Consumers have come to expect the same level of personalisation and service in the physical store as well as they do in the e-commerce environment.
How can brands and retailers step up their marketing efforts to better deliver to their target customers?
Consumers have become increasingly informed and prepared on their purchase decisions. Shopping is less about exploration, and more about finding contextual and relevant information immediately (through customer reviews, comparison websites and online tools). That represents a challenge, as well as an opportunity for retailers, to not just feature their products and services, but to also focus on delivering on the value proposition conveyed by their marketing messages.
The challenge for physical shops is to replicate the level of personalisation that consumers have grown accustomed to in the digital world. As e-commerce grows, expectations of personalisation in brick-and-mortar shops and stores will continue to get closer to those that customers have for e-commerce businesses. Understanding what kind of technology and data are required to enable that in the physical world is the biggest challenge for marketers today.
How to address tech-savvy shoppers’ needs
Consumers are progressively looking less at digital signs or in-store displays as often and intently as they used to. The traditional approach to in-store marketing is to fill the environment with marketing messages that a brand wants the customer to see and feel. But the busier their audience is by their own mobile devices, the more marketing and in-store communications should shift to mobile-first.
When does marketing become too invasive?
It’s a constant balance between the type of information delivered, and in what moment it is going to feel helpful to the customer, compared with what feels invasive. For example, When someone is standing in front of a certain product, talking to them about that product is going to feel invasive. But if the customer is in the women’s section of a department store, talking to them about ladies-wear is a little less intrusive. Where that line sits will constantly evolve.
Trends and considerations
- One-to-one analytics: understanding how one consumer behaves in an omni-channel environment.
- Personalised marketing (in-store and online): How to fully leverage this gathered one-to-one data about physical behaviour and use that to personalise and contextualise the retail behaviour to the individual rather than to a segment of the population?
Key questions to answer in this perspective are: What type of advertising did customers see? What notifications did they get? What push messaging did they see through email, messenger apps and SMS? What influence has that had on their purchase patterns, and can we use that to predict their future behaviours? The ability to do that at the individual level, even if it’s anonymised, is a powerful tool to get into the customers’ heads and step up the marketing game to the next level.
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