2023. It's the post-pandemic, more-sustainably-focused, tech-innovation-minded, consciously-growing year in retail.
We visited Shoptalk to hear from industry leaders about their strategies for the future. Our commerce experts collected the key takeaways with you (our clients!) in mind. Here's what we learned about what retailers can do about making tough choices and smart investments.
Leverage emotional and value driven incentives for customers. Create connections and understand purchasing motivations. Cultivate experiences that provide insights directly from customers. User interviews, surveys, feedback - listening to your team on the front lines. Make sure that your product or service can positively contribute to your consumer’s life and add value to their experience. Does your product get used in major life milestones? Is your offering an everyday item that sparks joy? Build creative strategies that will impact your consumers' emotional experience of your store, site and product.
Diversify and provide a commerce experience where customers are already engaging with your brand. When we talk about leveraging new technology, this is such a big piece of the puzzle. Provide cohesive experiences and allow commerce to happen at every interaction. Enable your store employees - your social team, customer service reps to be brand evangelists. Get creative with your marketing dollars - host events, try wild-posting, collaborate with like-minded brands from a different vertical.
Don’t just collect customer data, action it. And start now. There will always be time to clean up previous teams or individuals' messy processes or incorrect mapping - that will not help you grow and gain insight. Start collecting and analyzing customer data now. Deploy tools that allow you to test and action on trends you see emerging. Getting more click-through on emails with BTS content? Add that content to PDP on entry-price point items to see if it drives more conversion for new users. Collect, test and try again.
Brick and Mortar is here to stay - and creating a unified experience is key to customer retention. Major retail brands are looking to create cohesive experiences for their omnichannel business. (Here at IM Digital, supporting omnichannel merchants has been a huge part of our story since day one). Make sure that your customers are earning loyalty in-store and online, that they can check their status at the cashwrap and in your Shopify customer account page. Create strategies around knowing that customers browse online and convert in store - or vice-versa depending on your product offering. Make sure your emails and SMS know the ‘where' and the ‘why’ they are engaging with your brand on all surfaces in which you have a presence.
Understanding and driving engagement with AI. Maximize efficiency by leveraging AI internally as well as a pillar of your growth strategy. Make sure you are taking full advantage of AI tools native to your commerce platform or internal workflow systems. It’s part of commerce and life and is here to stay. Before we start building businesses with ChatGPT, let’s make sure we are leveraging what we already have (and already pay for!) to its fullest extent.
We were so excited to see some of your faces in real life - and we’re looking forward to when we can get some face time with the rest of you. In this economy, we have been able to incrementally drive growth for our clients and their brands through strategy, development, technical innovation and partnerships.