Unlocking the Power of Omnichannel Marketing in Retail

The shopping landscape has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic. What was once predominantly an in-store experience has now shifted to online platforms, and as we emerge from the pandemic, consumers are seeking a balance between the two. In this blog post, we will explore the changing shopping preferences and the growing importance of an omnichannel approach for organizations. Furthermore, we will discuss the unique advantages offered by both in-store and online shopping experiences, and how connecting the two can enhance customer satisfaction through personalization and consumer insights.

Shopping behavior has shifted from predominantly in-store pre-covid, to online during covid, and now a combination of both post-covid. 

The majority of consumers preferred to shop in-store pre-covid (54%), and during the pandemic, there was a necessary shift to online with approximately 20% making the switch. Now that consumers are free to shop how they please post-covid, the split between in-store, online, and both is fairly equal. It is evident that this trend is here to stay, underscoring the need for organizations to adopt an omnichannel approach.

With perks to shopping in-store and online that can’t be replicated by the other, consumers are getting the best of both worlds. 

Most organizations have effectively created a good in-store and now also online shopping experience as a result of the pandemic. This is potentially a reason why consumer shopping preferences are more diverse. In-store, the ability to tangibly feel and try a product creates a confidence in the purchase which is hard to replicate online. Online, the ease of conveniently and seamlessly shopping anywhere, anytime, on any device is a feature that consumers have become accustomed to since the pandemic.

Connecting the in-person and online shopping experience is what consumers desire most.

Consumers are not looking for organizations to replicate the perks of in-store and online shopping within each other. Instead, the solution is to connect the two with an omnichannel approach. Mobile phones are a great way to meet this need as stronger online personalization can be brought to the in-store experience. Reminding in-store shoppers of the products they have viewed online, and presenting the exact item location within the store through mobile phones is one example of how this could be executed.

Meeting consumer preferences through omnichannel personalization.

The majority of consumers like personalized recommendations as long as they are relevant and think more can be done within this space, especially in-store. Organizations have an opportunity to enhance the in-store shopping experience by leveraging the power of data and technology. By understanding customer preferences and purchase history through consumer intelligence, organizations can offer tailored recommendations, exclusive promotions like card-linked offers, and personalized assistance, thereby enriching the in-store experience and fostering customer loyalty.

As shopping behavior continues to evolve, organizations must adapt and embrace an omnichannel approach to cater to diverse consumer preferences. The combination of in-store and online shopping experiences provides consumers with the best of both worlds, and by connecting these channels seamlessly, organizations can deliver personalized and engaging customer journeys. The future of retail lies in understanding consumer preferences and leveraging technology, customer intelligence, and consumer insights to create unique and memorable shopping experiences. By embracing an omnichannel strategy, organizations can thrive in this new era of shopping and build enduring relationships with their customers.

Ready to go into the data? Unlock the potential of omnichannel marketing in retail by gaining exclusive insights and strategies with our presentation from RetailTO. Download our comprehensive presentation on data-driven omnichannel marketing now.

Download the full Omnichannel Presentation

    How QSRs Can Adapt to Survive a Recession

    The Great Recession posed challenges for many industries including Quick-Serve Restaurants (QSRs) as consumer confidence and spending declined. However, some QSR chains were able to survive and even thrive by adapting to changing market conditions.

    How did QSRs survive the Great Recession?

    QSR chains like McDonald’s and Chipotle adapted to the changing market conditions to survive the economic downturn. McDonald’s saw an increase in sales due to its affordable menu options and value promotions. Meanwhile, Chipotle’s focus on healthy and fresh food options helped them to fare relatively well.

    McDonald’s + Chipotle Image

    The QSR industry was not immune to the Great Recession, but restaurants that could innovate efficiently were better equipped to survive and even thrive during this period.

    Consumer insights from Drop transactional data.

    Drop Transactional Data from 2022 and early 2023 reveals that QSR spend has been relatively consistent but started to decline in early 2023, similar to the Great Recession. Fast Casual spend follows a similar trend but being at a higher price point also experienced an earlier drop off in June of 2022. These trends are no surprise as economists are predicting Q1 of 2023 as potentially the beginning of another recession.

    QSR Industry Spend April 2022 - February 2023
    The Index approach uses the spend of base month (April, 2022) as the benchmark to showcase the changes of spend from each following month in comparison to the base month. This illustrates the trend in a simplistic manner, and enables the comparison of different categories under the same scale. For example, index 1.00 means the spend of a certain month is the same as the spend from April, 2022 and 2.00 means the spend of the certain month doubled the spend from April, 2022. 
    Fast Food: McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Subway, KFC, Popeyes, Burger King. 
    Fast Casual: Chipotle, Five Guys, Qdoba, Panera Bread.

    Despite seeing a decrease in overall QSR spend, the average basket size has been consistent and even increased by approximately $1 for Fast Food restaurants. The marginal increase can be attributed to inflation and brands increasing their prices in the past 6 months. 

    The average frequency of purchases for Fast Food has also remained stable, except for a subtle dip in early 2023. This could be attributed to New Year’s resolutions to reduce fast food consumption. For example, the Fast Casual category continues to be very stable as brands like Chipotle are positioned as a healthier option.

    QSR Average Basket Size April 2022 - February 2023
    QSR Average Purchase Frequency April 2022 - February 2023

    What did we learn from our members about the future of the QSR space?

    Drop surveyed 1,300 card-linked members and found that 69% said they will spend the same amount on fast food in the next six months. However, 10% of respondents plan to spend more or much more because they are too busy to prepare food at home (40%), it’s convenient (40%) and it tastes good (29%). If QSRs introduce similar initiatives that were leveraged during the Great Recession like value meals, 28% (+18%) of respondents would purchase more fast food.

    QSR Purchase Frequency in the Next 6 Months

    Despite QSR basket size remaining steady, the decrease in the frequency of purchases is resulting in a decline for overall spend so far in 2023. From the Drop card-linked survey, around 80% of respondents will spend the same amount or more in the coming months on fast food. 

    If QSR brands want to capitalize on this sentiment and increase their share of wallet, they should look to the lessons from McDonald’s and Chipotle during the Great Recession. Similar to what was done in 2008-2009, QSRs should prioritize cheap and easy value items, emphasize the savings from coupons only found by downloading the brand’s respective app, and build on loyalty within the industry to maximize profits.

    The benefits of Drop card-linked offer programs for QSRs.

    With Drop’s Card-Linked Offers solution, QSR brands can offer personalized discounts and rewards to customers based on their spending behavior, leading to increased engagement and higher revenue. By adopting a card-linked offer program, QSRs can benefit from increased customer retention, improved consumer insights, and a competitive advantage in the market.

    Ready to maximize profits for your QSR brand? Start driving more sales and building customer loyalty today with Drop’s Card-Linked Offers solution.

    How Netflix’s password crackdown could be creating cracks in their armor

    Last month we shared some interesting insights and data around Netflix and the video streaming industry. Leveraging our Longitudinal Survey Product that tracks industry trends over time as well as data from our transaction-verified panel, we crowned Netflix as the most popular video streaming service among consumers (check it out here!). Despite recent price increases (January 2023) Netflix continues to be successful because of the quality and diversity of its original content. 

    Netflix’s upcoming prevention of password sharing, which began in Q1 2023, is a looming issue for the company. As part of this change, Netflix will ask for an additional fee for friends and family who share an account and are not living with the account holder. Drop conducted further research to understand the consumer sentiment towards this change from Netflix, and the results suggest the ramifications could be costly for the company.

    Favorite Streaming Provider
Apple TV+

Drop Market Research Solutions, Feb. 24, 2023, 2,000 US respondents.

    The majority of Netflix users are unhappy with the password-sharing crackdown and are unlikely to pay for additional subscriptions. 

    A survey with 2,000 Netflix users recorded 63% as account holders, and 37% sharing an account with family, friends, or roommates. Just over half (51%) of the respondents disagreed with the password-sharing crackdown. This percentage increases to 58% for users who share an account and would obviously be significantly impacted by the change. 

    It looks as though Netflix will miss out on a lot of potential subscribers, as 57% of the respondents are unlikely to pay for an additional subscription. The additional asking price is potentially where Netflix needs to adjust as 54% of respondents would only pay $5 or less, and the Netflix pricing looks to be higher than that in most regions. 

    Likelihood to Pay for an Additional Subscription

Amount Willing to Pay for Additional Account

Drop Market Research Solutions, Feb. 24, 2023, 2,000 US respondents.

    Nearly half of the Netflix users surveyed would consider canceling their subscription as a result of the password-sharing crackdown, and with lots of strong competition, this is a serious threat to Netflix. 

    Of the total respondents, 48% are likely to cancel their Netflix subscription as a result of the password crackdown. This percentage goes up to 63% for those who are currently sharing an account as this group is impacted the most. When asked which streaming providers they would switch to, Hulu had the majority of the vote (68%) and from the previous research, Hulu looks to be one of Netflix’s strongest competitors. These results suggest that the Netflix password crackdown could create opportunities for competitors to fight for more market share. 

    Likelihood to Cancel Subscription After Password Crackdown

Drop Market Research Solutions, Feb. 24, 2023, 2,000 US respondents.
    Which Streaming Provider Would You Switch To?

Drop Market Research Solutions, Feb. 24, 2023, 2,000 US respondents.

    The negative reaction from Netflix users in response to the password crackdown is also leading to concerns for future subscriber and revenue forecasts. 

    Over 80% of the survey respondents believe that the Netflix password crackdown will have an impact on the company’s subscriber numbers. Given that sharing accounts is a common practice among Netflix users, the potential loss of subscribers would no doubt have a major impact on the company’s revenue. It remains to be seen how Netflix will address these concerns and mitigate any potential impact on its business, but it’s clear that the company needs to take steps to reassure users and maintain its subscriber base.

    Will Password Crackdown Impact Subscriber Numbers?

Drop Market Research Solutions, Feb. 24, 2023, 2,000 US respondents.

    So what happens next?

    From the findings above, it is safe to say that Netflix users are not happy about the imminent password crackdown. The change is considered unfair, particularly if users are on a tight budget and cannot afford to pay for individual accounts for all family members. As Netflix navigates the next few months, it will be crucial for the company to understand and accommodate subscriber needs and preferences where possible. With more accurate member data, the password crackdown provides a great opportunity for Netflix to effectively invest in more outstanding original content.

    Netflix Originals Covers

    Will the improved content outweigh the severely negative user sentiment and continue to be the factor that keeps Netflix ahead of the streaming provider pack? That’s the question Drop will look to answer when we next consult our streaming provider Longitudinal Survey and future research projects!

    Want to gain a deeper understanding of your industry that can give you a competitive edge? Check out Drop Market Research, and gain valuable insights into your target audience and start making informed business decisions.

    Sentiment towards Southwest and airline influential factors in 2023

    After a holiday season of increased cancellations and delays in late 2022, Southwest is trying to bolster its brand by promising to make good on inconveniences incurred by customers. CEO, Bob Jordan has pledged to “do better” and as a part of this promise, there are rumors that the company is planning to improve their infamous boarding process. 

    Drop surveyed 500+ members to gain consumer insights into the US airline industry:

    What is consumer sentiment towards Southwest Airlines and their top competitors?
What impact can Southwest Airlines expect by improving their boarding process?
Does the boarding process rank in the top factors that influence consumers?

    Despite 16,700 flight cancellations and severe delays during the 2022 December holidays, Southwest prevails as the top US airline amongst Drop survey respondents:

    Sentiment towards Southwest Airlines.
Satisfied with past Southwest experiences
Likely to fly Southwest in the future
Preferred Southwest to its competitors
Difference in preference between Southwest and second-place Delta

Drop Insights Solutions, Feb. 3, 2023, 528 US respondents.

    The proposed improvement to Southwest’s boarding process would increase the age of children in the ‘Family Boarding Group’ from 6 and under to 13 and under. 

    When Drop survey respondents were asked how this change would impact their sentiment towards Southwest the results were not positive, and it would be unwise for Southwest to introduce this rumored ‘improvement’:

    Sentiment on the Southwest boarding process.
Less likely to fly Southwest with proposed boarding process changes
Southwest’s boarding process is better than their competitors
Boarding process doesn’t impact which airline they chose

Drop Insights Solutions, Feb. 3, 2023, 528 US respondents.

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and based on the example above, the boarding process doesn’t look to be a place for impactful wins. There are many other factors that have a much greater impact on which airline consumers are choosing. 

    The most important factor is the price which comes as no surprise in the current climate. 

    Just under 75% of respondents selected price as having the biggest impact on selecting an airline which was the highest factor by 13%. In order to compete with discounted industry pricing in January, Southwest will have no choice but to also offer low-fee fares despite facing a large cost of up to $825M due to the December holiday cancellations.

    Want to gain a deeper understanding of your industry that can give you a competitive edge? Check out Drop Market Research, and gain valuable insights with the help of market research surveys into your target audience and start making informed business decisions.

    Positive Sentiment for Netflix remains… but for how long?

    Drop’s Longitudinal Market Research Survey product measures customer sentiment of a brand or topic over a longer period of time vs. just providing a snapshot of a particular moment. Longitudinal surveys are particularly impactful when measuring sentiment and sales trends for organizations that are rolling out minor or major customer-facing changes, whether it be to pricing, or to service and product offering.

    Considering the multitude of product and pricing changes hitting the market for Netflix, it’s a brand we are watching closely to understand not only the single impact of one change but instead, the overall compounding impact of those changes over time. Below you’ll see the Q4 results but with Netflix cracking down on multi-user accounts, let’s see how some of those realities sit with customers.

    Intent to pay is higher than intent to use, both metrics remain relatively stable, for now.

    Intent to use Netflix sits below usage but the two are relatively linked, speaking to the overall importance of programming and content in the streaming industry. Most Netflix users intend to continue paying for the service, a potential nod to the fact that customer sentiment remains stable despite price increases and a crackdown on multiple user accounts and anticipated and exclusive content may have something to do with it. 

    Netflix-produced content remains a key component of maintaining customer loyalty.

    Someone give Netflix’s content team a high-five. Without a doubt, the most popular content drawing attention from Netflix users are Netflix exclusive content series and with phased episode launch dates for the majority of these titles, it has users clinging to their remotes and subscriptions. 

    6 of the 8 most popular titles currently on Netflix are Netflix-produced pieces:

    Netflix remains the favorite streaming service among viewers.

    Based on a recent survey of 638 streaming transaction-verified panelists conducted by Drop, Netflix reigned above the rest. The platform received 60% of the total votes, with its closest rival Disney+ receiving only 14%. A variety of content, successful proprietary content and first-to-market advantage continues to empower Netflix to win. 

    Though Disney+ appears to be the second favorite streaming platform, Hulu is the second most popular when it comes to usage. Could this be a first-to-market advantage that is waiting to die out, we’ll see…

    The survey results also indicated that Netflix is the most widely used streaming platform among the surveyed panelists, with 84.5% of respondents reporting having an account with the platform. Hulu is the second most popular platform, with 70.4% of respondents having an account. HBO Max, Disney+, and Peacock also have a significant number of users, with 50.2%, 67.2%, and 42.3% of respondents respectively having an account. The least popular among the listed platforms are Apple TV+ with only 26.5% of respondents having an account, and Paramount+ with 36.8% of respondents having an account.

    With all this positivity, let’s not forget what might be on the horizon for Netflix: unpopular password sharing limitations, fee increases and series cancellations.

    The company’s recent move to limit password sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain by asking for an additional fee for friends and family not living with the subscriber is expected to be unpopular but the question is, will it impact the bottom line? This move is part of a crackdown on password sharing globally and is aimed at addressing the issue of 100 million people around the world using shared accounts, which affects the company’s ability to invest in new programming content. The changes have yet to impact U.S. customers but will eventually be rolled out stateside.

    3 reasons why we’re bullish on Aritzia

    This Vancouver-based brand has been on the rise in Canada in the everyday luxury space. From Kendal Jenner and the iconic Super Puff (pictured below) to the TikTok viral sensation that was the Melina pants, its success is a result of product variety that spans workwear, casual wear, and more. 

    More than just its products, the brand is also praised for its shopping experience, including offering communal mirrors to encourage more touchpoints with style advisors and additional services, including their A-OK café in-store, games for customers’ partners to stay entertained and consistency between in-store and ecommerce packaging. 

    Sales at Aritzia in the U.S. grew by a staggering 58%.

    In the three-month period ending November 27, Aritzia announced that it generated $625 million in net revenue. This surpassed analysts’ predictions by nearly $100 million (Financial Post, 2023). And while their Canadian sales increased 22% in 2022, Aritzia’s sales in the U.S. grew by 58% over the same period and for the first time, more than half of their net sales came from the U.S. (Financial Post, 2023).

    With that growth in mind, we looked at the transaction data and turned to our panel to bring you the top 3 reasons why we’re bullish on Aritzia right now.

    Reason #1:

    64.8% of Drop respondents have never heard of Aritzia, representing an opportunity for tremendous growth.

    We surveyed 2,690 American Drop members and found 64.8% had not heard of Aritzia, representing continued growth opportunities to infiltrate the U.S. 

    Looking further into the age cohorts, we identified 61.7% of Gen Z respondents were aware of the brand, in contrast to other age groups, where more than half of each respective age cohort were not familiar with the name. Aritzia has been recognized as the “Gen Z brand”, which has supported the brand’s accelerated growth.

    Aritzia is aware of this opportunity and their concerted effort to expand in the U.S. will only accelerate growth.

    Reason #2:

    Aritzia has a “cult-like” following among its consumers.

    88.5% of transaction-verified Aritzia customers reported that they plan to shop with them in the near future. 

    Aritzia has relied on premium in-store experiences in premium shopping districts to build brand awareness. Through Drop survey responses of transaction-verified respondents, 54.2% first heard of Aritzia by seeing the store in malls or major shopping districts. However, this is not their only form of brand awareness. They also use brand advocates on social media who share must-have articles on clothing and shopping. On TikTok alone, there are over one billion videos under the hashtag Aritzia (Vogue Business, 2022). 

    In late 2020 Aritzia began to see accelerated growth in the US. It was at this time that their Melina pants went viral on TikTok. Spending at Aritzia has increased 3x since the beginning of 2019. 

    Note: The Index approach uses the spend of base month (January 2019) as the benchmark to showcase the changes of spend from each following month in comparison to the base month. 

    Aritzia will continue to collaborate with celebrities and influencers alike as part of their brand awareness strategies to appeal to different audiences and reach more people. Recent collaborations include Kendall Jenner and Emma Chamberlain and other celebrities spotted with the brand include Meghan Markle (Yahoo Finance, 2019). Both paid and organic influencers have played a role in its accelerated market share growth in recent years. 

    Reason #3:

    Aritzia’s customer base is comfortable with higher prices in exchange for quality and exclusive merchandise

    When transaction-verified Aritzia customers were asked what were the top reasons they choose to shop with the brand, they said: for the high-quality clothing (59.9%), timeless pieces (45.3%) and positive shopping experience (28.1%). Simply put, Aritzia purchasers do not shy away from the prices, but instead, validate them by seeing these as investments in quality and reliable clothing that promise longevity. 

    Aritzia has a significantly greater basket size compared to competitors:

    Having several private label brands offering unique pieces like casual wear, comfortable athletics and formal wear, Aritzia has positioned itself to be the one-stop shop for everyday fashion that is both trendy and contributes to their capsule wardrobe set. 

    Consumers are trying to save money, yet the data shows persistently increasing demand for Aritzia. 

    Their growth in the US has only begun. Amongst millennials, they have a considerable opportunity to increase their brand awareness, which sits at only 35% today. They have ambitious plans to increase their investments in social media and their premium store footprint. When we couple this with their powerful brand loyalty and consumers willingness to pay higher prices for Aritzia; We are left with compelling reasons for future growth.

    Ready for more?

    To access up-to-date custom sector reports with a daily cadence, and to view quantitative and qualitative trends that fuel your work, contact sales@joindrop.com.

    Athleisure vs. Everything Else 

    Drop’s zero-party transactional data reveals noteworthy insights on athleisure’s growth in recent years.  

    Growth in athleisure retail spend has more than doubled its counterpart workwear since 2020. Athleisure spend has grown 16% since 2020, while workwear spend has only increased 7%. Even with some folks returning to the office, athleisure is coming out on top as the apparel of choice. 

    Average basket size for each clothing category tells us that consumers are consistently spending an average of 30% more on athleisure compared to workwear. In Spring 2022, when many returned to office, average basket size for workwear caught up to athleisure, but has fallen back since.

    Ready for more? To access up-to-date custom sector reports with a daily cadence, and to view quantitative and qualitative trends that fuel your work, contact sales@joindrop.com.

    Win in a Cookie-less World

    Leveraging First-party Data to Win in a Cookie-less World

    Is your business poised to survive the impending loss of third-party data? In a world where cookies are becoming increasingly scarce, how can you effectively target and target your customers and accurately measure attribution? Drop for Business has the only future-proof solution you can rely on, once the cookies start to crumble.

    What are cookies?

    Digital advertising has historically relied on a piece of data deliciously named the “cookie”. This benign-sounding nodule is widely used as a tracker of web activity; functioning as a small digital marker passed between a user’s browser and websites, to help site owners better understand their visitors’ online activity.

    While the initial intent of the cookie was not to track user behavior on the internet, it quickly became commonplace. Personalized advertising unlocked by 1-to-1 tracking from cookies revealed new heights for digital marketers and digital marketing ROI. Cookie-based marketing began to play an integral role in the performance of multi-million dollar advertising campaigns on Facebook, YouTube, Reddit and many others.

    Why are cookies disappearing?

    Apple was the first major company to severely limit the ability of advertisers to track users on its devices – requiring consumer permission before tracking activity on websites and apps. Safari also limits the usage of cookie tracking, further restricting the details that advertisers can glean from an Apple device. While Apple is not strictly disallowing cookies from accessing Apple users, it is a fair assumption that, when asked, consumers will generally shy away from any form of tracking. These restrictions spelled a major shift in digital advertising, one that was further exacerbated by Google’s decision to limit the ability for cookie based tracking on its Chrome web browser.

    What does this mean for businesses?

    The restrictions put in place by Apple and Google have made it increasingly difficult to track users on the open web and businesses have been forced to adopt data collection at touchpoints within their direct control, like their websites and mobile apps. Nevertheless, such data collection techniques generally lack the granularity required for businesses to discern consumers’ intentions, preferences, lifestyle, etc.

    Facing these limitations, businesses are looking to augment their data to unlock a holistic understanding of their market landscape. To do so, they are partnering with organizations specializing in consumer-permissioned collection of data. Partners that specialize in data collection must take a strategic approach to ensure that their datasets are accurate as well as ethically sourced. The modern consumer is informed and knowledgeable of the value of their data. As a result, consumers are more inclined to provide accurate and complete information when a clear exchange of value is proposed.

    How can Drop for Business help?

    Drop for Business maintains a growing consumer base of over 5 million members, representing an average of 2 million transactions per day. All transaction data is stored with bank-level security and scrubbed of identifying information to maintain a safe and anonymized data set. Members actively participate in sharing their data in exchange for monetary rewards in the form of Drop points – pushing a frontier forward in a world where consumers and permissioned data sets are the priority.

    Advertisers are now able to leverage Drop’s ethically sourced, permissioned, first-party data sets in lieu of the advertising cookie to drive efficient and scalable campaigns far into the future, while driving significantly more value for both their brand and the end consumer.

    Request a Demo

    Learn how your business can see these results too