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.
Born between 1979 and 1996, Millennials are the largest defined generation, accounting for nearly one quarter of the US population. That’s approximately 78 million Millennials… and there have been nearly as many articles published about this highly discussed demographic. So why do I feel another is needed?
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.
Let’s be honest, NRF can be extremely overwhelming. To make it easier for you, I’ve rounded up a list of innovative technology players from this year’s NRF floor – most of which are new to the market. Consider these companies and their services as you plan your 2018 retail strategy. As we all know, if you aren’t innovating, you’re allowing your competition to eventually put you out of business.
Retailers, take a peek:
Electronic Shelf Labeling is the new “it” technology. Pricer is the only company to offer the three fundamentals to store digitization: product positioning, device tracking and universal product/label flash. Best Buy is one of many major retailers to sign on with Pricer for their Electronic Shelf-Edge solutions. Nicole Nelson, Vice President at Best Buy said, “having electronic shelf labels in place allows employees to focus on serving customers instead of changing paper price tags.” In addition to the ESL solutions, Pricer has also combined wayfinding/product locator for large retail storefronts. Pricer’s wayfinding technology easily detects the physical location of shelf tags – for example, if you happen to move an item or tag from one aisle to another, its system will automatically update the location on your store map.