As retailing technology becomes more sophisticated, it is increasingly difficult for marketers to know how to invest their time and resources for the greatest return. At a recent event in London, Rosetta’s Paul Elliott explained that many marketers are making two interrelated and extremely costly missteps – failing to effectively prioritize investments and to understand the needs, attitudes, and beliefs that drive the customers’ decision to engage with the brand. In response, he offered a list of six requirements for all successful retailers, regardless of category.
The invite-only “Future of Retail” workshop brought focus to the innovations that are shaping the future of retail experiences. It included live technology demonstrations, and thought leadership presentations on topics including location/proximity technology, clienteling, mobile payment solutions and social commerce. The event also enabled more than 40 marketers in attendance representing top brands, including Burberry, Lego, Michael Kors, Value Retail, Ralph Lauren and L’Oreal, to participate in collaborative workshops and share their own perspectives.
During his talk, Elliott stressed that the strategy of “throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks” rarely, if ever, properly aligns investments against the opportunities that will deliver the desired customer experience and business impact.
Instead, investment in innovation and enabling technology must be oriented around an understanding of the wants and needs of the brand’s target customers, which is a major challenge for those who don’t really have a deep understanding of what drives their customers’ decision to engage.
Yet all too often, retailers are still prevented from understanding their customers and delivering on their expectations because of organizational silos, lack of visibility to the customer across channels, antiquated legacy technology, and business policies and practices that have failed to adapt to the changing times.
Embracing the new “mandatories”
Elliott also noted that meeting high customer expectations requires adherence to an emerging set of “mandatories” – capabilities that every retailer needs to have, regardless of category. These include:
- Ubiquity Across Channels: creating a seamless experience across all consumer touch points, while maximizing the unique value/capability of each channel
- Omni-Channel Purchase Capabilities: converting every product interaction into a purchase opportunity
- Targeted Personalization & Differentiated Experiences: tailoring results based on “knowledge of me”; anticipating future needs
- Connected Relationship Management: removing the barriers between consumers and sales associates to build long-term relationships
- Omni-Channel Customer Service: enabling consumers to get the service they need when, where, and how they prefer
- Community Loyalty: connecting rewards to desired behaviors, like social engagement, not just transactions
It is only when these elements collaborate with consumers’ personal preference that retailers will be able to truly achieve engagement with today’s empowered consumer.
To find out more about the recent Future of Retailing event or to participate in a future Rosetta workshop, please contact Ali Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org.