In partnership with the Retail Council of Canada, DAC joined key industry retailers at the STORE18 conference last week in Toronto, Ontario. With a record-breaking turnout and an exciting lineup of speakers from leading retail brands such as IKEA, Indochino, Samsung, Adidas, Purdy’s, and many more – there was a lot to take away, and even more to look forward to in the future of retail.
Here are our top takeaways:
Survival of the fittest.
Technology has driven the customer journey to new paths and retailers need to be aware of how to adapt. You need to be visible, personal, and optimized to provide the experience that makes you the choice for the customer when they are in the stages of Thinking, Planning, and Doing.
The world is going mobile-first.
Experiences are being developed around the idea that the customer is always connected, and that we value efficiency as well as convenience. With mobile brands, we want to be sure that their content is optimized, their local visibility is high, and that checkout is a frictionless experience.
Localization and Personalization – the new normal.
Where you are matters as much as who you are. Customers value convenience and accessibility, so you want to be easy to find and locally optimized. As Eric Morris from Google stated – “Proximity is key to closing the customer”. These days however, it’s not enough to just be visible – personalization is just as important. Aside from an increase in searches for things “near me”, people are beginning to look for what is best “for me”. AI is just one of the many technologies that are driving mass personalization and it is making the world of a difference when it comes to customer loyalty and engagement.
Big things are happening out east in retail.
Retail is being innovated in ways that have never been seen before with the embrace of technology in the eastern part of the world. With countries like China positioning itself to be one of the largest consumers of online goods in the world, we need to recognize that there is a world beyond our own and be open to the opportunities it brings. Alternative payment methods are one of the keys to shaping the way we see convenience and inclusivity in the retail space.
Leverage your data.
The rapid scaling of data collection in marketing has created new ways to achieve a better understanding of purchase intent, demographics, and customer engagement, among others. Brands that have an omni-channel experience need to understand what their data is attributed to and how to act on their offline and online events to provide a seamless yet effective campaign. At the end of the day it boils down to this: how can you use your data to provide an amazing and personalized customer experience that keeps them coming back for more?
Voice Search the next frontier.
Voice search continues to change the way customers interact and discover brands. Our very own DAC Partner, Mario Lemieux shared key insights on how retailers can stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant: Key tips to consider:
- Make sure that voice assistants understand your physical address
- User Generated Content
- Positive reviews are a great asset in voice search
- Keep your name, address, hours of operation, and phone number data (NAP) accurate across the entire local search ecosystem
- Content Curation
- When writing content, think about how real people converse:
- Create a robust FAQ page that caters to conversational, long-tail queries
- Create share worthy experiences
- Media Amplification
- Regularly review your Search Query Reports to determine queries that may have been issued via voice
- Look for longer phrases that are conversational, or questions. When those include them as Exact Match keywords on Mobile-device campaigns
- If you are a brand that sells products, get your product feed in order