The press has devoted many pages to the future of retail – experts from all parts of the industry have shared their opinions and proposed their solutions. If you have the time and inclination to read through them all, a common theme begins to emerge: in order to succeed, retailers need to embrace ‘multichannel’ (and more recently ‘omnichannel’) and in doing so, become all things to all customers. But, as digital, and particularly mobile, becomes ever more ingrained in our everyday lives (when was the last time you didn’t turn to your laptop or smartphone when you wanted to find something out?), it becomes increasingly clear that the pundits are looking in the wrong direction. Read More
Category Archives: retail
Today’s consumers have high expectations when it comes to online shopping. Having experienced the level of uniquely tailored recommendations and content offered by large industry players like Amazon and eBay, shoppers now expect a similar standard from their other brands of choice. As a result, increasing numbers of retailers are striving to meet these expectations, with Shop Direct leading the pack.
Shop Direct recently announced that it has hired its first Customer Director to drive its personalisation strategy, with the aim of creating the world’s most personalised website. The multi-brand online retailer, which operates brands including Littlewoods, Isme and Very (pictured), has illustrated a growing trend in the e-commerce world – giving personalisation high priority, and investing in it accordingly as a central part of its digital strategy. Read More
Having executed immersive retail experiences for several big-name brands across the world, I’ve observed nine simple tenets that ensure companies get maximum impact and return-on-investment from their activities. Of course, it may not be immediately possible to hit all of these aspects in the first iteration of a digital engagement (in this case the digital reinvention of a bricks-and-mortar location), but the plan should be to properly explore as many as make sense for the strategy, budget, brand and business context.
The Christmas period is usually a bumper time for retailers. However this year some experts are also warning of a Christmas spending slump, with many consumers cautious about making large purchases. But with intelligently targeted campaigns marketers can counter the impact of these cautious spenders.
Social media, smartphones, tablets and access to limitless data has led to the always-on, connected consumer, who expects brands to communicate with them based on their needs and preferences. These customers demand a seamless experience regardless of the channel or device they use. Read More
Retailers worldwide are wishing for a plentiful Christmas this year. While some forecasters are giving conservative estimates, others are suggesting that 2013 could be one of the best years since the financial crisis began [i]. Either way the Christmas shopping period remains one of the most important times of the year for retailers and it’s vital that this opportunity is fully utilised.
Launching a pre-Christmas sale is a sure-fire attention-grabber, however there are many other ways that retailers can stand out online and on the high street, fostering loyalty that will last into the New Year and beyond. With so much resting on success in the run-up to Christmas, here are my top tips for showing shoppers that you care about more than getting them to part with their cash. Read More
It all began with those familiar Coca-Cola trucks back in 1995. Today, it’s the UK’s biggest retailers who carry the torch.
Unlike the Coca-Cola ads of yesteryear, today’s ads have the benefit of social media support. A nice budget for video seeding and social spend can go a long way.
The past month has seen the nation’s largest department stores unveil their grand, over-the-top window displays, multiple Santa Grottos and tear jerker TV adverts in an attempt to grab consumer attention during the run up to the biggest shopping period of the entire year.
Industry body IMRG predicts high street spending will reach £40 billion this festive season, with online spending also expected to hit a record figure of £10 billion for the first time. This comes as UK retailers rush to embrace online consumers with seasonal deals, mobile optimised sites and alternative delivery options – all aimed at creating a seamless and efficient online shopping experience as an accessible alternative to the busy high streets.
Even when I worked in a London bookshop approximately 300 years ago (or at least before Amazon existed), book tokens felt like something from a different era. We had to lick a gummed strip to stick the tokens into cards to sell them, and it felt like we mostly sold them to charming older people afraid of choosing the wrong gift for their grandchildren.
The busiest retail period is fast-approaching. The relentless Christmas shopping schedule puts retailers and consumers through their paces, with stores ruthlessly competing on price to encourage shoppers to visit their stores. But this is by no means reserved for just the Christmas period; it’s a habit that retailers are constantly indulging in.
The ‘discounting habit’ is one that’s fuelled by bargain-hunting consumers, who have come to expect deals on a large number of branded products. The rise in popularity of voucher codes and price comparison sites, have equipped the modern-day shopper with valuable (quite literally) intelligence that can be used to demand the best possible price from retailers.
F-commerce was hailed as the future of online shopping, and there was a lot of anticipation that Facebook would turn into the destination to stop and shop. But the results were underwhelming, Facebook’s efforts to get ‘e-tailers’ to build shop-fronts on its pages fell flat. According to Brian Solis “F-commerce gets an “F” because brands used Facebook as yet another digital catalogue for selling products and not as a platform for activating new experiences based on the nature and the psychology of the relationships that define the network”.