When it comes to limited edition products, there’s no denying that scarcity drives serious demand (and maybe a little FOMO). So why aren’t more brands leveraging this type of marketing strategy?
I’ve been to my fair share of conferences and Shoptalk has easily become my favorite. This was my third year attending and I’m even more impressed than ever before.
Here are the highlights from this year’s sessions and show floor:
Mobile Experiences in the Customer Journey
Key takeaway: Apps and digital channels should be at the forefront of retailers’ business plans.
Panera Bread: Everyone claims to have a mobile strategy but few have actually perfected it. Mark Berinato, VP, Digital Experience spoke to the evolution of Panera’s core customer. He explained that its loyal consumers want to feel recognized and special. For that reason, Berinato implemented a ‘digital flywheel’ of connected touch points. Whether the customer dines in, takes out or orders delivery, Panera’s personalized end-to-end journey heavily relies on its point of sale, back of house, 1:1 marketing, customer data and big data to create a seamless experience – not an easy feat when the majority of its customers dine during three “core” mealtimes. And the company’s digital customer is much more valuable than its regular customer: The chain sees increased frequency and incremental transactions from digital diners, as well as an additional 1-2 visits per year. So just how powerful is Panera’s digital journey? In 2017, the company did $1.2 billion in digital sales (30% gross sales through digital). Additionally, Panera has a 5-star mobile app rating and 30 million MyPanera Members.
Salesforce recently certified the first and only direct mobile integration into their Open Commerce API (OCAPI) with GPShopper. This strengthened partnership allows retailers to extend the benefits of their ecommerce site to mobile, to further engage with customers.
With the direct integration, retailers are now able to take advantage of added benefits previously unavailable to them, such as:
- Real Time Data Updates: unlike a cartridge that's constantly having to pull in data causing roll outs to take a little longer, the open commerce API makes it possible to call data in real time. Any updates now made to your ecommerce site will be reflected within 15 minutes on the app - promoting new revenue opportunities.
- Speed to Market: with the certified integration, Salesforce Commerce Cloud clients can now launch a mobile app to market in unprecedented time.
- Scalable & Secure: the integration allows for a more stable app for enhanced performance and native mobile app and experience.
- No Cartridge Install Required: with the open commerce API, GPShopper just has to 'plug in' for you to see mobile benefits.
- OCAPI Certified Integration : direct certified integration of GPShopper's SDK with Salesforce Commerce Cloud's OCAPI. The full API integration is the best technical solution for SFCC clients.
During the 2017 holiday shopping season, retailers saw a 5.5 percent increase in sales from the previous year. Now that the holiday crush has come and gone, most executives are busy celebrating a huge jump over the prior year, and consumers are still dizzy from another whirlwind shopping season with delayed shipments and missing packages.
The battle for the relevance and convenience that keeps customers coming through the physical or proverbial door didn't pause for Christmas dinner. In an even less certain 2018, retailers must reflect and recalibrate quickly to succeed.
The Logistics and Shipping Headache Will Only Get Worse in 2018
This past holiday season, a majority of consumers spent up to 15 hours shopping for gifts. And despite the fact that they’ve spent tons of time with their favorite retailers instead of their favorite family members, there are still major mishaps that retailers have been unable to fix.
While online and mobile shopping boast to be the solution to avoiding overcrowded stores, a third of shoppers still reported paying extra for shipping and ultimately not receiving their gifts on time. This year, many retailers tried to solve this issue by setting shipping deadlines earlier, but with delays from the likes of UPS as early as Black Friday, even bumping up deadlines wasn’t enough to guarantee delivery by the holiday. Thirty-five percent of shoppers reported placing their orders by the deadline, yet they still didn't receive their gift in time, which seems pretty unbelievable when we’ve figured out tech solutions for everything from personal shoppers and chatbots to checkout kiosks.
2018 will be all about emerging brands that deliver unique and authentic experiences to their customers. Although many are digital natives, they are actively pursuing expansion strategies which include pop-ups and permanent storefronts. Whether it be Parisian style, sneaker culture, gender fluidity, authenticity or - my favorite theme - sustainability, I’ve uncovered a stellar list of innovative retailers to watch this year.
Perhaps you have heard about the billion-dollar sneaker resale market? Limited edition sneakers are the must-have of stylish workwear and streetwear. In today’s workplace, an in-demand pair of kicks has become the new necktie, but so much more modern and comfortable. Whether you’re a sneakerhead or not, Stadium Goods is your one stop shop for highly sought-after streetwear and sneakers. While the sneaker resale market is quite saturated, the two-year-old marketplace is booming. Though Stadium Goods has its fair share of competitors, it has a great handle on both its brick and mortar and mobile strategy. Stadium Goods has two locations in New York City and recently launched its first app. If you haven’t been so lucky this Yeezy Season, head on over to Stadium Goods – you’ll be sure to find the latest Blue Tint colorway.