The landscape of retail is changing, and even though there are concerns that digital is going to send brick-and-mortar the way of the dinosaurs, studies show that isn't the case.
Retail is thriving, and if you'd like your brick-and-mortar business to continue to do so, here are some things to consider and some data to back up these predictions.
When it comes to consumers, they want a fully immersive shopping experience, which is something they can't get online. They go to your store to feel a sense of community.
In an interview with The Shelby Report, Doug Rauch—former President of Trader Joe' s—shared his thoughts about the retail space of tomorrow:
[…] the more connected you are on social media, the less you feel connected. The more you get all of your goods in a transactional relationship online, there will be something missing. I think […] there's a great opportunity for retail to step into and create that place where people can feel validated, they can feel seen, they can socialize, they can get things they can't get on the internet, which is primarily a human experience. Retail anchors a human experience.
One way to fully engage your consumers is by placing a priority on employee engagement. Consumers want to work with people who are informed, engaged, and helpful. A recent Gallup survey noted that companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147%. Having a knowledgeable workforce will enhance the consumers' experience, garnering your brand a sense of loyalty and community.
62% of retailers report that the use of information (including big data) and analytics is creating a competitive advantage for their organizations. Knowing what your consumers want and being able to address those needs is going to be crucial in the future of retail.
Big data can garner big rewards, as evidenced by these survey results from ECRS:
• 64% of consumers are comfortable with retailers identifying them via their mobile phone when they enter a store, as long as it means a personalized experience
• 79% of consumers indicate that personalized service is an essential factor in determining at which store they choose to shop
• 68% of consumers are likely to shop at a store offering personalized rewards based on customer loyalty
Being able to conduct market research on your current consumers and compare that to your competitors, you can gain a better insight into what makes you unique and how to leverage that in the marketplace.
With the advent of new technology and data collection, retailers can personalize the consumer experience like never before.
The user experience should be seamless, personalized, and easy to implement. For example: geofencing your store to gather consumer data, and pairing that information with loyalty program usage, you should be able to generate targeted campaigns that encourage either e-commerce or in-store patronage.
Knowing what the consumer wants and how they want to get it is going to be critical in the coming years, and continued data collection will reshape the buying experience.
Consumers like to feel connected to the brands they are loyal to, so it's essential to meet them where they are. Having consistent messaging across all channels—web, in-store, social—ensure your brand voice doesn't get diluted.
Your employees are your best ambassadors, so they should always know what is new, innovative, or changing when it comes to your business. Ensure they have the tools they need to provide personalized outreach to your consumers.
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