Consumer led, technology enabled
It mattered before, and it matters now. Covid-19 has impacted all of us in small to significant ways. As a consumer we are looking at the world a little differently and our lens on spending is, as expected, altered by the shock of this changed world.
As retailers, the pandemic has given us an opportunity to be smarter about how we do things, it’s highlighted what matters to our customer and has prompted us to face the customer with a renewed and reenergised approach.
When you’re a doctor, you don’t always know and understand what it’s like to be a patient. We’re very fortunate in retail, we’re all consumers and more often than not we are the secret shopaholics. So, when it comes to the moment of purchase, think for a second about the motivators that got you there.
When I reflect on what drives me to purchase, of course there are an abundance of ‘things’ depending on what the item is, car or lipstick, but in essence it usually involves the following:
- A brand that I feel represents who I am outwardly or who I am aspiring to be.
- A price point that I feel is fair and reflects the perceived value of the product.
- A marketing campaign that generates empathy by ‘setting a scene’ with the product and speaking with relevancy to their customer.
- Being creative with the experiences they offer, again creating an authentic dialogue with the customer, delivering personalisation or localised relevance wherever possible.
- A brand who cares about the impact of sustainability in their product, packaging and processes.
- Customer advocacy – positive peer reviews get me to add to basket 9/10!
We have been gifted a window of opportunity. When a crisis so starkly changes human behaviour, it surfaces what is really of importance to people. Interaction and personal touch cannot be underestimated in its significance, likewise, convenience and speed of service. We are witnessing dramatic sales growth in brands that have been agile enough to prioritise these essential consumer needs, with the master of in-store experience in their category: Bunnings sales rising by 19.2% and the king of convenience in online: Catch.com.au sales grew by a huge 68.7% in the June half.
What’s behind the success of brands like Bunnings and Catch?
- Knowing who your customer is, what connects them to your brand and how they like to engage with your product are all key factors in delivering a more authentic dialogue. It’s not easy at scale, but there are many technology platforms that aid this data collection and requirement of speaking on mass with a personal touch.
- During the pandemic and now as we re-open, safety is trumping experience and frankly excitement when it comes to in-store environments. We need to be mindful that our customers are still looking for personalised and thoughtful marketing from their favourite brands.
- Speed and consistency. Consumers crave newness from brands, and they need to be encouraged to continue their love affair, which may come from a promotion that is relevant to them or user generated content. How are you utilising your digital network in-store? Are you running localised promotions? Delivering consistent communications at scale can be challenging, but there are platforms that skilfully support marketing teams with this.
- Directing our time wisely. Marketers need to be across so many facets of the brand and its movements, it’s crucial that time on the business (strategising) is balanced with our time in the business (performing tasks). Using technology shouldn’t add to your to-do list, it should save you time.
Brands that respond swiftly, smartly and at scale will succeed in this challenging period, but to do so they need to leverage on technology that enables agility and consistency in marketing communications.
CV-19 has been a catalyst for conversations of change, it is driving businesses to review how nimble they need to be as consumers shift their behaviours and this is surfacing exciting innovations in how we deliver and communicate product and service.