Referral marketing is failing 91% of shoppers (but don’t worry – we’ve fixed it)

Here’s a really worrying statistic:

According to the latest Census Bureau report, 90.9% of all retail sales still happen in-store. Not online, not on mobiles, but in brick and mortar stores. And yet, only 5% of refer-a-friend programmes allow for that.

Say what?

Now, obviously, lots of these in-store sales are small, casual purchases that could and would never take place online – a coffee here, a pack of gum there. But, as PwC’s Total Retail Survey recently made clear, many sales take place in-store not because online isn’t an option, but because it’s simply not the preference for huge numbers of customers:

37% of shoppers prefer to buy toys in-store.
40% prefer to buy entertainment products in-store.
47% prefer to buy health and beauty products in-store.
51% prefer to buy both fashion and consumer electronics in- store.
59% prefer to buy furniture and homewares in-store, and…
70% prefer to buy groceries in-store.

So, surely referral marketing should cater for that? Surely referral marketing should be as omnichannel as the rest of retail has become? Well, yes, it should be – but, almost invariably, it isn’t.

And that’s insane. But, thankfully, the latest referral tech has got to grips with the problem. That means that customers can now get involved and start sharing wherever they might be. And, when an existing customer spreads the word and recommends a brand or retailer to their friends, those friends can now go and shop online, on mobile, via a call centre or even, yep, in-store. And, crucially, everything still gets tracked.

Kind of seems a no-brainer. Sorry you had to wait so long.

If you’d like to know more about omnichannel referral, we’d be delighted to walk you through some use cases and client examples. Just get in touch.

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