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Three Key Trends For Retail Marketing from CRMC – Part 3

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Three Key Trends For Retail Marketing from CRMC – Part 3
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The three key trends identified by Parissa Behnia while attending the Customer Relationship Management Conference (CRMC) on behalf of Hanifin Loyalty LLC include the following.

  1. The Promise of Customer Data: Collecting and accessing customer data isn’t just for marketing purposes anymore – it serves to inform the structure and strategy of the overall business
  2. Have the Courage to Be Bold: To achieve full business potential, retailers need to become “bold” and walk out their brand promise through the delivery of customer experiences that differentiate and excel
  3. Brick and Mortar retail is not dead!: Offline and online worlds are colliding and retailers need to identify and leverage “why” their physical location exists to understand how it can win over pure online commerce

We wrap up our 3 part series with discussion of Trend #3 today.

Hope for Brick & Mortar Retail
Sarah Lacy, Senior Editor of TechCrunch! stated that we are witnessing the revenge of the brick and mortar stores. Even though e-commerce is 10% of retail sales, it happens to be a very disruptive 10%. Many retail models have been turned on their heads because of this new way of shopping, selecting and purchasing products.

The way things were “always done” are no more and the reality is that there is some scrambling to keep up with mobile and other technologies to keep customers engaged, loyal and happy.

The original ways of doing business online were driven by convenience and low price. Over time, the online shopping experience has been transformed to include high touch or human driven experiences (e.g., customer recommendations, “people also bought” messages, live customer chats, etc.) – also known as curation.

Really, what’s happening is that offline and online worlds are colliding. As customers continue to transact online or on their Smartphones, these transactions are enhanced using real world experiences thanks to connections with others on these sorts of platforms: Yelp, Groupon, Foursquare, Twitter and Shopkick.

Ultimately, Sarah rightly pointed out that in some cases, it’s not that physical location exists, it is the why that makes physical location win over pure online commerce.

She recommended four strategies to improve brick and mortar retail’s chances:

Strategy 1: Play up your niche. It’s difficult to buy maternity clothes or food online. Celebrate that natural advantage over online but you can use online to enhance the experience.

Strategy 2: Pilots are your friend… There is nothing wrong with test and learn.

Strategy 3: Barbell. If something is best done online, then put it online. Make sure to have several high touch points in the customer journey to provide/reinforce what online can’t.

Strategy 4: Service. Nordstrom is an excellent model of service in this social commerce world. Aspire to that level of service and people will always come back to you.

Really, the most interesting part of the keynote was her level of optimism for brick and mortar. All is not lost and now is an excellent opportunity for traditional retailers to leverage the best of both worlds.

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