By: Amanda Ciccatelli, Content Marketing & Social Media Strategist, Informa
Insights have become a vehicle for influencing marketing and ultimately, the world. That’s why next in our Insights as a Vehicle for Influence series, we sat down with Paul Donagher, Managing Director, Market Strategies. In our conversation, he shed some light on how omnichannel is impacting retail, how shoppers are shaping the future of retail, where retail is going in the next five years, and more.
How has omnichannel impacted retail positively?
Donagher: From a consumer perspective it has opened a whole range of researching and buying opportunities, or ‘instants of intent’. The intent has to be on both sides of the relationship, where both the consumer has the need and the marketer has the opportunity to have their brand positioned perfectly with the proper connections planning. Connections planning is really what omnishopping is all about – furthermore, we believe that the best outcomes for marketers start with a thorough understanding of consumers both from a category and brand perspective. This can only be achieved through properly conducted research that uses all of the attitudinal, behavioral and neuro approaches at our disposal.
What can retailers do better to embrace the omnichannel customer journey and experience?
Donagher: Our research shows that the relationship from the retailer side has to meet 3 key criteria – Seamlessness, Centricity and Experience. We conducted our own qual and quant research that really narrowed down the requirements for retailers to these 3 broad buckets.
How are shoppers shaping the future of retail?
Donagher: The information is all on the Omnishopper’s side. They are better informed than ever before…which in itself poses questions and provides opportunities to retailers.
What are some shopper insights lifecycle best practices you can share?
Donagher: We spend a good deal of time trying to illuminate what we call ‘Day in the Life’. Of course, depending upon the category, the Omnishopper journey and the constituent path-to-purchase can be weeks or longer, however we use the notion of a ‘Day in the Life’ to look for the key sequencing that matters to the brand. The ‘instants of intent’ I mentioned previously have to be uncovered and the reasons for those instants (needs, motivations etc.) have to be properly uncovered.
Why is it important to link digital and physical shopper marketing?
Donagher: That’s what the Omnishopper demands – the notion of seamlessness I mentioned. The Omnishopper loves the research capabilities of digital and the in-store benefits of in-store (shopping with friends, touching the product etc.). From the research perspective, understanding digital is the big opportunity. We continually look for those data sources that are ‘organically’ created for us and were not necessarily created for market researchers. Whether it be big data or something else, these data exist and we are uniquely placed to capture, process and analyze them for marketing purposes
How does omnichannel customer experience impact customer loyalty?
Donagher: We hear a lot about the lack of loyalty among Omnishoppers. We think that is premature but that loyalty may have to be redefined as will associated loyalty programs.
How is digital reinventing retail?
Donagher: Every consumer is a well-informed researcher – they know what to look for and where to look for it.
Where do you see retail moving in the next 5 years?
Donagher: There have to be more ways for every party in the transaction to be compensated. If I research on one site but then buy in-store or vice-versa, each party has performed a service. We hear a lot of discussion on how to make sure everyone is compensated for their part in the purchase.