Ah, December. When holiday sales are in full swing, Q4 is coming to an end, and retail marketers are finalizing their strategies for 2017. Feeling overwhelmed? We’re here to help.
Here are the top priorities in retail marketing as teams are planning for the upcoming year. Get ahead of the curve and start checking these off your to-do list. You’ll thank us later.
We’ve been hearing this buzzword quite frequently in the past few years and for good reason. It’s obvious that personalized service, look and feel are vital parts of the customer experience. In fact, according to a Forrester survey, personalization is a top priority for 68% of firms and will continue to be for years to come.
This initiative to send more personalized, relevant content, campaigns and experiences based on a real-time understanding of individual’s needs, preferences and actions is topping most marketer’s to-do lists for 2017. With digital experiences being the easiest and most important channels to personalize, it’s obvious that web and email touchpoints are first priority for personalization efforts. While this is nothing new, marketers will have to hone in on these efforts and make them laser-focused to provide customers with a unique and seamless experience across all channels.
Speaking of channels, you can’t have personalization without cross-channel marketing. In 2017 and beyond, marketers will continue to focus on individual customer interactions, and following those interactions across multiple touchpoints.
According to a 2015 study by the International Data Corporation (IDC) omnichannel shoppers have a 30 percent higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel. The value of engaging your customers with consistent, relevant content suggests that you know exactly how your customers are interacting in-store and online, and can cater to their preferences. To do this, though, marketers have to capture both online and offline behavioral and transactional consumer data to create a unified view of their customer. This gives insight into what their customers are browsing, buying and returning and where each customer is shopping, whether in-store, online or both.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities are changing the way retailers are approaching the shopping experience for consumers. Though it is advancing more subtly, AI will transform almost every step of the e-commerce process--from product recommendations to stock management, chat functionality to image recognition systems--AI can create real personalization so every individual can shop the way they want to.
With 70 percent of U.S. Millenials saying they would appreciate a brand or retailer using AI technology to show more interesting products, brands have no choice but to incorporate AI in their e-Commerce processes. Here are a few ways AI will transform the future of e-Commerce:
- Visual search capabilities that allow consumers to upload an image and find similar or complementary products
- Combining online and offline data to improve customer service whether the shopper prefers to buy in-store or online
- Virtual personal shoppers that are faster than humans, can analyze large quantities of data in a short amount of time, and have personalities fitting to the brand.
More than anything, though, AI allows for marketers to truly understand and connect with their shoppers while creating a unique experience that brings customers back again and again.
Because consumers prioritize ease and convenience, they want a one-touch checkout now more than ever. With mobile traffic doubling every year, it’s pertinent that retail marketers put mobile at the forefront of their plans for 2017. In fact, at the end of 2016, projections say there will be 447.9 million mobile payment users worldwide, and that 70 percent of all mobile users in the U.S. will make a mobile payment in 2017. Retailers who don’t see the significance in implementing mobile payment will fall behind and lose out on future sales. Whether that means integrating mobile POS systems, custom mobile payment apps, or third party options-- it should be top of the list for 2017.
To learn how to create Omnichannel personalization, take a peek at Storefront. You won’t be sorry.