Retailers have made significant strides digitally over the past year, outfitting their sites with store appointment booking, live in-store inventory, and same-day pickup. However, many fail to broadcast their capabilities across digital marketing channels, allowing competitors to upstage them. Successful players like Walmart have branded themselves as service providers–e.g. supporting grocery pickup and free two-day shipping with no membership fee–through platforms ranging from social media to display advertising.
Best-in-class retailers invest in promoting their fulfillment and drive-to-store services on digital marketing platforms through display advertising, social media, and email. While all brands and retailers analyzed in Gartner L2’s omnichannel report deployed omnichannel-related content on one or more of the aforementioned digital marketing channels at some point between October 2017 and October 2018, minimal resources were devoted to drive this awareness. Despite email’s powerful potential to reach large audiences, for example, only 3.9% of analyzed emails sought to direct customers to storefronts or showcase fulfillment offerings.
Brands found the clearest use case in display advertising, where over 14% of analyzed creatives mentioned omnichannel topics, the vast majority of which promoted fulfillment services. Social media predominantly drives customers to stores. In contrast, email is split between stores and fulfillment.