Here’s the hard truth. Your vendors are interested in selling direct.
But the inbound marketing methodology can shift that dynamic, and make you an indispensable part of your vendor's future marketing strategy.
That’s why Retail Futurist Doug Stephens has some ominous advice for retailers today: change or die. According to Stephens, the purchase funnel is being turned upside down, and retailers who don’t react quickly and appropriately will fail.
"Too many retailers are simply bolting technology onto what is most often a mediocre customer experience instead of reimagining the customer experience entirely and then, where it makes sense, using technology to enable or enhance it."
Doug Stephens, Retail Futurist
In 2014, 81% of consumers researched product online before they made a purchase decision. By 2016, that number increased to 88%. If your marketing doesn’t evolve as consumer habits evolve, you won’t survive.
Case in point: Procter & Gamble (P&G) backed off its heavy use of targeted ads in 2016, when it discovered that this return on investment was lacking compared with its broader digital approaches.
Retailers poised to thrive
The good news is that you, as a retailer, are best positioned to thrive in this environment. Customers are already coming to you to make their purchases. Once your inbound marketing program is up and running, a much wider audience will be coming to you before they buy — because you’ll publish content that helps them evaluate products and make purchase decisions.
By answering those critical pre-sale questions, you’ll build trust and collect valuable, informative data on how your prospects move through the buying cycle. This is why inbound marketing produces quantifiable results at a lower cost per lead than traditional marketing. You’re solidifying customer relationships before the sale, and your marketing naturally gets more efficient over time.