Article Update: Since I wrote this article Amazon have announced that they will begin 1 hour delivery in Manhattan. No reason why retailers can’t do this too, see point #5 below. Here’s a link to the Amazon Forbes Article.

When we (Ascent360) talk to our retailer clients and prospects, we often discuss the following as they relate to this ever changing, omni channel world.

I’ll try to be succinct, and hope I’m not too preachy:

  1. Retailers should consider themselves a brand. It must be defined and clearly understood by everyone in the organization. Everything that retailer does from store layout, the web site, what store employees say to customers and email communication should be based on the brand.
  2. Retailers should try to capture email addresses at POS as well as eComm. The easiest way to do this is through the provision of a loyalty/rewards program. Retailers should also try to capture consumer info at all touch points. This includes as part of the demo process, at events and in store social events.
  3. Retailers should try to integrate all islands of customer info into one, matched customer database, thus allowing for omni channel, segmented and relevant communication. From a daily birthday email, to a women’s wine & cheese evening to emails about a Labor Day sale that everyone gets. It’s worth noting here that we’ve seen massive performance increases using gender based email as it compares with the everyone gets an email approach.
  4. Using the information derived from #3 retailers should consider making sure they are aware who the 20% of customers who drive 80% of the store’s revenue are and treat those great customers differently. Using Recency, Frequency and Monetary factors to do this is a good idea. For example a bike retailer might want to offer same day turn around on bike service to their best customers.
  5. Retailers should consider offering same day delivery of product within a certain radius.
  6. Having a Facebook page is not a social media strategy. Have frequent sweepstakes and User Generated Content competitions that require entrants to provide at least First Name, Last Name and email. Contact information collected here should go into the store’s customer database defined in #3. Entry into the sweepstakes should automatically trigger a thank you for entering email and a subsequent 3-5 touch email stream.
  7. On the subject of email streams. Customer actions such as purchasing a product, registering for an email or bringing a bike in for service should kick off an automated 3-5 touch email stream. The first one is probably going to be a Thank You email, the rest can be a combination of things like branding, offers, advice and videos. Don’t fall into the trap of using a buy, buy, buy message in all. A significant number of our clients see non salesy emails generate revenue.
  8. Using a best customer model (See #4) use digital display ads and in news feed Facebook ads (much better than the right rail ads) to show ads to people who look like your best customers. This is a much better approach to acquisition than print and paying for generic banner ads or paying for 1,000 impressions shown to random people.
  9. Talk to manufacturers about working with them on co-marketing projects.
  10. Believe that customers want a relationship with you and help them to do that.
  11. and finally…

  12. Welcome every customer into the store, be the experts, become a trusted adviser – but you knew those.