It was just a few days before Christmas and Johnny was conducting one last check to make sure that he hadn’t missed any critical item on his wish list. He had been carefully watching TV commercials and had visited the toy section of the local store, but he knew, at a critical time like this, there was only one place a boy could go to ensure that he hadn’t missed anything – the Sears Catalog.

I’m guessing that many of you have had similar experiences in your childhood.

Sears was Amazon before Amazon was.

If you think about it, retailers have been influencers for years. The Macy’s Window, Saks 5th Avenue and the Sears Catalog are just a few of the many examples.

Retailers were the original influencers before we had websites, blogs and celebrity vlogs.

If retailers don’t influence shoppers, someone else will.

As social networks (and their influence with consumers) has grown, brands began spending billions of advertising dollars to reach consumers within these mass digital channels.

The problem is that brands have found that these channels don’t necessarily drive sales. And when they do, it’s really hard to track and measure.

So, in recent years there have been huge investments by retailers to, once again, reclaim influence with shoppers and capture ad budgets from these other digital channels.

Welcome in Retail Media.

The ability to reach shoppers, influence them and drive sales, in store and online, has unlocked an amazing opportunity for retailers. The ability to track engagement and conversion is also huge.

Here is the recipe for success that many retailers are leveraging:

  1. Enhance Owned Channels – enhance app and website to create a cohesive experience for shoppers.
  2. Leverage Reach & Scale Offsite – leverage mass digital media to continue to reach shoppers, but do it in a smarter way by leverage knowledge of shoppers to deliver more relevant messages to them.
  3. Connect Digital & Physical – continue to message to shoppers in store and leverage technology to measure and optimize based upon sales results, in store.

Digital and mobile technology is enabling brick & mortar retailers to connect with, reach and influence shoppers more effectively than ever before.

Brick & mortar retailers are reclaiming their influence with shoppers, but if they don’t, someone else definitely will.