Earlier this Summer Steve Muscat, VP, Strategic Partnerships attended STORE2018 , Canada’s largest retail conference. A 2 day long event consisting of informative sessions lead by industry thought leaders, plenty of networking opportunities, and several interactive idea provoking panels. Steve returned to Active with valuable insight from the conference which was then passed down to the team.
The conference provided a wealth of retail related knowledge, as well as strategies both sales people & marketers alike can use to cater to the industry’s most valuable asset - the consumer. Some key points discussed over the course of the conference were:
- Customer convenience
- Knowing your consumer
- Effective advertising techniques
- The future of retail & how distributors must adapt
- If a product can go direct, it will
It’s been forecasted for e-commerce to generate 4 trillion dollars in the next 2-3 years, along with the facts presented that omni clients have been proven to shop at a rate of 3x more than those who solely shop in store. With this being said, distributors must quickly adapt to the needs of the omni consumer. New terms such as BOLPUIS (buy online and pickup in store), and ROLPUIS (reserve online and pickup in store) are no longer seen as a luxury. Convenience is expected, and it is imperative for distributors to accommodate the shopper’s needs – as stated earlier, customer convenience is key!
The importance of moving beyond the speed of your customer was highlighted on the first day by Eric Morris, Director of Google Canada’s retail practice. Predictive shopping to understand your consumers is no longer just a ‘nice to have’, it is a ‘need to have’. This technique allows businesses, and marketers to understand exactly who their consumers are (in terms of demographics) and what it is that they will need in the future. Aside from predictive shopping being a tool for marketers to use to map buying behavior, this also acts to the advantage of the consumer; if business know consumer’s needs, they then can cater specifically to them.
When it comes to doing a complete brand overhaul M&M Food Market is one company that seemed to recreate themselves seamlessly. Patrick Cadieux, Marketing Director, M&M Food Market spoke about how important effective video strategy was for not only their metrics, but most importantly, their sales. Cadieux warned about the dangers of falling in to the habit of creating generic digital advertising campaigns, “it just becomes noise”. Mobile links to sales are the best way to help business get to know their consumers.
The space of traditional retail sales is changing faster than ever before, the expectations of convenience by consumers are at an all-time high and distributors are being forced to adapt quickly. While this may seem like a problem for most, there are ways to move beyond the speed of the consumer, as discussed earlier. Distributors, marketers, and sales people are using technology as a tool to meet the needs of their consumers, while still enhancing the customer retail experience – which is why we can expect to see a growth of trillions of dollars in the next few years. Connect with us on Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date with industry events, and how we live #LifeAtActive.