Stores can now automate their digital marketing channels directly from their inventory while boosting sales through their stores Locally webpages.
Consumers shopping online are constantly having to decide whether to buy from online retailers or buy in-store. The decision ultimately comes down to convenience. Providing relevant information like whether an item is in stock is sometimes the deciding factor. Digital strategies lacking this capability are missing out on lots of potential local shoppers who would rather pick up the item in store and not wait for it to be shipped..
Retailers love all of those additional in store sales that are being driven by Locally’s Store Locator on a brand’s website. But how are retailers capturing local online audiences that aren’t going to brand websites but are ready to buy? Lynkem’s new service fills this gap using a store’s inventory to saturate local markets with their complete product listings to power all of your digital marketing channels.
Retailers are often challenged with effectively implementing a digital marketing strategy because it requires a lot of time and expertise to understand and manage. Unfortunately, this involves outside agencies or internal staff spending hours to create and publish content on a regular basis and this can get expensive.
Given that our Lynkem platform is all about digital marketing automation, we realized that traditional digital marketing could be made way simpler and a lot cheaper to implement for retailers. We knew we needed two things to make it possible, a store’s daily inventory and brand catalogs. And that’s how our partnership with Locally began.
We’re thrilled to announce ShopCast, a new “set it and forget technology” that promises to dramatically improve retailer’s exposure to online shoppers while also boosting their ability to capture more local searches for the products they have in stock. It allows retailers to easily get access to all of the various digital marketing channels to super-size their online presence in local markets.
Our integration with Locally is bi-directional. Retailers provide permission for Locally to share their inventory with Lynkem. From there, the ShopCast engine uses the combination of a retailer’s inventory and the brands catalogs to generate shopping channel feeds and search/social ads that reflect actual inventory. It does that every single day, silently in the background. No intervention required.
ShopCast Supports Multiple Online Shopping Channels
Research shows that 69% of consumers shop online before purchasing a product. We also know that over 45% of purchases are done from Amazon. ShopCast promises to increase your chances of diverting more shoppers to make a purchase at your store rather than at a local competitor or one of those online marketplaces. It puts your store virtually out in front of every local consumer looking for the products you have in stock. A new study reveals that 80% of consumers are less inclined to visit a store when the website does not provide current product availability—up from 56% last year.
The simplicity of ShopCast is the fact that it runs every single night, automatically in the background pulling in your inventory and creating shopping feeds for multiple online shopping channels. Online shoppers will now have multiple opportunities to engage with your stores through Instagram Shops, Facebook Shops, Google Shopping and Google search ads. And more channels are on the way!
What makes this tool different than others on the market? The answer is simplicity of use and our integration with Locally. Using our many years of digital marketing expertise, we have designed a specialized engine with algorithms that creates the necessary data to feed 100s or even 1000s of store location feeds in just minutes. These feeds contain clean and highly optimized data, resulting in more engaging product displays.
ShopCast and Google Search Ads
The most powerful part of ShopCast is the Google Search Ads feature. For a typical Retailer with 3,000+ UPCs in inventory, the ShopCast engine will generate over 4,500 ads and 35,000+ search terms in just over a minute. It would take a digital marketing specialist more than a week to do that! ShopCast does it every single night.
ShopCast creates multiple ads and hundreds of search terms for each UPC to make sure your store is covering every possible search a consumer might use to find a product including brand name, the type of products you sell, product name, size, color and gender. You name it, we have it covered. And yes, there’s no need for outside help to do this for you anymore so that savings goes right back into your pocket.
Retailers are now able to saturate their local market with their store’s current inventory and put it in front of every relevant consumer search being performed. More importantly, ads are created with well curated images and descriptions using brand content directly from their catalogs. And the best part is, when a consumer clicks on the ad, they’re brought right to the Locally product page so they can buy the product on the spot.
There’s a strong case for using paid search ads when you look at the fact that 64% of consumers will click on a Google ad when they are looking to buy items online. More importantly, for every $1 spent on Google Ads, research shows that businesses make an average of $2 in revenue.
Instagram Tagging Feature
With our Instagram Shops support, store associates can now take pictures of products in store with their mobile phones and tag the products shown in their Instagram Shops feed that ShopCast generates nightly.
Followers of a store’s Instagram account can then click on the post and they’ll be taken directly to the Locally website page for that product where they can Buy It Now, shortening the buyer journey. It’s been shown that you have less than 15 seconds to capture an online shoppers attention, so the shorter we can make the buying journey, the better chance a Retailer has to make a sale.
Walkabout Outfitter: A ShopCast Case Study
Walkabout Outfitter is an outdoor clothing and gear retailer based in Virginia, with 6 locations throughout the state. Owners Tina and Kirk Miller opened their first store in Lexington, VA in 2005 and haven’t looked back. They sell many popular outdoor brands like The North Face, Patagonia, Keen and Chacos and have a proud tradition of serving people who love the great outdoors.
Walkabout Outfitter was already a long-time Locally customer when we approached them about using ShopCast. By their own admission, they had not put a large focus on digital marketing but were intrigued when we described how ShopCast would be able to automatically populate multiple online shopping channels with the inventory data they were already sending to Locally every night. Given the current economic environment, they were looking for all of the help they could get. So Tina signed on board and we were off and running.
They were anxious to have all 6 six stores on the Facebook/Instagram Shops and the Google Shopping channel feature within ShopCast. They’re also running the Google Ads feature for their Valley View Mall store location.
Early each morning, ShopCast fires up automatically and pulls in the inventory files that were uploaded by Walkabout Outfitter to Locally for each of the 6 locations. It then transforms over 19,000 UPCs into 18 feed files (6 locations x 3 shopping channels each) and generates over 4,000 Google search ads and 35,000 keywords (search terms). All of this gets created in about 1 minute by the ShopCast engine.
Once ShopCast is done, Walkabout’s Facebook/Instagram Shop and Google Shopping pages are refreshed with product images and descriptions that reflect up to date in stock listings. Most importantly, each product display has a url link that, when clicked on, brings the consumer directly to the Locally website page with the important “Buy Now” button.
Tina and her office manager can now look at their ShopCast dashboard and observe what and how consumers are searching for products they have in stock. The dashboard also provides other valuable statistics like CPC, CTR, Impressions, and age and location demographics. Most importantly, the dashboard will be able to show how many consumers completed the buying journey all the way through to the Locally Buy Now button.
Walkabout Outfitter now enjoys the fact that ShopCast is working completely in the background every day without her team having to hire outside digital marketing consultants. When asked what she found most beneficial about ShopCast, Tina responded, “Lynkem has finally solved the problem of bringing digital marketing down to earth for retailers by completely automating this solution through a simple pay-by-month service.”
- Ability to scale from one to thousands of store locations for a Retailer
- Integrated with Locally to retrieve each stores daily inventory file
- Automated shopping channel output feeds are available for Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops and Google Shopping
- Feeds post automatically to each of the shopping channels every day
- Dynamic Google Search ads generate 1000s of high quality ads refreshed every night based on in stock inventory
- “Set it and forget it” technology eliminates the need to manage uploads, feeds or search ads regularly
- Users have the ability to select which shopping channels they want active
- Filter adjustments are available for which products to include based on price and quantity
- Reporting dashboard presents live data for each channels performance, driven in part by Google Analytics data
- Your inventory working for you, every day, for a low monthly subscription fee