If you’re not embracing technology, here’s why you should be.
Without delving too far into the COVID-19 rabbit hole—by now, we’ve all got a little coronavirus burnout—our recent situation has highlighted the power of digital.
As companies have shifted their business models, brands have launched innovative campaigns, and droves of people have started to work from home, digital technology has come into its own.
Since the start of the crisis, we’ve proven that we can communicate, collaborate, and live our lives while moving to the beat of a digital drum.
While online shopping is alive and well, and many consumers look forward to the prospect of heading to their favorite brick and mortar stores, if you want to thrive in the longterm, embracing emerging tools or technologies is a must.
Whatever your retail business model or niche, by embracing the power of digital technologies, you will become more adaptable, more efficient, and connect with your customers on a deeper level.
Our current crisis has accelerated digital transformation across industries, and retail is no exception. So, if you’re a retailer and are looking to take your business to the next level, here are the four digital technologies you need in your life right now.
“The biggest impediment to a company’s future success is its past success.”—Dan Schulman, business expert
Location-based data tools
In a time where the online retail space is becoming all the more saturated, and the competition is fiercer than ever, it’s a good idea to start connecting with local audiences and dipping into more geographically-focused consumers.
Even if you’re a solely online retailer, you’re still based somewhere, and you can connect with nearby customers when they’re most engaged by tapping into your local community.
In addition to your existing data analytics platform, you should invest in location-based marketing technology to reach new consumers and boost your brand authority.
By 2021, it’s likely that mobile devices will influence over $1.4 trillion in local sales. Location-based analytics can help you earn your share of the local marketing pie.
Gaining access to location-centric data will help you to:
- Create inspiring local content (area guides, local how-to guides, geography-based news and insights) that will drive traffic, both online and physical, to your business.
- Send out mobile push notifications when shoppers are in a specific area with messaging that will encourage them to pay attention to your brand and make a purchase.
- Understand what your local prospects want and when they want it so you can make informed changes to your business model, products, services, or content, encouraging brand loyalty as a result.
There are several location-based technology platforms and local marketing tools out there. Take the time to compare providers based on how their features suit your business goals, and you’ll make a decision that offers a solid return on investment (ROI).
Expanding on our previous point: niche or sector aside, if you want to grow your business consistently, sharing the right messaging with your audience is essential.
In 2020, content is still king (perhaps more so than ever). With the right creative tools, you will be able to cut through the noise in your niche, boost your search engine rankings, and inspire shoppers to buy from you time and time again.
The average smartphone user spends around four hours a day browsing their device. By delivering content that is visually striking as well as inspirational, you will drive traffic to your retail store.
There are several mediums and tools you can leverage to produce creative content that will attract people to your business.
Investing in creative marketing tools will help you create more meaningful bonds with existing customers while growing your audience. In terms of technology, here are some of the areas you should explore:
- Infographic creation tools for presenting data, insights, and information in an eye-catching, digestible way.
- Social media content scheduling tools with built-in engagement data to help you craft posts that resonate with your customer and publish them when they’re most likely to convert (visiting your store, signing up for your email newsletter, or buying a sale product, for example).
- Blog post title generators to help you create headlines and ideas that offer real value to your audience and result in sales.
- Video creation tools that will help you put together inspiring video content together and tell your brand story with ease. Our guide to creating a branded video will help guide you to success.
By using the right mix of creative technologies to your advantage, you will be able to create powerful content for your retail brand—the kind that cuts through the noise and inspires action.
Listening & testing technologies
In addition to embracing local analytics platforms and creative content tools, retailers of all shapes and sizes can springboard their commercial success by testing as well as listening.
Without listening to your audience and taking the time to test your website, landing pages, or advertising content, you’re unlikely to ever deliver a customer experience (CX) that will have people coming back for more.
One of the most effective ways to listen to your audience is through social media. Social listening consists of monitoring of your brand’s social media channels for any feedback or direct brand mentions as well as discussions surrounding your business or industry. It’s an invaluable way of understanding how people interact with your competitors and gaining an insight into what your prospects want.
If you use social listening tools to your advantage, you will be able to join essential discussions as they unfold while gathering the intel you need to improve your products, services, and communications.
Regarding improvement and refinement, there is a wealth of A/B testing tools designed for retail success in the modern age.
A/B testing is essential for retailers. It will empower you to uncover which version of a call to action button, landing page, piece of text, or checkout journey gets the best results. The best modern A/B testing tools are easy to use, require minimal technical knowledge, and offer features that will help you boost your bottom line.
Listening and testing tools will help you transform your business into a well-oiled machine, both online and in-store.
Connecting the dots
Nine out of ten consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between all channels and touchpoints, both digital and physical.
We live in a time where people are looking to retailers to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world while making every interaction (from social media and in-app to in-store) feel like one fluid experience. This delicate art is known as omnichannel marketing.
To provide your customers with the best possible retail experience while increasing internal efficiency, working with tools that will help you save time while connecting all of the organizational dots will secure your ongoing growth as a business.
These digital tools include:
- Smart POS systems to increase efficiency while managing inventory and customer sales from one central location.
- Mobile-optimized online retail store creation tools that will help you create a website built for your customers’ needs while integrating data or sales records from your other eCommerce platforms, like Amazon and eBay.
- Business management suites that integrate both back- and front-office operations to streamline efficiency.
- Inventory management solutions that help eliminate inefficiencies and improve your retail stock management activities.
“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.”—Dean Kamen, Inventor of the Segway
The retail space is challenging, but if you embrace the power of digital technology, you will be able to improve your internal operations while delivering the solutions that your customers need.
By delivering on your promises, connecting with your consumers where they feel most comfortable, and providing the best customer experience possible, you will thrive long into the future—and this perfect storm of digital tools will help you get there.
If you want to connect the dots of your retail business and stand out from the crowd, we boast a mix of cutting-edge tools for success in the digital age.
If you’d like to learn more about our retail technology or solutions, please get in touch, and we will be happy to answer any questions.