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Why Retail Brands Need Digital Advertising

In one word: mobile.

Not just because mobile is a huge and growing segment, but because consumers are mobile. Think about it: how often are you home? You work at least eight hours a day. You have early or late meetings. You go out for drinks, dinner, or movies. Your children have school events and practices. You have hobbies.

When you do have time, you may watch your favorite TV shows or catch up on the latest news online. You read your preferred magazines on a tablet or your laptop.

The average American has a similar day. Traditional advertising media are not receiving as much notice as they used to. As of 2014, American adults spent over 10% more time with digital media than with television.

Digital:
Is Less Expensive
Depending on the exact medium you choose to use, the cost-per-thousand of digital advertisements was as little as one or two dollars in 2014. Television ads, however, started at six dollars if you were okay with non-primetime slots, while magazine ads started at eight and newspaper ads at $25.

Increases Effectiveness of Non-Digital Advertising
A well-rounded marketing strategy still includes non-digital media, but digital efforts increase the performance of non-digital ads. For example, Peter Minnium reports a study by Microsoft and BrandScience found TV campaigns were improved by as much as 70% when online advertising was added.

More Precise Targeting
The data generated by consumers’ online activity is a goldmine for retailers. This data tells you exactly who is buying your products, and which digital spaces they prefer, so you can tailor your digital campaigns to exactly the right type of customer.

You can also use geotargeting to send localized content, such as coupons for nearby locations or local inventory ads. These ads tell shoppers if a product is available in the size and/or color they’ve been searching for, and “increase[s] the likelihood that a consumer will walk into their store and buy that day,” according to Think With Google.

Additional Opportunities for Measurement
Besides telling you where to find your customers and who they are, the data from digital campaigns also teaches you:

  • What types of campaigns are resulting in e-commerce or in-store purchases
  • The content your consumers prefer, whether text, image, video, or a combination
  • What devices your customers are researching or buying from

There are many other data points. All of these measurements, however, are much more detailed than what is normally available from other types of media.

Consumers are Driven to In-Store Shopping
Let’s say a customer is looking for a specific product. Using either your app, mobile website, or a sidewalk kiosk, this customer discovers your store is nearby and has the item in stock. The customer immediately heads to your store and makes the purchase.

This is just one of the ways digital advertising helps bring customers into stores. Research by Google, Ipsos Media CT, and Sterling Brands found “three out of four shoppers who find local information in search results helpful are more likely to visit stores.”

Allows Experimentation
Since digital ads cost less, but improve ROI, you have the opportunity to experiment. Being able to set targeted parameters for your audience means you can discover new markets for your brand. You can quickly change your marketing messages if you discover they aren’t being received well by your customers.

Make Digital a Part of Your Strategy
Overall, digital improves advertising for both the consumer and the retailer. A good digital experience gives consumers access to the information they want before making a purchase, while the retailer is able to better understand the consumer’s wants while their ROI is increased.

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