Retail’s biggest digital challenges (and how to overcome them)


AdRoll will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North this year.


The popularity of mobile platforms like Instagram, combined with increased internet access in public spaces, has created endless opportunities for retailers.

However, this increase in opportunities has also produced new challenges. Here are three key challenges modern-day retailers face, accompanied by AdRoll’s solutions for overcoming them:

1. Embracing multidevice lifestyles

It is common for people to access the internet from more than one device throughout the day. In fact, 67% of consumers move between devices when shopping online, and smartphones allow them to make spontaneous purchases more easily. As a result, retailers now have to consider all the ways that customers access their sites, rather than focusing on just one.

Solution: The AdRoll Growth Platform is designed to improve performance and drive results across channels and devices. AdRoll helps clients build campaigns that run higher in the sales funnel to properly align vendors with advertisers, which increases revenue. Jesse Adams, COO and head of finance at Beyond Yoga, stresses how important it is for marketers to “[engage] customers with the right ads across platforms and devices.” Jesse and his team invested heavily in AdRoll’s proven cross-device mobile advertising and dynamic ads, and also became early adopters of new products and integrations.

2. Winning over intelligent customers

Shoppers are smart. They know ads when they see them. As a result, they need up to eight touchpoints before converting, which means the path to closing a lead is far from straightforward. While necessary information like personal data, customer needs, and costs are all key factors in determining the quality of a lead, most of this information comes about only after multiple touches. This means every touchpoint with a prospective customer must be strategic, accurate, and timely.

Solution: With these factors in mind, AdRoll aims to strategically serve touchpoints at each stage of the purchasing funnel. This makes it that much more likely that prospective customers will convert. Sam’s Furniture & Appliances turned to AdRoll to send customers direct pushes of their browsing history to create timely, relevant messages using Sam’s products. Chief marketing officer Seth Weisblatt says, “Using AdRoll Convert for the web and Facebook along with email was essential to our marketing strategy. They have proved to be a great way to remind our customers of our products and build on the success we’ve seen with our email marketing efforts.”

3. Funnelling digital leads to brick-and-mortar locales

E-commerce has reinvented consumer spending habits. Retail giant Target discovered that 75% of their customers began their shopping journey on mobile devices. Instead of wandering from store to store at a local mall, customers are starting their shopping online and later deciding whether or not to visit a physical store.

Solution: Digital marketers should focus on finding creative ways to bring customers into their stores so that sales are not limited to online shopping. Seth Weisblatt uses AdRoll to keep customers returning to the Sam’s Furniture site by implementing loyalty programs that bring them to the store. This helps customers develop a genuine relationship with the brand. 

While digital marketing makes retailers’ lives easier in many ways, challenges still arise. Having a reliable, flexible, and adaptable advertising solution in place is crucial to combating these challenges and thriving in the competitive retail industry.