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Modern retailers are meeting multichannel consumer demands

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2019 – As more consumers embrace multichannel shopping, retailers are diversifying their investments online and offline to meet customers’ needs, according to the annual State of Retailing Online study released today by the National Retail Federation and Forrester.

“Retailers are evolving with customers’ shopping behaviors by creating a seamless shopping experience online and in store,” NRF Vice President of Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “From pop-up stores to social marketing, retailers are finding innovative ways to engage and acquire new customers.”

Retailers clearly see the value of physical stores, particularly as ecommerce costs are increasing. More than half of surveyed retailers confirm they will open stores in 2019, and 36 percent will have a higher store count than in 2018. Only 7 percent of respondents said their net store count would decrease.

To bolster their customers’ store and digital experiences, increasingly customer-centric retailers are investing in omnichannel fulfillment services, personalization tactics and mobile marketing. They are also making strides in better measurement and refined omnichannel programs.

The digital marketing landscape is also shifting. To reach their customers more effectively, retailers are prioritizing spending on social marketing and engaging with consumers on mobile devices. For the first time this year, social surpassed search marketing in terms of where retailers are increasing their marketing investments: 55 percent of surveyed retailers are planning to increase spending on social marketing compared with 51 percent on paid search.

“The marketing mix is palpably changing,” Sucharita Kodali, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, said. “Not only has social knocked search marketing from its spot as the top-growing digital marketing tactic, but retailers are also tapping into video marketing and online marketplaces as increasingly important tools for product discovery and research.”

SORO 2019 is free to download for NRF members and is available for non-members to purchase from Forrester after March 25, 2019.

About NRF

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. nrf.com

About Forrester

Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Forrester’s unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 675,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data and analytics, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, the Forrester experience is about a singular and powerful purpose: to challenge the thinking of our clients to help them lead change in their organizations.

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