Online shopping, e-commerce, digital commerce, physical to digital and digital in physical – retail continues to evolve as consumers demand user-centric shopping environments. This was the main theme of the panel “The Future of Digital and Shopping” at this year’s CIMC conference in Squamish, BC. I was fortunate to sit on a marketing panel with Cineplex, IBM and Shopify – some of the great organizations who look at how to drive innovation in retail today.
And exactly what does the future of digital and shopping look like? The short answer, we don’t know. But what was resounding among the panelists was the need to relentlessly drive the best experience no matter what format – digital or physical for your consumer.
And how do marketers and communication professionals do that? Here are some tips discussed:
- Understand your customer – this might sound pretty straight forward, but many organizations often skip this step when designing products, processes and campaigns. If you don’t empathize with your customer, it will be difficult to truly solve their problems and speak with them. At Interac, we use customer journey mapping to help us discover not only areas of improvement, but also to help us develop new offerings as well as key messaging and positioning.
- Focus your resources – it is easy to get caught in the buzzword of the week. Use data, analytics and continue to test and learn to understand where you should optimize or focus your resources. Not every new social media network or channel will work for your company or campaign.
- Shopping is always a good idea – Shopping is not going away anytime soon. But how we shop, buy and sell is changing. You are seeing a lot of digital-first retailers opening physical retail stores – and bringing their knowledge with CX and ability to design and deploy rapidly to the physical space. Marketers will need to change the way campaigns and tactics are launched and be able to be agile in their approach and pivot quickly if need be.