While most Shop.org Summit attendees were still on their way to Denver, hundreds – including myself – convened a day early for the Digital Retail Boot Camp. While being my first ever boot camp, and retail conference for that matter, it turned out I was in for more than a crash course in digital tactics. Presenters set the stage (and a high bar) for the next day of conference seminars.
And they did not disappoint. Subjects such as managing consumer data and leveraging multichannel platforms were hot topics throughout Tuesday’s sessions. Brent Dykes, from Adobe Systems, was spot-on during Monday’s Boot Camp with his “top trend” predictions in retailing – many were expanded upon in Tuesday’s sessions. Here is a quick look:
Personalization. Consumers want a personalized shopping experience. However, this is not a “one size fits all” venture. Tuesday’s keynote, “Digital Retail Strategies from Abroad,” from David Walmsly of Marks & Spencer, noted that creating a personal retail experience takes constant trial and error to be successful in finding what consumers really want in their shopping experience.
Mobile. Retailers should not be putting mobile initiatives on the backburner – consumers want this channel, and it’s here to stay. According to Forrester Research’s Sucharita Mulpuru – mobile adoption data is on-par with data from the 90s around internet adoption. NRF’s President and CEO Matthew Shay said it best this morning in his opening remarks, “mobile is not the future: it’s already here.”
Social. Consumers want to feel knowledgeable to their friends, and important to their brands. According to PSFK’s Scoff Lachut, don’t limit your brand or company in reaching consumers and helping them connect. Making use of multiple platforms and channels allows consumers to chat and share recommendations, and also connect with you, the retailer.
Product Experiences. Giving consumers an experience – and not just a product – builds brand loyalty. Steve Murray, who spoke on the evolution of the Starbucks logo and how it impacts the consumer experience asked, “if your brand walked into a room, how would you describe it?” Murray emphasized how the Starbucks logo is part of a larger goal towards delivering “moments of connection” to their consumers, and “getting the moment right – every time, every cup, everywhere.”
This was just a small peek into the incredible sessions from Tuesday. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into these retail industry trends, and others, today.