It must be difficult for retailers not to take the ostrich’s approach and block out the constant doom and gloom headlines about their industry.
With each day comes a new prediction on retail trends — from the death of the high street and the end of in-store shopping. In reality though, we are far from any form of retail apocalypse.
What we are seeing is an industry adapting and evolving to changing consumer habits, as it has always done. The big difference today is that customers don’t feel the same sense of urgency to buy when they visit a brand’s website or its store.
They have too many choices at their fingertips for that. The mentality for brands therefore needs to change from “Sell! Sell! Sell!” to ensuring they stay front of mind for customers when they finally do decide to buy.
This comes down to having a deeper understanding of customers, and the ability to offer them engaging retail experiences in-store, online, and everywhere in between.
“Our focus on experience isn’t limited to the external customer,” he said, adding, “We believe the experience needs to be just as positive internally… The right environment for innovation and creativity is vital if we are going to provide positive experiences to the end consumer.”
According to Lewis, there are three keys to delivering what he calls “flagship” digital experiences:
#1 Go back to basics and understand your customers intimately
A bricks-and-mortar environment offers the opportunity for sensory exploration and direct conversations with customers, but digital relationships involve multiple degrees of separation between seller and buyer.
Digital retailers need to put themselves in each customer’s shoes and understand their journey to offer them a relevant and stimulating experience.
#2 Enhance your merchandising capabilities
The battle for success occurs at the top of the sales funnel. Brands should focus their energy here, where it will have the biggest impact, by differentiating themselves with unique experiences.
To drive awareness, companies need to move away from just designing content for specific pages or platforms to designing content for individual customers. This way, they shine a clear spotlight on their merchandise and why it’s relevant to their audience.
#3 Promote a more agile culture
Brands need to make the shift quickly, but that doesn’t mean they need to get it 100% right straight away. Personalisation is an evolution that requires constant experimenting and refinement. It’s not always to embrace this way of working, but the value of staying on top of customer expectations can’t be overstated.
Guidance is key. For Boden, this meant coaching both its leadership team and marketers on the ground to work in a more agile way. The company also created cross-functional teams to spread this culture through the organisation, starting small and then building momentum.
If you’re at DMEXCO this year, drop by our stand (Hall 6 / A011 – B016), to learn about the latest technologies from Adobe and how they’re fuelling digital transformations for some of the world’s most respected brands.
Read more about Boden’s digital transformation here and find out how Adobe Experience Manager helps marketers and IT teams take advantage of their data to create amazing digital experiences.