Retailers facing challenges
How to face the multiple challenges present today in the retail industry? According to Luca Pellegrini, marketing teacher at the Iulm in Milan, who took part at the annual conference of Popai “Ordine e Extra-Vagance”, there are some directions to follow.
First of all, today consumers are much more oriented towards purchasing services (52,6% of consumers) rather than buying goods (47,4%). The reason behind this fact is the economic growth in which prevails the market together with a change in the social environment. In fact, nowadays families are getting smaller and smaller, 50% of the family in the south-central Europe is composed by one member. This is the reason why retailers such as Eataly and Lush are not offering just goods but they are focusing on the instant consume or an experience that goes beyond the ordinary purchase. Without the extra services the shopping experience loses its attractiveness.
Second, consumers do not want to waste time in difficult and long procedures. They want what they need, at the right moment exactly where they are. Therefore, online markets created the home delivery but as alternative is preferred the “buy online and pick up in-store” option because doing so people does not have to be constantly available at home during the delivery times but they can comfortably go to the nearest point of sale and collect the items.
Nowadays consumers want proximity, personalization and engagement. Some great examples are IKEA with the growing concept of community and the food service Zodio or KIKO which locations are increasingly spectacular and more and more immediate.
Talking about personalization, the most important thing while driving a brand is understand that “business are conversation” you must treat consumers as if they are friends and the best way to effectively interact with them is to get to know them. To understand their behaviors during the purchasing process there are available for retailers several technological solutions aimed to collect data regarding the clients and consequently use them to adjust the store management. An example is the optical device sensor created by which, combined with the appropriate software, is able to classify potential customers by age group and gender, identify for how long consumers stay in the store or in front of the products display and their emotional response regarding it. All this information allows retailers to adjust sales and marketing strategies in order to better their profitability and efficiency.
In conclusion, the best retail possible is the one that offer both goods and services, integrating a powerful and coherent omni-channel strategy moreover, with a great attention to the smallest necessity of the clients.