Bolt-ons, bandaids, quick-fixes. Whatever you choose to call your point solutions for addressing isolated business challenges and disconnected customer wishes, the end result is the same: whack-a-mole.

As brick-and-mortar food retailers increasingly straddle the boundaries of in-store and online, this can present itself in different forms. Perhaps there has been a decline in foot traffic and redirected funds to website banner ads. Maybe you’ve adopted an in-app coupon feature, or scattered some QR codes across your shelves. It’s possible you’ve even adopted Instacart or another third-party service to outsource app-to-door grocery delivery. But no matter how many different products you try (or how much you spend on them) it’s all patchwork—bolt-on solutions that deliver brief spurts of customer satisfaction. Ultimately, they can cost you more than they make, repeatedly leaving a piece of the revenue in other brands’ pockets.

Tracing today’s technology patterns

Over time, completely integrated, comprehensive, and cohesive customer experiences have set the Apples and Googles of the world apart. The pattern across industries is clear: the more holistic your solutions, the more value they’ll generate for both you and consumers. Convenience and connectivity are the name of the game and being able to support an entire customer journey in a single, centralized digital marketplace is how you win.

Swiftly is a turnkey digital retail media network enabling you to connect your establishment’s online, in-app, and in-store experiences onto one centralized platform and engagement hub, owning the customer experience from start to finish—and back to the beginning again. Here’s how Swiftly can help you stop playing whack-a-mole with your customers, and start connecting the dots:

Adopt a hybrid advertising model. As digital continues to dominate, many retailers are feeling a sense of urgency to get on board. By no means is this a bad thing, but it is driving more impulsive sales decisions, and more bolt-on solution purchases. Rather than deliver your customers immediate gratification and bear the consequences—disconnected systems, disparate solutions, siloed data, scattered returns, and operational disorganization—embrace the opportunity to build your own digital storefront and shopper experience. Yes, digital is on the rise, but around 90% of sales will still happen in-store. Investing in a solution to enhance and connect both experiences is your best bet at achieving the highest, most sustainable returns, and the best customer satisfaction outcomes.

Take a customer-centric approach. Buying a couple of banner ads and spreading them across your website may seem like a digitally savvy decision, but it’s not the smartest option. This is true for one central reason: random digital ads don’t account for relevance. In an increasingly personalized advertising landscape, customers are used to highly targeted advertisements, ones that speak exactly to them, their interests, and their needs, at the most optimal and relevant moment. If done wrong, it can be unnerving—but there’s no question it’s set a new standard. You need digital solutions that address the entirety of the changes occurring in shopper behavior and expectations, not just a small part of them. With a holistic, dynamic solution tracking individual purchasing patterns, likes, and dislikes, you can get closer to the customer and make the rest of your decisions around them—not the other way around.

Unlock accurate attribution and reporting. When you put your customer at the center, there’s another key incentive to creating your own digital retail media platform: mounting data privacy restrictions. While bolt-on solutions, third-party platforms, and other external advertising spaces may seem like the easiest, most accessible options, that won’t be the case for much longer. Changes to customer privacy regulations and cookie collection are coming—and we’re already seeing some of them today. If your ads are scattered across the internet, you’ll have no way to attribute sales to ad content or connect them to individuals. That disconnect further exacerbates silos and lack of visibility. With a self-owned and self-managed digital retail media network, the ball is in your court—and your customers remain permanently within reach. Track ad success, connect data to the point of sale, and seamlessly attribute actions to specific customers, items, products, and SKUs. It’s not guesswork anymore—it’s powerful, accurate analytics and reporting. That’s what revenue-driving native strategies are all about.

With Swiftly, these benefits are built-in. As you gain a comprehensive, centralized digital retail media network, shed your share of bolt-on solutions—and the chaotic, ineffective data collection architecture they create—and start owning your own returns and customer journeys. It’s time to build something smarter for your brand, and there’s no better place to start. Contact Swiftly today to learn more.