As 2020 begins, retailers everywhere are reevaluating – reevaluating brand awareness, market opportunity, and maybe most of all, how to grow sales in the coming year. These sales are driven by a mix of smooth tech, innovative marketing, and a unique customer journey.
So, just how are retailers supposed to connect with customers in this overstimulating, over-advertised, digitally-driven world? By forging human-centric connections empowered by data insights that provide today’s pampered consumer with an unforgettable digital experience.
“Today, customers are more demanding than ever, expecting an experience that goes above and beyond just the available products. In order to offer quality experiences, build brand loyalty, and remain competitive, brands must put tools in place to meet them, from the use of effective personalization to quick, reliable delivery services, through to providing loyalty programs,” said Sean Rusinko, Global Director, Industry Business Leader – Retail & Hospitality at Sitecore.
Recently, at NRF 2020: Retail’s Big Show, this human connection powered by technology was discussed by a number of influential brands including Sephora, Starbucks, and Nordstrom.
During a discussion on social media in retail, Amy Eschliman, senior vice president for client engagement at Sephora, explained how the company is leveraging social interaction to supply customers with the experiences they desire. “I think our social media team has done an amazing job of delivering content to our community that they’re interested in,” Eschliman said. “And that sensitivity to customers does not preclude us from being more commerce-oriented. We make a concerted effort to make it easier to shop, and to make that transition from inspiration to maybe pushing a checkout button as easy as possible.”
The marketers at Sephora have embraced the idea that the pampered consumer does not want to be sold to but given an experience. With tutorial videos and dreamy photos, Sephora’s Instagram page caters to this consumer, selling in a subtle way.
CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, also spoke on the importance of forging human connections to entice consumers. “As human beings, we were meant to interact with one another,” Johnson said. “It’s how we get energy. It’s how we get support when we’re dealing with adversity. It’s how we share joy and successes in our lives. I think one of the common themes going forward is finding ways to create human connection. Human interaction. The world needs that.”
Although Starbucks may do most of its business face-to-face, the company still has a massive digital presence. From Twitter to e-blasts, Starbucks leverages personalized content that connects with customers and keeps them coming back for more.
For Nordstrom, it’s a similar story. The brand is finding success in content and digital experiences that are customized and human-centric. Erik Nordstrom, co-president, spoke about the success in creating a fluid digital and store experience driven by data. More than half of Nordstrom sales have an online component and over one-third of its online sales involve a store experience, highlighting the importance of shared omni-channel experience.
“As brands move past the idea of a website for shopping and focus on the website as experience, it’s essential that they can personalize each interaction with their platform,” said Chris Becwar Director of Product Marketing for Salesforce at Sitecore.
Connecting with the pampered consumer through human-centric experiences was highlighted throughout NRF and will continue to be a focus for brands this year. “The next step after breaking down the data silos and being able to tap into that intelligence is to then be able to manage digital assets through a single pane to further enhance the customer experience and communicate the right message – whether via content or image – at the right time to the right customer,” said Becwar.
Interested in learning more about the pampered consumer? Click here.