding ways to explore, discover, and shop within their local communities, offering incentives and rewards via special promotions. Working with businesses in every province across the country since 2013, GetintheLoop has quickly become one of the leading offers platforms in Canada. And, according to Crowell, much of the tech company’s success is down to the simplicity of the innovation and ease of use by all parties.
“It’s really about leveraging technology to connect brands with customers while making the shopping experience fun and rewarding,” he says. “Because the platform allows businesses to provide real-time mobile offers and information to smartphones, email and web, they’re able to keep their customers engaged and up-to-date concerning store hours, new or changed service, as well as details about delivery and curbside pickup options. It could be described as a way of placing an entire local merchant community in the hands of the consumer, seamlessly connecting the online and offline experiences and enhancing a retailer’s omnichannel offering.”
Performance and Results
As an example of the power and influence of the GetintheLoop mobile marketing platform, the company partnered with Shopping centre developer, Cushman & Wakefield, in the summer of 2020, providing its technology to 1,500 retailers operating in 21 malls across the country. Results were impressive, seeing the activation of 60 percent of mall merchants within the first three months and significant growth for Cushman & Wakefield whose portfolio of tenants reached more than 20 million Canadians during the fourth quarter of 2020. Molly Westbrook, Executive Managing Director Asset Services at Cushman & Wakefield, recognizes the success of the partnership
“We have experienced very positive results in each of the centres where we leveraged GetintheLoop’s technology and platform,” she asserts. “During this challenging time for the industry, we looked for innovative opportunities to generate traffic to the stores’ physical locations. The engagement and connectivity that it facilitates and fosters within each local community allows us to communicate our offering, enabling the customer to engage with the centre and our tenants within a seamless omnichannel experience.”
In addition to serving as a compelling and dynamic digital marketing solution for businesses, the app also generates useful analytics for the users, informing current and future campaigns and offers. And to help support these vital efforts, GetintheLoop also offers a centralized support team that works with clients on a monthly basis in order to help execute campaigns and increase customer attraction and retention via digital means. Rooted in grassroots passion, the company is further changing the way businesses market to and communicate with their local communities while helping to create innovative strategies and campaigns to achieve maximum results.
One such display of marketing innovation is reflected well in the company’s most recent digital punch card campaign that it launched with Cushman & Wakefield property, Halifax Shopping Centre, in Nova Scotia. Running within the centre from March 17 to April 3, the campaign presented visitors to the centre with an Easter egg hunt, with Easter egg stickers placed in six locations throughout the mall. Each sticker was equipped with a pin number and QR code which, when scanned, revealed a page within the GetintheLoop app to enter the pin number to validate that the Easter Egg sticker had been found. Participants of the hunt who found all six Easter egg stickers were rewarded with a $10 gift card from Halifax Shopping Centre guest services. The campaign was extremely effective, resulting in a reach of 43,598, responses totalling 8,888, 1,580 actions taken and 217 gift card giveaways to those who engaged with the hunt. Stephanie Schnare, a representative of Halifax Shopping Centre, describes the virtual hunt as a “huge success”, lauding the ability of the app to serve as a conduit for interest and traffic.
“Due to the pandemic, many traditional Easter activities were paused in the market,” she says. “But the virtual egg hunt allowed Halifax Shopping Centre to drive traffic to the mall and connect with key customer targets, while offering some egg-cellent entertainment.”
During this time of disruption, it’s perhaps more important than ever for businesses to create and enhance their digital presences and to engage with their local communities through these types of creative omnichannel experiences. And, with the right support and strategic thinking, the challenges that businesses are facing today could very well result in increasingly adept shifts in their operations and a continued evolution with respect to the ways they attract and retain customers. It’s something that Crowell believes is currently happening and is set to ensure not only the survival, but the growth, of businesses during these difficult times.
“The industry’s been challenged significantly throughout the past year. It’s tested the strength of merchants across the country. But, as with all challenges, the climate of the past twelve months has provided everyone with some really valuable insights, one of the most critical being that the traditional ways of reaching and engaging local audiences are not as effective as they once used to be. Today, retailers need a digital advantage and a way to not only get in front of customers, but to provide them with an experience that’s easy and convenient, and one which serves the businesses omnichannel strategy and goals. With the right technologies and digital tools, the entire retail experience can be transformed and enhanced, providing customers with engagement that’s fun and informative, forming a true brand experience across all channels throughout the entire shopping journey.”
For more information concerning the ways GetintheLoop can help your business connect with shoppers and thrive within your local communities, visit getintheloop.ca/business