We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘the customer is king’ – yet for a lot of the brands and businesses we work with the phrase ‘the retailer is king’ is probably more appropriate.
However, when we start to adopt a collaborative partnership approach, we can change the relationship from a transactional ‘supplier-customer’ to a valued business partnership.
Here at Quantum, we have extensive experience in driving engagement in the retail sector, with proven results. In this piece, we will be sharing some of our key insights as well as the trends in the marketplace that are offering new ways to create value for everyone in the chain.
So let’s switch up our way of thinking, and start at the source – what do your retailers really want? How can we help drive retailer engagement and loyalty in the real world?
Current Retail Trends
We are in the midst of a transformative time for retail – the high street is becoming more unrecognisable by the day; technology has empowered consumers to remain constantly connected and in control of their shopping experience; and the digital retail landscape continues to experience exponential growth. Rather than spelling trouble for retailers, we must look at this as an evolution, and an opportunity…
The Path to Loyalty
Where do you stand on the subject of retailer loyalty schemes? From a consumer point of view, on one hand, you have Boots UK’s hugely successful simple ‘points-for-pennies’ Advantage scheme, and Marks and Spencer’s Sparks behaviour-led ‘pick your own offers’ offering; on the other, you have the controversial Starbucks reward scheme, and the recently failed ASOS A-List programme…which begs the question – is now the time all brand loyalty schemes need to start rewarding the right type of behaviour over spend? Or will the traditional points-for-cash schemes remain the winners?
We have a wealth of knowledge on what makes trade, consumer and retailer loyalty schemes work.
Applying this theory to retailers’ own reward programmes is something to think about – whilst cash incentives will always be appealing, offering retailers the chance to pick their own rewards – and this could be products, experiences, training or further incentives – will strengthen brand affiliation and advocacy.
Personalisation, Customisation and Social Currency
Personalisation will remain a key trend – but we’re now looking at the next level.
We’ve moved on from inserting the individual’s name in an email subject line, or adding their initials on a product – personalisation that enables shoppers to customise to the very last detail is what we’re talking about. Plus, the power of social media shows no sign of waning. Influencer marketing will continue to flourish and grow; brands will continue to connect meaningfully with customers through the multiple social media platforms.
We should we be asking ourselves, ‘How can we help retailers to stay ahead of their competition with their social strategy?’ Offering them a comprehensive, all encompassing digital offering which incorporates all of the above could be what you’re looking for.
Retail and Robots
We’ve all heard of Artificial Intelligence – but do we really know what it means for the retail market? Chatbots are now commonplace and form an integral part of many company strategies; robots are helping pack and deliver products at fulfilment centres; voice-control will become ever-prevalent. But where do we go from here? Are AR and VR services you could incorporate into your retailer’s marketing strategies?
All interesting stuff, but as always we like to give you some pointers to help you revolutionise your relationships with your retailers
Steps to Success
Step 1 – Know your Retailer’s Business
Be sure you understand your retailer’s business – inside out.
Do some trade visits, find out what their biggest problem is, and think of ways that you can help by working together.
We know you want them to sell more of your product; but what can we do that changes the relationship from transactional supplier to essential business partner?
Visit their stores, meet them face to face and glean real feedback.
Get fanatical about their pain points and think about what solutions can you propose that benefit you both.
Step 2 – Build Over Time
Relationships take time to build create a practical way to enable frequent and helpful communication.
Be consistent in your approach don’t just hit them the week before the range review.
Step 3 – Collaborate and Experiment
Offer them advice based on recent trends; suggest and encourage experimentation – to innovate you must collaborate!
Both retailers and their customers want greater convenience. They want better value. They want excitement, meaning, status, relevance, authenticity, social connection and more. And we’re sure that’s something you want to deliver on…
Our team of experienced strategists and implementers can help ensure your strategy is the right fit for you and your retailers, and the ever-changing retail landscape. For more information, why not drop us a line.
Tel: 01202 311345