The latest in Cate Trotter’s series of Trends workshops (see my previous posts on Key Trends for 2012, The Future of Online Marketing, The growing grey market in the UK) concentrated on Retail. In it Cate covered the rapid online developments, but also changes in bricks and mortar shopping, known as offline retail. She also explained how the smarter retailers are merging these two elements together to enhance both the online and offline experience for their customers.
Here are my notes from this highly recommended workshop:
- Although the value of online clothing and accessories sales are predicted to double over the next five years, offline will still dominate with three quarters of overall sales.
- There is a trend for online retailers to add a high street presence. Examples are FunkyPigeon, Made.com and ETSY.
- The new Burberry flagship store on Regent Street is a leading example. It has a large screen showing live fashion events from around the world. And live music events held in the store are streamed onto their website.
- Cate suggested using If This Then That or Hootsuite (which I have been using for a couple of year and can personally recommend) to manage multiple social media channels from one screen.
- She asked the audience to review all their customer contact points and maximise buying opportunities for interested customers.
- Use of smart mobile devices is currently increasing at 35% a year, so all websites need to be made mobile friendly using tools such as DudaMobile.com.
Retail is everywhere
- Pop-up stores (Eat Street is dead – Long live KERB – for the best street food in London) are starting to fill the gaps left by recently closed high street retail outlets.
- Services such as WeArePopUp.com and HireSpace.com can help find suitable locations.
- Some publishers have become retailers, for example TheFancy.com.
- Customers still want to browse on paper, so Ikea still prints 211 million copies of its catalogue a year.
- Cate’s tip is to avoid duplicating paper and online content by using QR codes in printed material.
- Customers trust social media far more than advertising, for instance 90% trust recommendations from their peers.
- Pinterest has now grown to 50 million users and is a great way to show products and designs.
- This leads to an approach where products promote the brand which is a reversal of traditional marketing where the brand promotes the product.
- Cate’s advice is to create remarkable products and services which your customers will want to promote through their social media networks.
- An example is shops which offer free wi-fi enabling customer to take pictures of items and share them instantly online.
Speed and efficiency
- The market is changing rapidly and social media trends show you where it is going. So monitor it using tools such as Google Trends or Editd.com.
- Get your customers to choose what they want from you using funding sites such as Kickstarter.com.
- Customers are demanding instant gratification to match delivery digital goods, so use services such as Shutl.com to deliver within minutes instead of days.
- You can’t compete on price with the likes of Amazon.com, so develop an enhanced customer experience instead.
- Be remarkable – be unique to compete.
- For example the record company Rough Trade opened a record store designed to be a browsable experience rather than focussed on sales.
- Look Mum No Hands sells and repairs cycles, but is also a trendy café for two wheeled fans.
A tailored experience
A personalised experience
- Amazon.com has increased sales by 40% through the use of its recommendations system.
- Dressipi.com uses customer driven fashion retailing to get the lowest return rate in the industry of just 10%.
- Cate suggested trying out Facebook’s recommendations plugin