How Channel Integration Benefits Digitally Native Organizations (

Over the last 15 years, the retail industry has undergone a major transformation thanks to the growing use of digital shopping channels by an increasing number of consumers. According to the Department of Commerce, total e-commerce retail sales were estimated at nearly $602 billion in the United States in 2019 (about 11% of all 2019 retail sales), which was a nearly 15% increase from 2018.

With projections from eMarketer that e-commerce retail sales in the US could reach nearly $970 billion by 2023, it’s easy to understand the reasons behind the proliferation of digitally native organizations looking to ride the e-commerce wave to success. So, while brick-and-mortar is still the primary driver of retail sales, it’s become increasingly clear that the momentum of e-commerce can’t be stopped.

But in today’s retail environment, even masters of digital marketing should recognize the need for an omnichannel approach to their marketing and customer engagement. However, there’s likely some apprehension and confusion regarding the logistics of expanding their marketing and engagement into more traditional direct mail channels and the benefits this channel integration can provide them.

To help digitally native brands understand these benefits, QuickPivot spoke with Todd Miller, senior vice president of Strategic Services at CohereOne. CohereOne helps direct-to-consumer oriented retail brands navigate the direct mail channel, managing campaigns on behalf of its clients and integrating those efforts with what’s happening online.

Read more: Overcoming Retail Challenges Using a Customer Data Platform

Here’s what Todd had to say about the benefits of digitally native brands incorporating direct mail channels into their operations, as well as what it takes for digitally native brands to succeed in their channel integration efforts.

So, let’s dig in. For the retail brands that are best classified as “digital-natives,” what’s compelling about the direct mail channel? How do you convince those brands that direct mail is worth the investment?

Todd Miller:
In the end, it comes down to incremental ROI (return on investment). So, for those brands that haven’t tested the direct mail channel, CohereOne tries to meet a prospective client where they’re at, in terms of their progress down the direct mail path. Many are budget-constrained, and accustomed to the instant gratification that gets delivered in the digital advertising and programmatic realm.

Not every digital-native brand is going to suddenly jump into mailing millions of full-sized catalogs and opening dozens of physical retail stores. Most, in fact, launch their direct mail efforts inconspicuously via postal retargeting, utilizing a postcard as the vehicle. In that respect, it’s pretty easy to measure the incremental effectiveness of direct mail, and the results of the campaign arrive quickly.
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