Today’s retail landscape is changing rapidly, remapping how marketers try to influence the purchase process. The advancement of technology along with shifts in consumer mindset are changing the nature of retail.
- Lowered barriers to market are ushering in many new small players and fragmenting the retail landscape, resulting in increased competition.
- Online marketplaces are transcending geographic proximity and expanding market demand for highly specific offerings. This allows small niche players to reach consumers irrespective of physical location.
- Technologies such as on-demand fulfillment are changing how and where retailers sell and hold inventory. Tools like digital platforms and social media enable businesses to connect buyers and sellers directly across regional and even national boundaries.
To weather these enormous challenges, marketers must take on the challenge of finding ways to serve individual consumers in ways tailored to their needs and desires. Customers today, expect a seamless shopping experience across online and offline channels.
Reimagine how you create value
Traditional marketers need to reimagine how they create and capture value, thinking past omnichannel marketing. Marketers must focus on positioning themselves in the highly competitive retail ecosystem.
Digital marketplaces often fulfill orders on demand using platforms such as eBay, Storenvy, or Etsy. On-demand fulfillment is affecting both luxury and mass-market retailers.
Brick-and-mortar stores now serve as a stage for customized consumer experiences that not only surprise and delight but also educate the consumer, helping them find the most relevant and valuable products to them.
Brick-and-mortar marketing needs to focus on engaging deeply with and educating the customer—and evolve with consumers’ changing tastes, preferences, and needs.
Adapt to market changes seamlessly
Once retailers and marketers understand which role their company plays, they can more readily adapt to how they market their company’s offerings. They also prepare themselves to react to shifts in consumer attitudes.
Integrate with traditional customer support
Marketers will also need to integrate their efforts with traditional customer support systems. There is an often-untapped opportunity for further meaningful consumer engagement before, during, and after purchase.
They can gain significant value from the engagement by offering advice, recommendations, and upselling additional products.
The way forward for marketers
Focus on “scaling the edges.” Start with a small budget and a small test campaign. This can demonstrate the effectiveness of a new approach to your broader organization that can then scale. This is not only a more manageable approach, but it also allows for your organization to be more agile as the landscape continues to evolve in the future.