Clicks and Mortar: How One Retailer Is Making It Work

David Taitelbaum, Marketing Strategist

David Taitelbaum, Marketing Strategist

Author Bio

As the leader of West Coast strategy services for Oracle's Bronto Software, David Taitelbaum consults with brands on digital marketing strategy and customer engagement campaigns throughout North America and Asia. He has over 15 years of experience leading ecommerce organizations and developing successful marketing campaigns for companies of all sizes. Most recently, Taitelbaum oversaw global ecommerce operations for City of Sleep, including support, marketing and channel distribution. He is a regular contributor to Bronto’s Commerce Marketing blog. When he is not guiding Bronto’s clients to strategic marketing success, he is spending time at home with his lovely wife, raising their two children.

To find success managing a brand’s website, brick-and-mortar stores and social presence, marketers must be able to see the bigger picture and tie all of these elements together to offer a truly unified experience. Regardless of where and when you connect with a customer, they should receive the same level of attention and personalization that they would via another channel. One retailer that’s really done this well is Sportsman’s Warehouse.

Ecommerce Marketing Manager Colby Saenz recently gave me insight into how a business with nearly 80 stores and an email list of more than one million contacts approached such a task. But first, let’s take a look at why such a strategy is so important.

Reaping the Rewards of Omnichannel

A recent article in Harvard Business Review found an increase in revenue with each additional channel a customer uses to shop and interact with your brand when compared to the single-channel customer. The challenge, of course, is maintaining consistent messaging and experiences across all channels that deliver relevant, enjoyable opportunities to engage with customers.

While the larger trend has been for brick-and-mortar stores to move into ecommerce, Amazon recently opened a physical bookstore in the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago. With the amount of data the internet behemoth has amassed for shoppers in that specific zipcode and the large number of online reviews they’ve accumulated over the years, the No. 1 retailer in the Internet Retailer Top 1000 could easily tailor the store to the local customer and curate a selection of books that are all rated 4 out of 5 stars or higher. Similarly, Sportsman’s Warehouse brings in local store data when a customer subscribes in one of its stores. The brand is extremely well-positioned to do something similar in Ankeny, Iowa or Wasilla, Alaska. Nearly half a million of their subscribers are assigned to a local store.

Connecting the Dots to Boost Engagement

With each email subscriber assigned to a nearby store, Sportsman’s Warehouse can target them with local events as a way to drive in-store traffic and continue to build the brand’s value with the customer. Here’s an example of one of their in-store events:

Event Email

Use your customer data to help determine what types of events would be most popular and successful. As VIP or rewards campaigns can be critical during times of intense competition, you might even consider targeting VIPs for particular events. Saenz offered that 43% of their sales volume flows through their loyalty program, so be sure to spend some time including plans for that audience in your omnichannel strategy.

The company’s Ladies Nights demonstrate just how well Sportsman’s Warehouse handles cross-channel promotion for an in-store event. The subscriber first receives an email announcing the event at their local store. If interested, she’s directed to the local store’s Faceboook page to RSVP. Not only has the brand encouraged social interaction, they’ll be able to continue building the brand with the customer in person at the event.

Social Media Example

Making the Most of Shipping Options

It’s not all about specialty events, though. The click and collect program at Sportsman’s Warehouse has been very successful at meeting customers’ shopping preferences while increasing in-store traffic and revenue. The most salient example of how successful this campaign has been is with the company’s online gun sales. Each gun purchased online must be picked up in the store once the customer has been screened and passed a background check. Additionally, 25% of the guns purchased through the website are items they do not stock, so the company is able to gain additional revenue without the added expense of carrying additional inventory.

These days, consumers expect a consistent, relevant brand experience with every interaction. You must find ways to engage your customers and give them the shopping experience they crave across channels to keep them coming back.