Shoptalk Day 3: Ignore the Hype, Figure Out Where to Invest

For this year’s ShopTalk day 3, I attended panel discussions focused on functional areas. I needed to know where businesses are investing for long term growth.

And even though the talks covered a wide variety of topics, they all came back to the same idea. We must learn from the implementation of new ideas and invest in what works. Period. Every industry has different demands, but there are overlying retail and e-commerce trends that I spotted.

Investing in your brand so that it’s clear what you do for your customer

For example, you probably know that Amazon strives to provide access to customers, protection and awareness for brands, and world-class fulfillment and support services. But they also provide brands the capital needed to grow. They plan to invest in amplifying this message so they can be recognized for their full capabilities.

Capitalizing on the failure of other brands to recognize unaddressed customers

In any industry, buzzwords describe the next great customer group, such as millennials, foodies or soccer moms. The company named Wish recognized that non-premium customers were being ignored by most start-ups aimed at high-end shoppers. They created a marketplace for those consumers most concerned with price, and found an enormous customer base. The lesson is to concentrate on market segment most in need of your services.

Focusing on improving customer experience

Almost every retail company at Shoptalk is investing resources to engage the customer on all available channels through a connected system of messages which are based on purchase history. Brands such as Kohl’s and Houzz design their entire website customer journey around this information. And their marketers will be concentrating on storytelling, personalization and creating always-relevant content using customer data.

Elevating customer service and the post-sales experience

Technology is helping customer service departments respond more quickly, through more channels than ever before. Retailers and e-commerce companies are planning to study which communication channels are most effective, as well as explore better support software, improving internal feedback processes, and changing the culture around helping customers.

Gladly CEO Joseph Ansanelli summed it up well when he said, “Post-sale is really pre-next-sale.”

This change in mindset helps build a loyal customer base.

Shoptalk brought together big brands, fresh startups, and lots of great ideas for improving retail and e-commerce customer experiences.

Catch up on day one highlights here and day two highlights here.

For ways to transform your retail or e-commerce business check out Bell and Howell’s personalized automated packaging solutionsomnichannel communications suite, and our intelligent parcel lockers for last mile delivery pick up and drop off.