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Rethinking retail: Why big brands need to act small

The recalibration of retail has flipped the script on what’s successful in the space.

In previous generations, big-box retailers could out-muscle competition, offering lower prices and more variety.

Today, ecommerce has reduced barriers to entry for generations of young adults who value uniqueness over variety, craftsmanship over commonality, and rich origin stories over American icons.

So what does the competition look like now?

Ecommerce is an equalizer

Loyalty Needs Partners Over Providers

Brands using high-priced platforms often find that the provider lacks know-how to drive the required shifts in shopping behavior or sales. What they need is a partner experienced in loyalty marketing.

Let’s cut to the chase: Technology vendors are unintentionally crippling loyalty.

They have the right intentions, but once a program is launched, they forget about you – just like your first romantic experience. It still stings, I know.

Retail runs through Mobile, Loyalty

There are two main mantras touted in retail today—mobile first and customer first. While they’ve both been used ad nauseam, both still embody the right mindset for marketers.
More importantly, it’s the most important strategy and the most important channel coalescing. Mobile loyalty is the ultimate expression of a customer-first mindset driven by an often misused, yet omnipresent channel.

66% of companies that saw a decrease in customer loyalty over the past year do not have a mobile app.

Building Loyalty is Easy: Do What Mom Taught You

In the current brand climate focused on revenue growth at all costs, the answer to driving customer loyalty is quite simple: Do what mom taught you.

Or in other words: Just do the right thing.

Across all industries from retail to airline, and CPG to hospitality, each has fallen a long way away from understanding that the customer is king. It’s not the brand that controls each dollar; it’s the customer.

The good news is that marketers love to get together and throw around the term “customer centricity,” which is actually much-needed in today’s market.

Loyalty: A Source Of Certainty In Uncertain Times

The retail world is rarely stable. We’ve seen high highs and low lows, but lately there seems to be more cause for concern.

Some well-known brands have simply disappeared, whether that means filing for bankruptcy or erasing any brick-and-mortar footprint, as we’ve seen recently with HHGregg and The Limited. Other retail brands are working to find a new equilibrium, but it’ll be a bumpy road to get there.

Could loyalty programs be the key we need to navigate this uncertain retail climate?

The Retail Reckoning: How to Survive the Digital Revolution

The retail bubble is finally bursting.

For too long, retailers have remained bloated in store footprints and overconfident in mindset. Store experiences refused innovation for decades, while merchants ripped every dollar they could out of product. Yet somehow, we found a way to pack more product into our over-sized stores.

Finally, retail is experiencing the reckoning it has deserved for some time.

Customer Marketing can save Retail

Retail has some troubling storms brewing for the future.

It’s hard to say it could get much worse than the last couple of years, but it looks like the industry hasn’t hit rock-bottom quite yet.

And it might take rock-bottom for the industry to realize they need to take a serious look at their customer and understand that the old way of doing things simply doesn’t work anymore. There have been a lot of positive changes in Ecommerce and digital, but the store side hasn’t progressed in decades.