Change is clearly on the minds of marketing retailers. Retail transformation has been a consistent theme dominating presentations and conversations throughout the first half of 2017 at events like CRMC and ShopTalk. Innovative retail brands are giving us a glimpse into the future, sharing some of their successes along the way. Here are some things we’ve seen and heard that we find thought-provoking.
Three Tips for Retail Marketing Success in the Second Half of 2017:
1. Brands are Creating Memorable Experiences
Retailers who establish themselves as uniquely different, memorable and meet a distinct value proposition will flourish. Multiple speakers at CRMC earlier this summer shared the trend that a large majority of millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on an experience or event over buying something desirable (Harris study).
A retail store has the unique opportunity to showcase its products in ways that enhance the consumer experience, while e-commerce brands must consider how quality, value and convenience give them an edge over Amazon. E-commerce retailers like Warby Parker were lauded for innovating a category that in the past was time intensive and expensive. Brands like Ulta and Sephora have a knack for drawing people in to stores to touch, feel, sample and be pampered by the products they sell. Bottom line: Positive experience is the greatest predictor of loyalty. Experiences matter because they translate well to social media and they give consumers something to talk about.
2. Experiences Must be Personalized by Leveraging the Latest Technology
Brands that develop innovative technology will have a competitive advantage as 5G comes online globally in 2020. What is 5G? 5G is the technology that will empower the future state of consumer engagement with brands. It will enable billions of things, like smart devices, drones, cars and more, to connect wirelessly – with faster and more efficient computing power than ever before. With consumers demanding personalized and relevant communications, 5G is going to enable a brand to increase touch points. It will provide additional means to enhance customer experiences and leverage customer feedback. Brands that are taking steps today to enable personalization and positive experiences through technology innovation will be in the best position to deliver on customer expectations as technology continues to evolve.
3. Collecting the Right Data Will Ensure Success
Retailers need to be willing to listen to what consumers are saying, watch what they are doing and put the right data collected to use in making the customer experience ideal. Marketers investing in analytics and platform solutions that allow them to understand consumer needs will deliver on customer expectations better than marketers who don’t invest. Many retail marketers collaborate with partners who enable efficiency and expertise in data, analytics and technology services. “Getting help” is not a sign of weakness, it is a necessity. Due to the rapid evolution of data skills, brands that engage partners with expertise can come to market with relevant marketing tactics much more quickly than those that don’t.
Change is good.
Retail is in the midst of a massive change. With news of retailers going bankrupt, retail locations closing at a fast pace and dollars being syphoned to Amazon, there’s good reason for concern. The bright future for retail must be making it more rewarding for consumers. Brands focusing on retention and perfecting the customer experience will thrive in the remainder of 2017. That’s something to be excited about.