What is modern retailing?
How the most successful modern retailers are gathering insights and using them to their advantage.
By Dorea Novaez, Contributor @ Endear
Customer loyalty is dead. Foot traffic is down. Amazon is king.
It's no question the headlines are scary. But what does this really mean for the future of retail? Before you go writing retail's epitaph, think about the opportunities that the modern landscape has to offer.
Companies adapting successfully to these changes are nimble; making calculated, informed business decisions with the help of advanced data analytics. This proliferation of consumer data can seem intimidating at first glance, but the doors it has opened for smaller brands and retailers to work smarter and insert themselves into a "relevant" status among consumers is a monumental moment in retail's transformation.
In fact, data-driven marketing is more accessible and more approachable than it has ever been.
Meet consumers where they want to be
As consumers develop an increasing appetite for unique, personalized, and efficient shopping experiences, the retail industry has moved away from the same old, uniform product offering. Rather, curated collections, experiential elements, collaborations, and high-touch, yet expedient, service are dominant features of companies making a mark for themselves in this new age of retail.
This is a growing opportunity for more boutique brands and smaller retailers to flex their core competency as tastemakers in this "unbundling" movement. But understanding your customers' habits across all channels is essential to positioning yourself correctly, and efficiently, to gain traction with the right audience.
And no, you don't have to be a data scientist to digest relevant insights and use them to your advantage. You simply need to make the choice to invest in these tools, whether that is hiring a dedicated employee to work with these insights or empowering your existing associates and store managers with a platform like Endear.
Targeting & Segmentation
Being there at the opportune moment and getting your message in front of an ideal set of customers is everything. A variety of PPC marketing options allow you to follow your social community (or potential followers) with an evergreen and persistent offer of purchase. And the ease of using digital marketing to target and segment leads has given brands an accessible platform to amplify their voice.
But it's no doubt a crowded space. So how can you further differentiate?
Perhaps the most effective option for driving conversion is not automated at all, but personal. This is especially true for boutique brands and smaller retailers who resonate as more "authentic" options with the modern consumer - best to keep it fresh and organic while utilizing technology to marry the in-store experience seamlessly with your e-commerce platform.
Armed with the right tools, you can reinvent the tried and true practice of clienteling: targeting the right customers at the right time with the right product through a dedicated associate who knows and understands their purchase patterns, thus increasing the likelihood of conversion, both now and in the future.
Endear customers have empowered their associates with the ability to send curated lookbooks and personalized text messages full of clickable content to drive sales and further solidify relationships. This content offers instant gratification for shoppers, but the relationship-driven sales approach feels warm and personal, rather than transactional, resulting in repeat business.
Not only do technological advancements make personal clienteling more efficient and visually engaging for customers, it also allows you to accurately measure the ROI of your associates' outreach efforts, track purchase history across platforms, and understand the lifestyle and lifecycle of your customer. This knowledge can help you fine-tune future marketing efforts, tailor product offerings, and roll out relevant promotions.
What categories are driving the most purchases from your clienteling messages? What types of products sell better in-store vs. online? How frequently are your associates sending messages to clients? All of this information is easy to access thanks to the data Endear Insights helps you collect.
Delivering the modern retail experience
Customers want a retail experience that spans the physical and digital divide and delivers consistent, easily accessible service. The solution to this is true human interaction. Endear allows your associates to personally guide your customers, essentially holding their hand, back and forth across these channels, resulting in higher conversion and higher lifetime value.
Establishing a relationship-based sales model allows you to drive business regardless of foot traffic and enables you to provide a seamless and high-touch service element efficiently, utilizing an existing resource in your store staff.
In addition, you can easily track your success with this model through data. This is essential when developing a new strategy for your business, allowing you to continually assess the value of your tactics and make changes accordingly. This is the definition of nimble in today's modern retail landscape.