By Craig Rosenblum, Sr. Director, Retail Solutions
Willard Bishop, an Inmar Company

Over the past few years we witnessed the emergence of concepts such as “omnichannel” – the term still engenders debate – however, to me it’s nothing more than integrated promotion, shopping and fulfillment. Promotion in an omnichannel environment is keenly important because it drives engagement – And engaged shoppers are the retailer’s golden egg. The engaged shopper quickly becomes a loyal shopper, and loyal shoppers spend more per visit and make more visits. On average, loyal shoppers make up half to two-thirds of a retailer’s total sales. In fact, one loyal household equals eight uncommitted households.

Integrated shopping, often considered the nucleus of omnichannel, is simply providing multiple purchase paths for the shopper. These paths can be instore, online, mobile phone, kiosks, catalog, or a combination thereof. The consumer is also requiring a number of options for receiving their orders, such as parcel, i.e., Amazon’s Prime Pantry, store pickup, store drive-thru, and home delivery. Or they may choose to outsource the entire shopping experience to a concierge-type service such as Instacart.

The point is, today’s connected shopper is undeniably in charge, and trading partners that are not effectively mining their shopper data will miss their opportunity to provide a personalized shopping experience.

Moving forward, retailers and manufacturers will embrace new tools of engagement. These tools will combine shopper behavior and consumption trends with true profitability analyses, in order to begin the personalization process. This will deliver the requisite platform for developing targeted strategies by shopper segment, which in turn drives engagement. Key features and capabilities of these new tools will include:

  • Using shopping behaviors and patterns to determine true profitability by household
  • Understanding which households purchase extensively on deal versus those that are more price insensitive
  • Targeting promotions to encourage and reward overall household profitability
  • Evaluating and segmenting households by a number of measures, such as basket size, dollar ring, assortment and frequency
  • Optimizing media budgets (print, digital and social) by quantifying the value of a touch-point or engagement

The consumer is talking and marketers – those that are actively listening – will capture mindshare and market share at disproportionate rates. Once engaged, trading partners must work collaboratively to keep them engaged by continually supporting, even anticipating, their wants, needs and desires.

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