So much has been happening in the retail world lately, it’s hard to keep up! Every day, our social media newsfeeds are full of articles and announcements about new technology that is significantly changing the shopper landscape.
So, we asked the top leaders in the industry to share what’s top of mind for them regarding omnichannel shopping this year.
Here is what they said:
Dan Pink, Author: That in our efforts to sell, sell, sell in a mobile world that we’ll start doing creepy, invasive things that make customers distrust us and ultimately defeat our own interests.
Christine Trodella, Facebook: Measurement is top of mind as omnichannel shopping becomes the norm. According to Forrester, the Web will influence 51 percent of offline sales by the end of 2015. The speed of this shift is creating a measurement gap for Retailers. Many existing measurement solutions don’t offer a complete picture of how different marketing channels perform and it’s hard to know which channels are actually driving additional business. Lift measurement can help marketers understand how digital channels like Facebook drive incremental in-store sales. With Facebook, these Lift measurement studies are grounded in real people – not cookies – allowing Retail marketers to measure the true impact of Facebook ads across channels and devices.
Joe Davis, The Coca-Cola Company: I feel like we are really starting to visualize what omnichannel shopping means, but I’m not sure we understand how to project our brand identities and equities in this environment in a consistent way. It still seems very fragmented – both the communication of the product/service offering as well as the understanding of the shopper’s behaviors. It feels like when we think of online/digital, we turn on one side of our brain – and then switch to the other side when we think of in-store. My goal is to help my organization think about it like the shopper – a desire for a seamless offering that fits my shopping occasion and adds value to my overall experience with the brand.
Dan Mudd, The Clorox Company: Reach & Relevancy - ensuring that our brands are offered everywhere the category is sold and also making sure our communication at every stop in the shopper’s journey toward purchase is single minded, value-added & differentiated vs. competition.
Mike Klein, Post Foods: Manufacturers need to change behavior to adapt to the changing ominchannel marketplace. This adaption is top of mind, specifically how to “stay one step ahead” of the rapidly changing path to purchase. Within this is understanding how to best capture Millennials, as their purchase behaviors are different from the generations prior. They are more influenced by digital, less likely to be influenced by traditional marketing/sales tactics.
Jonathan MacDonald, Thought Expansion Network: I view onmichannel shopping with an added dimension. It isn’t just about multiple channels of access, it’s about multi-way relationships between people and companies. Because a digital connected public are as capable as organizations there is less of a hierarchy today. Companies that will win are those that value and respect the involvement of people. Those that hold on tight to the hierarchies of old will find a public who are increasingly disenfranchised with the value exchange.
Jim Cusson, Theory House: I see 2015 as a “flushing out” period where consumers will ignore and discard a great number of apps and online shopping sites as they zero in on a handful of shopping destinations that are working for them. At our retail marketing agency we’ve watched sites like Fab.com fail and up and comers like Zulily start with a bang and find themselves reinventing their models. Shopper acceptance is going to require more than just price, variety or convenience. The retailers who find the perfect balance between these 3 attributes will find success.
Kristian Aloma, Brandtrust: As a student of psychology, it is perhaps too obvious to say I’m thinking most about the psychology of it all. Consumers are not only sharing stories as mentioned above, but they’re looking for stories to consume as well. More than a decade ago when I first took some courses in Integrated Marketing Communications, we focused so much on making sure that every experience with the organization was consistent. At that time, it was all about making sure the in-store experience was delivered by the customer service employees and that was consistent with the catalog and mailers sent out via post.
Today, the management of these channels is much more complex. From the Web to mobile to in-store and more, there is a great need to make sure that the narrative being created by each channel is consistent and complimentary. This isn’t only good marketing, it’s healthy behavior. Consumers want that consistent narrative because it helps create resolution in the mind about what that brand stands for. Consider our relationships with people. If your significant other looked and sounded different every morning you woke up, you’d become so distressed by your inability to predict his or her moods, behaviors and personality that you’d ultimately have to leave them. The same holds true for brands. If every interactions feels like it’s managed by a different department, is telling a different narrative, and leaves the consumer with a different feeling, the only story they may tell about your brand is how schizophrenic it truly is.
James Sorensen, Kantar Retail: It is fascinating to watch how pure play retailers are offering solutions to address their weaknesses. Ecommerce sites have some clear advantages by being able to provide auto replenishment, interactive information and reviews and personalization. But brick retailers are able to offer immediacy, customer service/advice and a more hands on, tactile experience. Each channel is then beginning to offer solutions that address their weaknesses versus the other. Ecommerce sites are experimenting with expedited delivery (i.e. Amazon locker), offering more consultative services (i.e. Stitch Fix) and even experimenting with open bricks stores. And bricks retailers are reducing store size and getting closer to their customers, providing interactive kiosks and personalized services through beacons and other in-store technology. In short, as this convergence progresses, the retailer who offers the seamless solution across all touch points will win.
Like what you’ve read? Hear all of the above industry leaders speak at The OmniShopper 2015 Conference in Chicago July 20-22 and revolutionize your shopper strategy to get ahead in the emerging retail landscape. OmniShopper, formerly Shopper Insights in Action, is the event of choice for the retail industry, and has been for over a decade. Experts from leading Retailers and Brands break down the dramatic shifts in shopper behavior and then teach you how to redefine your shopper strategy to win at retail.
Use discount code OMNI15BLOG for $100 off the current rate. Register today! http://bit.ly/1Lj7TZh
The #OmniShopper15 Team