“Retailers that have been around for a long time get set in little ways, and what happens? Competitors pass them by. They don’t realize it until they’re shutting stores down that it’s too late and they didn’t change quickly enough.”- Jonas Stillman, Director of Retail Systems and Omni Channel Initiatives, Office Depot
One thing was clear by the end of the conference, retail will change dramatically in the next decade. The most compelling change will be the methods in which retailers interact with customers, to better satisfy how the customers want to interact with them. Brick and Mortar retail is not dead, but as purchasing continues to shift online, personalization and shopper in store experience was key.
Shifting the focus to flagship store experience, and reducing foot print was a key point, as retailers need to make a greater impact with fewer stores. Data suggests that In-store shoppers typically spend 3x to 5x of the online shopper, so getting shoppers in the door still remains a huge focus Retailers also need to be focusing on real-time, digital methods to capture first party data rather than surveys sent to their email list post visit, when people are less likely to be engaged with your brand.
Data is Fundamental, but knowing how to leverage data is the key to success
“Retailers need to make big retail feel small by leveraging data, such as the rich data available through loyalty programs. Customers are appreciating personalized assortments — ones that are very localized and specialized, and personalized from the standpoint of pricing and promotion to the actual assortment that’s offered.” — JoAnn Martin, VP Industry Strategy and Market Development, JDA Software
There was much discussion on creating a link between the technology shoppers use at home and what they experience in a physical store. Omnichannel was discussed extensively, but it’s a given that retailers are employing a digital solution as opposed to prior years where this was a revolutionary concept. The challenge now is POS, loyalty programs, email lists, Wi-Fi marketing, etc are all silos of data that make it challenging to see the full 360 degree picture of a customer. Retailers need to have a much deeper understanding of the interactions that are taking place with the customers online and offline. What are they looking at, what are they buying? How frequently do they shop and where? A true connection between these data silos can help retailers better operationalize and leverage data to optimize the customer profile and attributes.
Clearly, the effects of personalization + data leverage allows retailers to find their best customer profile, and then use this data to find more customers that fit this profile in an efficient way. How will retailers use this data to thrive in a digital world? We think you can expect to see new and innovative way to connect with customers both onsite and offsite, and the merging of the two into one seamless experience. Companies who welcome these changes will be well positioned for the future.