The market uncertainty has left consumer spending unpredictable, and the retail industry needs to strike at this opportunity to figure out the best way to drive the business forward
RIS news confirmed that in a recent seminar, enterprise retail marketers were polled on what they anticipate as the most significant post-pandemic challenge. As a result of this poll, 54% confirmed that coping up with the in-store sales loss will be the biggest challenge, followed by 15% who confirmed inventory management as the issue, and another 15% who prioritized staffing/re-opening as the most significant one. Other significant concerns were customer acquisition and online customer retention.
While there is no clear picture of how the industry will be impacted in the near or distant future due to the virus attack –the retailers need to pivot their marketing to e-commerce only successfully. The focus should be on increasing retention and loyalty long after this all settles while keeping customer experiences as convenient as possible.
Using Offline Data Available to Engage Previous In-Store Customers
As the in-store sales drop remains the top challenge for retailers – they need to leverage their in-store customer data for more targeted online marketing campaigns. The focus should be on explicitly communicating with the ones who are affected the most by the stores getting closed. Introducing the customers to the convenience of online experience, and loyalty benefits by educating them on the related perks will pull up retail sales.
By combining offline with the rest of the cross-channel data, retail marketers can cross-sell to recommend customers the product that complements their in-store purchases effectively. These recommendations can be sent over via email, app, website, or even mobile pushes. Undoubtedly, personalization is the key to pull up sales in the current scenario.
Prioritize on Visitor Identification and Identity Resolution
Retailers are witnessing a spike in web sessions with the in-store shoppers and both new and returning visitors heading online. To ensure recovery of the lost in-store revenue, retailers must identify as many online visitors during this period as possible. Retailers need to identify those who haven’t created an account yet or those who have clicked through an email but haven’t entered their email address – to target them to revive lost leads.
Resolving Inventory Management Issue with Product Alerts
Retailers are facing inventory struggles — from excess product supply to products with high demand being out of stock. Retailers are struggling to manage triggered alerts, which is a simple yet highly effective way to ensure regular notification to customers in real-time.
Product alerts can be sent real-time, updating customers about product catalog changes and automate low inventory, price drop, and back in stock messages – based on their viewed, wish-listed, purchased or carted items.
Personalized Blasts to Consumers to Drive Conversions and Avoid Unsubscribes
Due to the fear of uncertainty in the market, many retailers are reverting to mail blasts to drive sales. But, this just contributes to filling up the customer mailbox in the current situation, most of which is redirected to spam anyway. During the time of crises, consumers prefer seeing more relevant, personalized content and promotions in their inbox.
Targeting deep discounts and sales to the people who are most likely to buy them based on their past interests and purchases is the key to successful retail marketing. Retailers should focus on keeping the customer’s inbox uncluttered and incorporate in-email personalized modules to ensure that blasts are relevant to a customer’s current activity and interest.
Modules and content blocks allow retailers to personalize by loyalty status and include exclusive offers, highlighting specific inventory, browsed items, and top sellers by category and product recommendations directly. Personalized, targeted messages may be the only thing that will work for marketers in the times of COVID.