Friday, 26 April 2013 10:17

Imagining Retail Advertising

The shop-till-you-drop folks of this world are dancing in the streets over their ever changing world of fun: retail shopping. The shop-if-I-have-to folks, have encouraged retail establishments to take “mail-order” to a new level.

People who will avoid shopping at all costs now have a myriad of ways to shop and even save in private as retail marketing continues to find new niches of shoppers to delight and entice. In 2013, retail is projected to continue evolving in several directions.

The question is, will your business evolve with it? As a business owner, in today's world of the connected consumer, are you a “hire someone to do social media” owner or do you encourage social media by enabling the staff you have? At your business establishment, is mobile the way for customers to call and find out how late you are open? Or does mobile mean customer engagement with your service team, easy product information availability, reviews, testimonials, deals and more? What does a mobile shopping force mean to your sales? Nothing at all or is it yet another valuable touch point with your customers? As we move forward into a new paradigm of purchasing power, those digital touch points may come to mean quite a bit. Forbes recently named the three most important retail trends for the coming year:

  1. Mobile – this will be the year that mobile becomes imbedded into the lives of consumers – more mobile payments will be made, more people will check on a product they see in a store before buying it, many will visit a product in the store and then buy it online where they can get the best price (show rooming), apps will continue to present deals and steals, apps will also allow you to research online and then find the product locally.

  2. Integration - Emerging technology of the direct-to-consumer E-commerce model recently being discussed as the “Next Big Thing.” Haute couture and luxury brands continue to move online, Facebook becomes a place to delight your customers, Pinterest drives sales with images, the shift from offline commerce to eCommerce to integrated commerce has begun “If you haven’t already noticed, consumers today are both online and offline, and sometimes both–online while shopping offline. Online they are sharing, friend validating, researching, learning and developing a point of view. Offline there is touching, brand comparing and brand associating. All of this drives the brand of the future. Finding the formula to leverage that online/offline dynamic is critical.”

  3. More and More Social... Traffic from Pinterest has doubled in the last year while Facebook saw its share decline to just 90% (from 95% in 2011). But, this is not slowing down the integration of social media into the brand experience - cross channel retail has morphed into a multichannel shopping experience and is now becoming integrated channel shopping as marketers expand their reach and add to their arsenal of consumer touch points.

Lets not re-imagine retail, lets imagine the future of retail and how it can become more personal, less work, and more fun:

  • Pay portals - the cash register of the future come to you (this technology has been available in Apple stores for several years), retailers learn to close the sale where ever it takes place. When the transaction itself is mobile, how can your brick and mortar transition to continue delighting, enticing, and retaining customers?

  • A store where no buying takes place - showroom and gallery only! (Delight yourself at a Tesla Showroom then purchase online!)

  • Create the experience, not the transaction – grocery stores push a personalized tactic, coupons tailored to your buying history, people in Korea shop for groceries by scanning product QR codes with their cell phones while they wait for the subway, many grocery store chains now have online ordering and delivery.

  • Social media offers unlimited creative opportunity for introducing products and influencing purchase power - think Country Outfitter,  and Country Outfitter on Facebook.  How many new customers have they achieved with their luscious inventory images, weekly handbag and boot giveaways on Facebook and coupons direct to your personal email?

David Court of McKinsey and Company talks of the consumer decision journey (or CDJ) as the “iterative and circular process shoppers go through today when selecting brands, products, and services”. In essence, the CDJ has four phases: consideration, evaluation, purchase, and post-purchase. If you can creatively influence Mr. Court's four phases of the CDJ, then you will evolve with retail advertising and learn to enjoy imagining retail as a consumer driven process instead of trying to re-imagine the old rules of retail.

When you are ready for expert help in creating your message, give FiG a call.