Who will win the battle for consumers’ hearts-and-minds – and their wallets? Will the pure-play online retailers like Amazon and an increasing number of niche online-only sites like Bonobos and Fab.com, or omnichannel retailers that have the power of the Big Box behind them, win the revenue race?
To successfully operate in a competitive environment, retailers need to cultivate a brand that speaks to customers and employees. Here are ways to cultivate your brand that will speak to your customers and employees.
The brands we love most seem to get attention for not trying to get attention. Don’t get me wrong – they market too – but they do it in a likeable way, instead of acting like narcissistic teenagers. They don’t treat humans like clicking machines.
Some Fortune 500 companies are waking up to discover that millennials no longer care for their products. And unfortunately, some companies have also misdiagnosed why they are alienating this demographic.
When people are willing to hand over data about their heart, sleep cycles, medications, diet and exercise, why can’t retailers collect data without seeming creepy?
Your customers are not machines. You can target, track and acquire them, but you’re still dealing with conscious, emotional organisms. So how do you honor your customer’s humanity? In a world overloaded with choices, content and reviews, in what practical ways can you guide how customers relate to your brand?
In this new omnichannel world, what becomes of the retail store and the decaying shopping mall? Will the web win out and traditional stores vanish?
Failing to fulfill customers’ orders in a timely fashion can spell disaster for retailers of any size. Delivering products late can kill sales, batter your reputation and destroy customer loyalty. It can also squander all of the time, money and resources you spent acquiring new customers. Which is exactly why merchants need to remember that the customer experience journey doesn’t end with a sale.
With the threat of showrooming waning, retailers are facing a new challenge: webrooming. This poses a threat to retailers if people webroom on their sites, but purchase at a competitor’s store. But the practice can also be an advantage for retailers if they can find ways to lure webroomers to their own stores.
What will retail look like in 2014? Contributing writer Jonathan Levitt sees two major emerging trends occurring in the New Year: the rise of the ubiquitous shopper and wide-scale retail automation.