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Welcom Digital’s Group Marketing Manager shares her thoughts on the future of retail, including an insight into what retailers will need to focus on in order to stay ahead of the curve.

Digital natives have influenced a shift in consumer behavior and expectations about virtual and physical interaction with retailers are changing.

Consumers are driving the need for a seamless, integrated retail experience, and it is becoming increasingly challenging for retailers to build strategies around lifetime customer value and engagement rather than a campaign centric model.

Today’s consumers are time poor and tech savvy and don’t see a difference between which channel or device they use to research products or transact, whether online or in-store. The customer has a louder voice than ever before, and they know exactly what they want – but are marketers listening?

Ecommerce shouldn’t be viewed as a separate entity, as it’s just part of overall commerce and as customer experience comes to the forefront, retailers need to put the consumer at the heart of their operations rather than focus on channels, basically, synergy is key.

We predict that the focus on customer experience, and the advantages of companies getting this right and effectively engaging their customers, is going to be a hot topic that will stick around for a while. This is nothing new and there have already been many articles debating best practice but is it achievable without the correct tools or technology in place? I would say no, or near impossible.

It is retailers that invest in technology and analysis to gain a single, holistic view of a customer, who will be able to offer them a truly personalised experience, and ultimately reap the benefits.

Increase conversion rates by communicating with people in store via mobile, direct them to products, encourage up sells and cross sells based on previous behavior to increase basket value, communicate personalised messaging in seconds and display real time content and promotions at point of sale using digital signage and customer flow management technology. Easier said than done right? Or is it?

Technology can track people’s digital footprint across channels, but this should be taken a step further, using cutting edge innovation that can turn retailers into smart stores by analysing all the data available to unite both the virtual and physical retail experience. From intelligent merchandising online and targeted mobile messaging to dynamic content in-store, retailers have to master a true customer-centric revolutionary shopping experience.

Is customer engagement part of your omnichannel marketing strategy?

Published on: 5:01PM on 14th August 2014