Joining Promoboxx in March 2015 was a way to be part of a passionate, focused and dedicated group serving the needs of local retailers. I had run an independent shop myself, selling sporting goods out of my parents’ house in high school.
At Promoboxx, we are on several sales calls each day, and I’m struck by the term so many brands use when describing their dealers / retailers / shops: Unsophisticated. They push back a bit on Promoboxx because the local retailers are viewed as too tech illiterate to take advantage of our platform.
Are Local Retailers Digital Yokels?
To address this question with data, I researched the retailers for brands across eight industries: automotive, kitchen tools, major appliances, pet foods, farm feed, power tools, flooring, and doors. I reviewed at least a dozen retailers for each of the brands to see their organic reach – that is, how they are using digital channels to reach their customers.
Organic Reach Findings
The results were very interesting. It seems these “unsophisticated” retailers were doing a lot of work on their own to try and get the message out, but were hampered by some common themes, which we’ll discuss later.
What was found across the eight industries, and over 100 retailers is that:
- 99% have a website for their business
- 92% have Facebook accounts for their business
- 87% collect email addresses for newsletters, calendars or inquiries
- 73% have Twitter Accounts
- 32% have Instagram Accounts
And on average, the combined organic reach of their social channels is 784 across all industries. Other original research has indicated that on average, a local retailer has between 50-500 members on their email lists. Think of the increased local marketing opportunities that exists here for manufacturing brands!
Paid Reach Findings
Organic reach is effective for those customers who local retailers have attracted to their digital channels. Many local retailers are trying to find new customers through paid channels, most by using agencies who help navigate the digital landscape of paid media. Though we have no direct data, anecdotally we have found that about 35-40% of local retailers are trying to expand into paid channels.
The biggest challenge for these retailers, it seems, is finding content to put on their digital channels. Most retailer content is focused on their local markets, support of neighborhood events and promotions, and occasionally taking content from the brands in their store and re-posting it.
When I did a quick sample of some retailers, they mentioned lack of content to post on their organic channels as a primary challenge. This left the retailers in content deserts. In every case, if a brand could give them content to promote, they would look favorably on that brand and be more likely to recommend it more than 80% of the time.
Although local retailers aren’t necessarily innate marketers, they are doing the best they can with the resources they have available to them. Nearly 100% of them have websites and Facebook presences. Most collect email addresses and post on Twitter. Instagram is growing as well as other digital channels like Youtube and Pinterest.
Brands who can provide co-branded content to their independent retailers will significantly increase local consumer reach and brand loyalty. Smart brands get this fact and select tools that engage the local retailer and deliver co-branded content to them in a simple, easy-to-use way.
At Promoboxx, our platform is used by top brands across the appliance, auto, outdoor retail, and apparel industries to promote their national marketing content to local retailers across all the digital channels that matter. On average, our brand clients experience 80% retailer engagement, proving that local retailers are definitely sophisticated enough.