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Before Christmas I wrote an article on the Made to Engage blog highlighting four things retailers should ask for from Santa Claus to help them succeed in 2019.
It came down to providing a more seamless customer experience that gives shoppers exactly what they want with the flexibility of in-store convenience. We know customers are very picky and fussy these days. While I confess to being one of those people, the only alternative for retailers is to try to compete with Amazon or Walmart on price – not an easy thing to do. Why not read the full article here?
Now that we’re in 2019 and January is over, retailers will know how well they’ve done during the busiest period of the year. And the news isn't looking good for department stores, with headlines dominated by news of traditional brands like Sears and Marks & Spencer closing stores across the US and the UK. This suggests consumers are moving away from shopping at big catch-all stores towards searching out more tailored information or specific items that fit with their interests and hobbies.
Niche retailers and brands are now better-placed to serve the right information and content to customers. Social influencers can be more valuable than traditional advertising and PPC at directing consumers to purchase the latest season’s products. The question is, what does this mean for developers and agencies? Epi's strengths lie in the collaboration of content and commerce to build rich, integrated commerce experiences that enable businesses to compete in new ways. Combining this capability with user-generated content and social influence via Stackla and Episerver Social can improve customer experiences even further.
In addition, combining Episerver Perform recommendations with social engagement metrics is a great way to support changing trends. Let's say you're a retailer of home furnishings and from March of this year you’re bringing out five new ranges with 20 products each. Which ones should you recommend? Those fancy new floor lights with Edison bulbs seem to be getting lots of likes from hipsters on Instagram. By monitoring consumer demand and updating a "social score" for your daily Perform data feed you can boost the products your customers are talking about to increase purchasing.
In 2019, retail businesses would do well to focus on building more engaging digital experiences that enable customers to interact, digest and promote their brands. Either they maximise value through immersive experiences that are tailored to them or customers will go elsewhere. It’s that simple.