Now that 2018 is in the books, it’s probably a good time to evaluate the effectiveness of your digital footprint – your website along with online, email and social media marketing. If that footprint isn’t trackable, both by you and your customers, it’s probably time to make some changes.

The inability to adapt to the new way of doing business, including competing in an increasingly digital marketplace, has led to much of the disruption in the retail industry. According to the 2018 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, from retail consulting firm BRP (Boston Retail Partners), future retail success belongs to the agile, mobile and flexible.

The study shows that retailers believe engaging customers with a seamless shopping experience, which spans their website, electronic marketing, brick-and-mortar store, and customer loyalty programs, is a key to success.

That means merchants need to:

  • Make sure your business is visible online. A 2017 survey by Bright Local says 97% of consumers searched online for local businesses. So, if your website can’t be found through those searches, you’re invisible. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, too.
  • Develop consistent and familiar brand messaging. Website, mail and social media marketing, and online advertising should all be consistent in look and message, and should be recognizable in your store, too. It helps customers connect your marketing and messages to your store. Creating omnichannel messaging and adding those capabilities to a point of sale system were the goal of 56% of respondents to the BRP survey for 2018.
  • Track your efforts. There are many ways to track success. Customer reviews on Yelp and Google are easy and relatively pain-free sources. Facebook posts are another. Customer surveys through your loyalty programs, website or emails are other ways to gain valuable feedback.

Whatever your goals are for 2019, they should include making sure your digital footprints are effective and easy to follow.