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By: Jeff Falk
Posted: November 18, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 10

“The role counter staff can play in educating consumers cannot be underestimated,” Jean-Jacques Etienne—a consultant, ATN Conseil, who has worked with a number of top global beauty brands—told GCI at LVMH’s October 2010 Scientific Symposium in Paris.

And the digital realm is now being leveraged for the benefit of brick and mortar sales.

“Over the past year tech entrepreneurs have raced to correct this imbalance and extend digital efficiencies to the physical world,” wrote Stone and Sheridan. “Internet services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Booyah, and—as of Aug. 18 [2010]—Facebook have enticed millions to digitally ‘check in’ to real-world locations.”

Online retail—still a viable, healthy outlet in its own right—may be brick and mortar’s staunch ally. And digital mediums and outlet is certainly a huge boon for brand owners.

In “A New Path to Purchase: Influencing the Digitally Enabled Shopper, Before the Store” presented at October 2010’s Shopper Marketing Expo, Tom Conti, president of G2 Interactive, and John Paulson, CEO of G2 US, noted that 76% of purchase decisions are made by shoppers before they even leave home. There are new drivers to retail purchases, notably social media—back to “The Future of Retail” team’s community.