Increasing in-store sales through creative omni-channel digital and social media marketing strategies: Case study of HobbyTown

Andrew Smith, President, initiate-it

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Abstract: Many retailers with brick-and-mortar locations are losing ground or failing due to the rapid rise of e-commerce. In stark contrast, US toys and games retailer HobbyTown saw 5 consecutive quarters of increased in-store sales and customer engagement following 12 consecutive quarters of declining sales. This dramatic reversal resulted from successful, strategic digital and social media marketing campaigns featuring strategies that revitalised the social, web and mobile channels through which HobbyTown connected and interacted with current and potential customers. HobbyTown understood the unique value of the immersive in-store experience offered to customers and capitalised on this knowledge by using highly personalised and localised digital marketing techniques to increase purchases within physical store locations. This paper explores the methodology of these digital and social media marketing strategies, including campaign development, implementation, measurement and results. The insights shared will enable retailers with physical store locations to develop effective digital and social media strategies to deploy when social distancing directives for COVID-19 are fully lifted and business returns to normal.


Keywords: digital marketing; retailing; CRM; social media; omni-channel; local retail; in-store purchasing; brick-and-mortar stores


Andrew Smith is an advertising agency executive and entrepreneur with 25 years’ experience in marketing and advertising. He is also President of initiate-it, the agency he founded in 2011. A recognised expert in the field of digital marketing and advertising, he has been a featured speaker at a number of Digital Summit Conferences held throughout the USA.

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