The New Retail Game: An Advertising Week 2018 Insight
15 October, 2018
At Advertising Week NYC 2018, the big question on everyone’s mind was how is retail changing? With the digital landscape evolving so rapidly, and countless channels for consumers to shop, it is critical that brands are keeping an eye on the future. We attended “The New Retail Game”, a panel focused on analyzing the state of the retail landscape, looking at the future and the concepts that inform successful strategies. Here are some of the key themes that came out of the session.
For retailers to drive tangible business results they require an enhanced user experience – this notion hasn’t changed. What is changing are the variables, the expectations, and the operation of this concept. To maintain loyalty and retain customers, it’s down to marketers to evolve and innovate.
When consumers are shopping online, they have high expectations of their digital experience. They expect stores to remember what they’ve bought, make suggestions on future purchases, and offer timely suggestions on re-purchasing or replacing. Consumers expect brands to really understand their preferences.
For brands, this is a gift but there are strings attached. The ability to connect with customers in a logged-in environment is incredibly valuable, but if customers don’t feel they are receiving value they’ll look elsewhere. One poor experience is enough for a consumer to shift their brand loyalties. Brands need to focus on creating an online experience where consumers feel understood by the brand, allowing seamless transactions to take place. Even the best online fashion retailers still require customers to input a size for their purchases every time causing friction.
Brands have the ability to collect consumer data to enable a seamless online experience. Data shows that consumers are willing to give up some privacy for convenience, but in exchange they want value. If retailers are learning and reciprocating from this engagement, it will lead to a loyal consumer base. Conversely, if the value exchange is missing, consumers will defect. Retailers need to use data to capture what consumers want right now and what they want in the future. Data should be informing decisions, innovations and personalization.
Finally, it’s important to remember that most online purchases are made through a combination of in-store and online, meaning an omnichannel strategy is key. The challenge is to bring the digital experience to bricks and mortar. Retail needs to evolve, and right now it’s not changing as fast as it needs to. In-store transactions need to be personalized but most in-store retailers don’t have access to their customers profiles online, so customers are treated anonymously. Bringing the in-store experience closer to the digital one will allow brands to increase sales, become more effective, retain customer loyalty and keep bricks and mortar in business.
We would love to discuss your online retail strategy, looking at how personalization, optimization, measurement and innovation can grow your business. Get in touch for more information.