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6 Multichannel Takeaways from Best Buy's Marketing

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Challenge: Marketers are having a tough time maintaining engagement with today's multichannel, multi-device consumers.

According to ShopperTrack, which uses a network of 60,000 shopper-counting devices to track visits at malls and large retailers across the country, retailers got only about half the holiday traffic in 2013 as they did just three years earlier. However, online sales increased by more than double the rate of brick-and-mortar sales this holiday season. According to the study, while shoppers visited an average five stores per mall trip in 2007, today they only visit three.

One company that understands this is Best Buy. While the company's online sales of $1.32 billion for this past holiday season were up 23.5 percent from a year earlier, it was not enough to pull out a win overall due to lower in store sales. Chief Financial Officer Sharon McCollam noted in a conference call with analysts that expanding the company's online presence will be a top priority in 2014.

The company has also made great strides in moving into the mobile space. Amy Halford>, senior digital brand manager of interactive marketing and emerging media at Best Buy noted in an interview, "we have the opportunity to better connect and be relevant to customers whenever, wherever they might seek us."

6 Takeaways:

Here are 6 lessons Best Buy learned by listening to their multichannel customers. These can help you as well:

  1. Keep customers' rapidly changing needs and behaviors at the forefront of your strategies.
  2. Provide the capability to easily research products and connect with you. This is critically important to customers. Many want to do more than simply transact.
  3. Customers expect a consistent experience regardless of which entry point they access, be it online, phone, or store.
  4. Test frequently, learn quickly, and scale appropriately.
  5. Reinforce all marketing efforts across media channels, including those conducted for specific audiences, such as Spanish language campaigns.
  6. It's critical to focus on meeting customer needs from a multichannel perspective, and not focus solely on growing a particular channel.