The Covid crisis, inflation and the return of promotions, omnichannel consumption… One thing is certain: advertisers’ Drive-to-Store strategies are bound to be turned upside down by government announcements and other macro-environmental factors.
So what are the keys to a successful digital Drive-to-Store strategy in 2023?
To try to answer this question, Hawk organised the last 18th of April in France a morning of round tables dedicated to Drive-to-Store, with the participation of numerous market experts. Let’s take a look at the event.
Agility at the heart of Drive-to-Store strategies
A good Drive-to-Store strategy is first and foremost an agile strategy. To adapt to internal changes (in communication plans or sales promotion) but above all to external changes. And the latter have been particularly numerous in recent years. If the Covid-19 crisis has structurally modified consumption patterns since 2020, the recent economic context also has a particular impact on advertisers’ Drive-to-Store strategies.
Marion Staath, Digital Trading Director at Zenith, and Arnaud Longatte, Digital Marketing Director at Nanotera, confirm that recent inflation has had a real impact on the communication campaigns of supermarkets. Many, if not all, have taken up the cause of their price positioning, at a time when consumer expectations in terms of purchasing power are particularly high. We are seeing a strong return to special offers, particularly among players who traditionally put little emphasis on them.
At the same time, CSR communication, which has been increasingly at the forefront in recent years, has lost the spotlight. Inspirational commercials are giving way to concrete ones, and few of them do not return to the basics: purchasing power. This is not a sign that CSR has lost its place, but rather that when it comes to Drive-to-Store, advertising messages and formats need to adapt, quickly, to consumer priorities.
One example is the implementation of the Oui Pub setup. A measure stemming from the Climate and Resilience Law, this setup aims to fight against the waste of resources and “signs the beginning of a new era for physical commerce”, as Nanotera explains in its white paper Oui Pub, 6 months later. While some advertisers are still using this medium, which is still very much part of consumers’ habits, many have or are in the process of making the transition to digital, with a multitude of activatable levers available. For Arnaud Longatte, it is certain that in five years a shop will no longer imagine a promotion through a single leaflet, but will launch a real operation through various channels. Omnicanality is one of the keys to a successful digital Drive-to-Store strategy in 2023.
The consumer is omnichannel, the measurement must be too
If there is one thing that the Covid crisis has accelerated, it is the omnichannel behaviour of consumers. Repeated confinements have indeed disrupted consumers’ habits and structurally altered their consumption patterns.
Imagine your kitchen from a distance via video conference? Unimaginable a few years ago, but now common practice since Covid, as Julien Saibene, Integrated Media Manager at IKEA France, notes. A good strategy for attracting customers to the shop is first and foremost a strategy that is more than ever personalised to the consumer and his expectations. Which channels do they want to use to get information and then take action? In 2023, it’s all about studying and making the most of the wide range of diffusion channels available.
Omnichannel campaigns, yes, but campaigns that are measured in an omnichannel way.
Having a very good GRP or number of impressions is interesting, but the key is to be able to measure. Agencies and advertisers, especially when it comes to Drive-to-Store, have a very ROI-oriented approach. By combining several media in the same advertising activation, it is essential to be able to measure the contribution of each media in achieving the objectives of a campaign, and in particular the incremental visitation recorded in store. To do this, it is possible to use third-party measurement systems such as Kairos, or proprietary solutions such as the one offered by Hawk. Soraya Raïssi, Client Director at KR Wavemaker, explains that their approach goes even further, with econometric modelling allowing for an even more advanced understanding and analysis of the interactions between online and in-store purchasing modes, and the short and long-term effects.
A future oriented towards the experiential
Although one of the priority issues, particularly in supermarkets, remains price, the in-store experience is nevertheless a key element that should not be overlooked. It is even the reason for visiting the shop, for players such as Galeries Lafayette and Westfield Rise, which we interviewed.
Perceval de Saint-Seine, Senior Media Manager Europe at Westfield Rise, says, “Using digital while capitalising on the physical world is the key to standing out.” At the heart of Drive-to-Store strategies, the value proposition of these players is based above all on the experience offered on site. They define themselves as “destinations”.
Like Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, which recently opened a new floor dedicated to well-being, the “Wellness Galerie”, with a gym and treatment and massage areas.
But considering experiential as one of the most effective Drive-to-Store levers is a trend that is far from applying only to department stores and premium players. All retail players know that they have to get back to the heart of their value proposition and master the art of attracting customers to their shops. For example, Ikea is focusing on refurbished products to meet the expectations of some of its customers, and is also offering a new immersive experience in its Daumesnil shop, with a virtual showroom.
A successful Drive-to-Store digital strategy in 2023 will therefore start by ensuring that its value proposition is adapted to meet consumers’ expectations, and then maximising in-store attraction through omnichannel digital campaigns personalised according to the levers and performance measured. Test & learn!