The world’s largest conference for retail and e-commerce innovation was held last week in Las Vegas and many topics were discussed including the concern of keeping the relevancy among the leading retailers. Conference speakers included executives from large retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, as well as smaller startups like Glossier. Learn more about some ways to thrive in the age of Amazon! Let’s begin.
1. Personalization is key.
To begin with, retailers are constantly finding ways to raise the bar when it comes to personalization. For example, Nike has a mobile app that incorporates famous athletes for coaching and inspiration. The app learns about customers’ running habits so Nike can offer customers products based on daily needs. Whether through technology or in store, retailers are making customers feel like every experience and interaction with the company is reflected. Many customers enjoy a personalized experience with a company that they frequent.
2. Incorporate loyalty programs.
Secondly, a loyalty program is a strategy that has been used for many years, but few programs actually engage customers and keep them spending. There are some exemplary companies like Ulta Beauty that have shown amazing results from their loyalty programs. Ulta Beauty’s Ultimate Rewards program has 27.8 million members. The program awards points for purchases and other benefits, like free shipping on orders over $25 and access to exclusive events. Implementing a functional loyalty program can be very beneficial to a company.
3. Build authentic relationships with your customers.
Thirdly, converting an authentic relationship with a customer into an active advocate can help bring in new customers. Authentic relationships are built from a continuous conversation with customers and providing exceptional customer service across multiple channels. Glossier, a small startup, has built its brand on authentic customer engagement, effectively differentiating itself within the vast beauty industry. Emily Weiss, the founder and CEO, created a different approach of attracting new customers by empowering the customer. Weiss wanted to let them share experiences as a way to educate and bring in other customers. Today, most customers find their products through social recommendations.
4. Improve customer experience.
Elevated services and experiences in stores bring in foot traffic. Combined with the growth of e-commerce, retailers need to find new ways to have customers walk through their doors. For example, Ulta Beauty offers salon services like haircuts and facials and in-store product sampling to bring in foot traffic. Additionally, Nordstrom Local has been testing a new strategy with offering manicures and tailoring which helps build a new customer experience. Many people enjoy receiving free treatments and services from being loyal customers, so it is a great way to improve the customer experience.
5. Offer exclusive products.
Lastly, exclusive products help multi-brand retailers compete with online giants like Amazon for various reasons. To keep customers loyal, the retailer should hold onto having exclusive products. At the retail conference in Las Vegas, Macy’s announced that they will grow their exclusive products line from 29% to 40% in 2 years to attract customers to shop both in store and in their website. Macy’s wants to be able to sell anything that the customer needs and offer items that won’t be available anywhere else which would ultimately give their customers more reasons to stay and shop at Macy’s than any other store. Moreover, Walmart is also planning on doing the same as they plan to acquire more brands to further differentiate its offering and attract more millennial customers.