Online vs. Retail Promotion Tactics – Which works Best?

By June 3, 2019 February 5th, 2020 No Comments
, Online vs. Retail Promotion Tactics – Which works Best?

In the words of the famous author Mr. Paco Underhill, the subtle manipulation between what we need and what we want starts as soon as we enter the retail store. Appealing to our senses is what sells the product i.e. the sense of vision, smell or touch. 

The retailers plan the in-store promotions very effectively with the setting up of promotional banners along the aisles and the front gate of the stores, offering deals like buy one get one free and complementary product deals. On the other hand, online promotion strategies involve flashing of eye catchy deals (ex. best deals for today, etc.) as you scroll the website and recommendation of products based on user’s search and purchase history.

Promotion really depends on what type of business one has. Both types of promotions have importance for Business sales. If you have a local business you must take the help of offline (retail) promotions for your local customers but if you have a global business you can take the help of online promotional strategies as well.

But the question is which one works best in the age of mobile and internet?

What are your customers doing in the morning? Are they reading newspapers/ magazines while they eat their breakfast or watching television? Forbes says NO on that. The audience isn’t there anymore – they’re all online. Statistics have shown that:

  • Instagram will bring in $1.53 billion in mobile ad revenue worldwide
  • Mobile advertising revenue accounted for 86% of total Twitter advertising revenue

 Online promotions are cheaper to execute than traditional offline promotions. Now that 70% of people have access to mobile and laptops, everyone can get access to what they want in a single click.

Business point of view

Let’s talk about some of the advantages of online promotional strategies over offline or in-store ones.


Online marketing tools like Google Analytics and AdWords help to gather data and analyze the multitude of metrics available on the web in an intuitive manner. They can show you the indirect and direct impact an online promotional strategy has on your ad visibility, clicks and most importantly the conversions to e-commerce sales.

In offline marketing, conversion, visibility, or overall effectiveness of an ad can’t be easily measured, because it’s impossible to tell from print media whether the audience was/ wasn’t persuaded to make the purchase.

Advanced Targeting

Online promotional strategies make targeting a specific audience incredibly precise. Websites like Facebook, Google and Instagram can target ads directly to the chosen audience and even display to how many people the ad has reached. 

Summing up other advantages of online over offline promotional strategies:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • The real-time result
  • Better engagement (building communities)
  • Convenience (24/7 or 365 days)

Need for an Omnichannel strategy?

Offline marketing is more straightforward and quantifiable when it comes to costs. 

Ultimately it is important to retain a balanced approach to market your business, never choosing to exclude a particular platform outright because by putting all your eggs in one basket you could be missing out on important opportunities on a daily basis. 

The concept which here we are talking about is Omnichannel – guaranteeing the same experience offline and online for customers. This model, where retailers create and extract value from brand evangelization and not necessarily only from traffic conversion, is probably the best scenario for many retailers with a strong physical presence.

The need for today is for retailers to have a smart combination of the two strategies which in the end boost sales and increase customer engagement.

Check out our previous blog : %OFF Or $OFF: What Works?

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