"Retail is not dead," said Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Fassler in a note to clients. "Eighty-five percent of retail sales", he continued, "are still made in physical stores today, though everyone is talking about the growing threat of e-commerce."
Many Maine small business owners can testify to robust, in-store sales.
For the first half of this year here in Maine, according to US Census data, retail sales grew 5.5% versus the same period last year. Sales of jewelry, books, toys, pet products and other specialty items are up 16.5 percent compared to last year, lodging sales are up almost 29 percent, and general merchandise sales are up 7 percent, according to a Maine Revenue Services report.
To successfully compete for an unfair share of the current retail boom, Maine small business owners need to create sustainable, store traffic. Creating a better mouse trap as Ralph Waldo Emerson believed, is not really the best way to get the world to beat a path to your door. Advertising is critical, says the Small Business Administration.
"Think you have a great product?" asks the SBA. "Unfortunately, no one's going to know about it unless you advertise." The SBA goes on to say, "Advertising, if done correctly, can do wonders for your product sales, and you know what that means: more revenue and more success for your business."
For Maine small business owners, advertising on Portland radio appears to be the key to building, sustainable in-store traffic.
A new study by TagStation, LLC shows that radio advertising can create a 22% traffic lift for retailers.
The study analyzed 1.5 million radio spot plays for 10 brands in the top 100 US markets, collecting listener data from April through June 2018. Utilizing the Dial Report's proprietary radio attribution capabilities, researchers compared consumer actions of listeners exposed to radio campaigns against those not exposed to ultimately evaluate the impact of radio advertising on average retail store visits.
Key findings of the study include:
- Store traffic lift saw the following increases:
- Automotive: 32%
- Beauty: 32%
- Quick Service Restaurants: 23%
- Home Improvement: 7%
- Retailers saw higher average store visits from listeners exposed to radio ads on Saturdays, Wednesdays and Mondays
Radio's ability to drive the remarkable traffic list is, clearly, tied to the medium's ubiquitous reach.
According to a study by Nielsen, after the content of the message is considered, reach is the most potent advertising element that can drive sales. Reach is more important than brand, recency, or context.
Last week, nearly 700,000 Maine consumers were reached by their favorite Portland radio stations. This is vastly more than used any other local advertising medium including television, cable, newspaper, streaming audio (e.g., Pandora or Spotify), newspapers, or magazines.
More importantly, for Maine small business owner who need to boost traffic counts, Portland radio has exceptional reach among consumers regardless of where in southern Maine they shop.
More Advice For Maine Small Business Owners
- Maine Small Business: Using Portland Radio To Reach Millennials
- Portland Radio: Best Way To Reach Likely Maine Voters
- What Maine Small Business Owners Need To Know About TV Advertising
- Maine Business Owners Find Advertising Inspiration From Away