With an empowered customer that increasingly uses price comparison or review websites, relies on the advice of trusted peers and embraces digital technologies such as mobile and social media to prepare his buying journey and actually buy, the retail industry is undergoing changes in the way it interacts with consumers.
On top of economic changes with increasing competition, the shift in consumer behaviour and the evolution to multichannel retailing is a key market driver in the industry.
The retail business and marketing challenges
The increase of online information and buying channels and of retailers offering online purchasing possibilities have made relationship marketing and a single customer view of the multichannel and multipurpose digital consumer a clear challenge in the retail industry.
Brand loyalty is more important than ever in a competitive landscape where choice is the prerogative of the consumer and loyalty, and word of mouth are achieved by optimal user and customer experiences.
As Neckermann.com marketing manager Jacky Lambert said in an interview: "The world has changed completely. In almost four years consumer behavior has changed and brand loyalty has seriously decreased."
Personalized interactions, tracking multichannel purchasing behaviour and integrating customer data to obtain a better understanding of customers and identify cross- and up-selling opportunities are key.
A summary of the main needs of retailers today:
- Maintaining and increasing revenue in a landscape of price reductions and unstable consumer spend due to economic instability.
- Preparing the arrival of ever more e-commerce pure players and retail chains.
- Coping with changes in consumer pre-purchase and buying behaviour
- Gaining a single view on the customer and each interaction, regardless of channel, time or place to better serve the multichannel consumer.
- Improving communication and promotions to improve conversion and Return on Marketing Investment.
- Managing and optimizing the entire customer life cycle.
- Analyzing new opportunities, lowering operational costs and building brand loyalty.
- Building trust in a world where consumers often trust their peers more than brands.
- Identifying real-time needs and opportunities through an integrated approach of social media monitoring, market analysis, feedback and online and offline behaviour.
- Being able to benefit from these real-time needs and opportunities.
- Integrating CRM and customer data with cross-channel behaviour to personalize and segment promotions, based on the right data, metrics and insights per customer.
- Identifying influencers and brand advocates and offering loyalty programs.
In order to optimize the revenue per customer, build trust, serve the multichannel consumer, improve conversion and acquire new customers, an excellent and consistent customer experience across all touch points and through a single customer view is a necessity for retailers.
Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.
Discover why your business should move to an integrated marketing approach step by step and how.