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The retail marketing world is in the midst of a transformation, a digital transformation. Consumers all over the world are changing, from channel preferences, to preferred device usage and many other factors, faster than ever.
All of this means that sending the right messages to the right customers is more critical, and yet more difficult, than ever. Marketers must engage consumers across multiple channels, effectively and consistently, or they risk losing those buyers to competitors.
Omnichannel marketing translates into a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. With omnichannel marketing, a customer can shop online from a desktop or mobile device, via phone, in a brick-and-mortar store, or any other preferred channel, and the experience will be seamless. This type of comprehensive marketing is a must-have for brands today, with the digital transformation only increasing and accelerating the rate of adoption.
In today’s retail marketing environment, brands must be aware of omnichannel trends and technologies shaping the landscape. They must also learn how to use information technologies and consumer data to achieve key operational, tactical, and strategic objectives in the sourcing, buying, allocation, replenishment, and pricing of merchandise.
Here are four specific omnichannel trends that are directly influencing the state and direction of retail marketing.
1. Fostering an interconnected, informed, and intelligent ecosystem
Most marketing experts are already in tune with the Internet of Things (IoT) and what it can mean for the retail environment, but it goes beyond that. The IoT, combined with big data sources and automation, means creating a system where retailers can mimic human behavior and create truly personalized brand experiences. Through this omnichannel aspect of marketing, brands are creating an ecosystem that can combine a customer’s evaluation and purchase of products with their larger motivations and aspirations.
2. Unifying real life and digital identity within the cloud
The digital transformation will mean a merging of real life and digital identities in a cloud environment. Work, health, and financial data, as well as many other types of personal data, will be available in the cloud. Retail marketers can use this knowledge of a consumer’s habits and preferences to create increasingly accurate profiles and customize marketing and messaging to the customer’s preferences.
3. Exceeding the ubiquitous omnichannel expectation
Today’s customers have high expectations. They want their preferred brands to speak to them through the platform and channel they prefer; they want it “their way” all the time. However, if a brand was created before this true digital age, they are at a disadvantage against those brands born into it. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. By adopting omnichannel marketing strategies, retailers can put their marketing plans on an even playing field.
4. Addressing privacy concerns while customer confidence in the cloud grows
The more digital the industry becomes, the more privacy concerns grow; the potential for security breaches continues to increase. Retailers must address those risks and instill confidence in their policies. In addition, customers are becoming more willing to allow deeper access to their data. Cloud-native applications continue to grow, and have become unsurpassed in functionality. Confidence in these cloud-based platforms is increasing as they become more commonplace.
While there are many aspects driving the retail marketing landscape, these are just a few of the omnichannel trends that brands should consider. By successfully adapting and applying these trends to existing strategies, retail marketers can thrive in the current state of digital transformation.
Dig deeper: To learn more on how to meet next-generation omnichannel demands, download Emarsys’ latest white paper.
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