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Retail Trends

Three Ways of Capturing What Customers Want
Before They Do

Advancement of technology with limitless digital bandwidth opened up a new array of channels for today’s consumers to be more aggressive in engaging with brands. More importantly, it is changing the way consumers shop, forcing brands to present a superior omnichannel experience to meet the expectations and demands of consumers. However, some brands struggle to do so because they lack sufficient awareness of their customers’ needs and preferences.

According to Jorge Amar, Julian Raabe, and Stefan Roggenhofer in their McKinsey.com article, “Companies seeking to keep pace with industry leaders must embark on an omnichannel transformation — one that views touchpoints not in isolation but as part of a seamless customer journey. And since customer journeys aren’t simple and linear but a series of handoffs between traditional and digital channels that can vary significantly by customer type, an effective strategy requires an in-depth understanding of what customers truly want.”

In order to ensure success, brands need to focus on understanding the preferences and wants of their target audience.

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Provide Quality Digital Customer Care

More and more customers prefer to shop digitally and seek out customer care online. Many brands have capitalized on this trend by focusing on developing a robust omnichannel presence. However, brands that design a digital channel prematurely often fail to provide adequate online support channels for their customers.

Some brand marketers believe that the customer’s desire for customer-employee interactions is diminishing due to growing technology. But, trends indicate that the volume of engagement and the number of touchpoints actually continue to increase. This shows that brands need to ensure that they are providing effective and positive engagement with customers through digital channels.

Brand marketers who fail to provide adequate customer care online find that customers make multiple visits to their website in order to receive the help and assistance that they require. This leaves shoppers frustrated and dissatisfied, decreasing sales and conversions for your brand. Concentrate on efforts to understand how to effectively help your customers, and ensure that you offer productive digital avenues through which they can seek assistance.

Concentrate on efforts to understand how to effectively help your customers, and ensure that you offer productive digital avenues through which they can seek assistance.

Know Your Shoppers’ Personas

To effectively reach and engage with customers, brand marketers need to be aware of the different types of segments they’re targeting. The four most common categories of shoppers include: digital by lifestyle, digital by choice, digital by need, and offline society. Each consumer group has unique shopping needs, and brands need to prepare marketing approaches for each of them.

As Amar, Raabe, and Roggenhofer explain, “Best practice is to design primary service for each segment, using contact volume distribution and persona profiles that differentiate by digital behavior to determine engagement strategies and the necessary investments in each channel.” Different types of consumers will respond to different marketing tactics, so brand marketers need to get creative to effectively reach a large audience of shoppers.

More and more customers demand personalized journey fit their needs. The first step for brands to achieve this is to understand the shopping preference of their target consumer groups.

Some consumer segments respond more to online advertisements, whereas others are more touched by physical marketing materials such as direct mail that drives them to brick-and-mortar stores where they can experience a personal connection with the brand. Therefore, brands should focus on developing marketing strategies that serve each persona group based on their shopping preferences in conjunction with omnichannel digital efforts.

Different types of consumers will respond to different marketing tactics, so brand marketers need to get creative to effectively reach a large audience of shoppers.

Train Employees to Put the Customer First

A superb omnichannel experience does not stop at the completed purchasing transaction. It now extends to seamless customer handoffs across the channel from pre-purchase interaction to after-purchase follow-ups by the customer service, via online or face to face. To provide a superb omnichannel experience, brands need to recognize the importance of employee training to fulfill the pre and post-purchase phases of the customer journey.

Well trained brand employees should be able to identify customer needs and cater to their services accordingly. In order to do so, they must receive the right kind of training. Ensure that your training is creative, effective, and designed with the customer in mind. The better the coaching, the better the service, and it translates into higher demand and increased sales for your brand. It’s integral that your workforce has the right skill sets to offer effective customer care. Eventually, this will help to refine the strategy based on brand performance in the long run.

When complex issues arise, employees need to be able to provide feasible solutions and give customers a seamless experience. Positive interactions help employees develop meaningful relationships with consumers, which serves to drive sales and bring in a higher number of loyal customers for your brand. The happier a customer feels when they leave your store or website, it’s more likely that they will recommend your product to others.

In order to provide an effective omnichannel experience, brands need to train employees to always think of the customer first.

Conclusion

No two consumers are the same. Each consumer segment has unique shopping needs and responds to different marketing methods. Brands need to make an effort to understand what their target customers want and implement ways to effectively deliver it.

Providing high-quality customer service and productive assistance through digital channels, personalizing the shopping experience for target groups, and training brand representatives to follow a customer-centric mindset are useful ways to deepen your understanding of what your customers want, generate demand, and drive sales.

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Why NVISION?

NVISION® is a marketing execution company helping Fortune 1000 organizations optimize their marketing supply chain process. We provide the expertise to simplify the creation, procurement, fulfillment, distribution and ongoing account management for customers’ printed marketing materials.

With 100 years of supply chain management expertise in streamlining operations, leveraging buying power and creating innovative solutions, we reduce cost and increase speed-to-market. NVISION provides dedicated experts that understand clients’ brand standards, internal processes, deadlines, and distribution needs.

We manage every step of the process to deliver marketing operations – simplified.

See how NVISION can help your business | Let’s start a conversation about your complimentary assessment!

Three Key Tips to Gain
Competitive Advantage in CPG

Undeniably, the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry faces unique challenges. Over the past five years, many CPG brands have experienced a decline in revenue and profits. Brands are struggling to keep up with changes in the industry, and some are consequently falling behind as the broader retail landscape changes.

According to Bain & Company’s Matthew Meacham, François Faelli, Eduardo Giménez, and John Blasberg in their article, “When we analyzed the performance of 34 of the world’s top 50 consumer goods companies in the last few years, we made the unsettling discovery that 85% of those big companies had seen a decline in either revenues, profits or both.”

In order to ensure future success, brands need to find ways to combat the current challenges in the industry. So, what can CPG brands do to overcome the current crisis in the industry?

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Be Agile with Emerging Trends

With advances in technology and the emergence of a new generation of shoppers, the CPG industry is constantly evolving. The wants and needs of customers are changing, along with the ways they shop. Brands that hope to survive in this ever-changing market need to keep up with the new trends.

One of the most significant trends is rapidly shifting in consumer behavior as they become more socially, environmentally, and health-conscious. This fast-growing trend contributed to the considerable disruption caused by small insurgent brands in many product categories, making the competition even more intense.

In order to support the new wave of consumers and to compete in the current market, brands should focus on establishing a robust multi-channel presence to connect with the target consumers where they are comfortable to interact and share.

When brands are aware of emerging market trends, they can come up with a plan to prepare for them ahead of time. By serving the consumer in the way they want to be served on par with the current trends, brands can outsmart the competition to be successful in the marketplace.

When brands are aware of emerging market trends, they can come up with a plan to prepare for them ahead of time.

Reinvent Brand’s Image

Brand marketers need to start thinking “outside the box” when it comes to engaging with customers. Instead of relying solely on legacy marketing tactics, brands should consider ways to draw in customers that they haven’t used before.

Meacham, Faelli, Giménez, and Blasberg explain: “Winning companies will innovate their way out with new products, new systems, and new needs that help elevate their categories to premium status while increasing product and assortment penetration.”

If keeping up with the current trends is “today forward” strategy, brands also will need to take “future back” approach to set their own destiny and progressing toward it.

By redefining the vision for your brand, and your company – future back approach – to rearticulate a meaningful, sustainable, and consumer-driven purposes will inspire to reset the brand’s sense of urgency and to become the frontline innovator.

“Winning companies will innovate their way out with new products, new systems, and new needs that help elevate their categories to premium status while increasing product and assortment penetration.”

Directly Engage with Customers

Traditionally, most CPG brands don’t maintain a relationship with customers after they make a purchase. However, if brands take the initiative to connect and develop lasting relationships with their shoppers, they will drive sales and increase their opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

Adding the data-driven personalization in every customer touchpoint will significantly improve customer commitment to the brands, especially when a customer feels connected, understood, and valued by the brand.

One way is direct mail follow-ups with customers after they’ve purchased your product. Consumers typically respond positively to direct communication because they appreciate feeling that their feedback is important.

Also, brands should consider opening pop-up brick-and-mortar stores to improve engagement with consumers. Brands can more easily establish impactful connections with their shoppers in a physical store, where the entire consumer experience is curated by the brand.

There is no sales method more effective than good old-fashioned, positive, face-to-face interactions. When a customer leaves your store feeling like they’ve had a good experience, they are more likely to come back and also to encourage their friends and family members to shop there.

Accessibility of data is the most significant benefit to retailers from directly engaging with customers.

Conclusion

The current crisis in the CPG industry doesn’t mean that your brand is doomed to struggle. Instead, brand marketers should see these market challenges as opportunities to redefine their business by thinking of new, creative ways to engage with customers and drive sales.

Making sure you stay in the know regarding new market trends, coming up with innovative ideas for products and marketing tactics, and putting in the effort to reach out and directly engage with your customers are important steps you can take as a CPG brand marketer in order to flourish in today’s challenging market. By understanding these useful actions, CPG brands are more likely to remain profitable and ensure a successful future for their business.

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Why NVISION?

NVISION® is a marketing execution company helping Fortune 1000 organizations optimize their marketing supply chain process. We provide the expertise to simplify the creation, procurement, fulfillment, distribution and ongoing account management for customers’ printed marketing materials.

With 100 years of supply chain management expertise in streamlining operations, leveraging buying power and creating innovative solutions, we reduce cost and increase speed-to-market. NVISION provides dedicated experts that understand clients’ brand standards, internal processes, deadlines, and distribution needs.

We manage every step of the process to deliver marketing operations – simplified.

See how NVISION can help your business | Let’s start a conversation about your complimentary assessment!

Retail Trends: Defining Your Strategic Roadmap

The retail industry today is more exciting than ever. With increases in technological advances, shopping has become a part of consumers’ everyday lives. Now, they can shop anytime and anywhere at their own convenience. The modern shopper is always in control, always in the “driver’s seat.” And they expect to have their shopping needs met by the brands they choose.

According to Kelly Bransten in Microsoft and PSFK’s eBook, “Success in this new era is dependent on understanding and anticipating the needs of customers at every stage of the retail journey.”

In order to ensure future success, brands need to find ways to capitalize on the emerging trends in the retail industry.

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Create Raving Fans

Shoppers want a customer-first kind of experience. And, with increased technology, brands are now able to gather valuable consumer data to help them accomplish exactly that. Consumers today are more open to sharing their data with brands, but they expect a more personalized shopping experience in return.

To deliver a more exceptional experience using customer data, brands first need to understand what kind of information is necessary. Once they have gathered the appropriate data, brand marketers should send personalized recommendations that address the individual needs of the shopper. These recommendations can be delivered electronically as emails or physically in the form of creative, attractive direct mailers. When customers feel their individual needs have been met by your brand, they’ll be more likely to make purchases in the future, and to recommend your brand to others.

Consumers are more likely to give out personal information to brands when they feel they will receive exceptional service in return. So, one way to incentivize customers to share their personal data is to offer exchange benefits such as discounts, loyalty points, and access to special, recommended deals. This exchange of information also helps establish trust between the customer and brand marketer, resulting in a higher conversion of raving fans for the brand.

Consumers today are more open to sharing their data with brands, but they expect a more personalized shopping experience in return.

Ensure Positive Brand-Customer Interactions

In the retail industry, it is extremely important for customers to have positive interactions with brand representatives. As a result, brands need to focus on training employees to be knowledgeable, so that they can provide accurate information when discussing their products with shoppers. They also need to be equipped and ready to present useful solutions to any problem. When brand representatives are passionate about the products they’re selling, they are positively impacting the minds of potential buyers.

As the experts at Microsoft and PSFK explain, “Despite collecting a variety of insights on individual shoppers from their online browsing behaviors, purchase history, loyalty membership and location, most companies fail to develop this information into an actionable customer view.”

Brands need to know how to effectively capitalize on customer data in order to drive sales and increase revenue. And they can do exactly that when they have well-trained, knowledgeable employees representing their brand.

When customers leave your store feeling satisfied with their interaction, they are more likely to shop with your brand again, and to recommend your superior service to friends and family members.

Positive interaction with brand representatives will impact the minds of potential buyers.

Capitalize on Advances in Technology

Some brands are differentiating themselves by implementing data-driven initiatives that help them offer innovative products that have not previously been introduced to the market. They are able to do so by analyzing customer preferences and shopping patterns.

To more effectively fulfill customers’ expectations, some brands are utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) systems to unify their customer journeys across all channels. These systems notify employees when a shopper has entered the store, and then automatically trigger the delivery of recommendations. With this technological approach, brand employees are instantaneously informed of the arrival of a new customer, enabling them to more efficiently provide personalized service and assist the customer in their shopping process. This empowers brands to achieve more sales as well as higher customer satisfaction rates.

Brands should conduct Research and Development with customer needs always at the top of mind. By logging consumers’ in-store behaviors, interactions with products and employees, shopping patterns, and feedback, brands can develop a deeper understanding of their customers’ shopping needs. Using this understanding, they are able to respond better to the nuances of their shoppers, thus improving the customer experience.

By analyzing customer preferences and shopping patterns to develop a proactive, personalized approach will empower brands to achieve more sales as well as higher customer satisfaction rates.

Conclusion

The retail industry is changing, and new trends are emerging. In order to remain profitable in this new age, retail brands need to adapt to these changes and find ways to capitalize on them.

Personalizing the customer experience to meet shoppers’ individual needs, ensuring that your employees have the training and knowledge necessary to engage in positive interactions with consumers, and effectively utilizing technological advances to your marketing advantage are important steps you can take as a brand marketer in order to flourish in this ever-changing market. By understanding these useful actions, retail brands are more likely to remain profitable and ensure a successful future for their business.

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Why NVISION?

NVISION® is a marketing execution company helping Fortune 1000 organizations optimize their marketing supply chain process. We provide the expertise to simplify the creation, procurement, fulfillment, distribution and ongoing account management for customers’ printed marketing materials.

With 100 years of supply chain management expertise in streamlining operations, leveraging buying power and creating innovative solutions, we reduce cost and increase speed-to-market. NVISION provides dedicated experts that understand clients’ brand standards, internal processes, deadlines, and distribution needs.

We manage every step of the process to deliver marketing operations – simplified.

See how NVISION can help your business | Let’s start a conversation about your complimentary assessment!

How the Wine Industry is Shifting
to Connect with Customers

Wine companies invest significant resources in conducting studies to learn what customers look for when shopping for their ideal wine.

However, it’s becoming more and more evident that many wine consumers don’t actually know what they want in a bottle of wine. Consequently, these efforts usually bring wine brands with little useful insight and only wasted money.

According to Gregory Carpenter and Ashlee Humphreys at Harvard Business Review, there is a more effective approach to gearing your brand towards consumers – educating and engaging with them. If most customers don’t know enough about wine to know what they want to buy, wine brands need to take the initiative and proactively inform them.

So, how can wine companies successfully engage with their customers?

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Influence Customers’ Tastes

Many businesses aim to meet customers’ needs through their products. However, in the wine industry, many customers don’t know enough about wine to have predictable preferences. So, how can wine companies know what to produce to satisfy consumers’ desires?

Wine companies can use their expertise in the industry to give shoppers what they want before they even realize they want it. Brands can put a personal touch on their products by producing wines that they want to bring to market, rather than reacting to consumers’ preferences.

The most effective approach to success for winemakers is to influence the tastes of their customers. By coming up with innovative labels, branding and marketing planning, and products, wine brands can attract customers and drive sales for their products.

The most effective approach to success for winemakers is to influence the tastes of their customers.

Develop Relationships with Industry Influencers

Certain critics and influencers have strong product views that can affect buyers’ decision-making processes. So, what’s the best way to capitalize on critics’ positions of power in the market? Impress them with a truly superior brand experience.

Creating a smart and innovative atmosphere where critics and social media influencers can experience and taste your brand’s wines will increase brand awareness and demand for your products. At the same time, it will enable you to develop long-lasting, profitable business relationships with influential figures.

As a result of the growing relationships with wine-industry critics, wine companies can use those reviews and ratings to better market their products and drive sales for their brand.

Engage with critics and social influencers to increase brand awareness and demand for your products.

Build Brand Loyalty with Shared Customer Experiences

Consumers seek advice by reading reviews and ratings. If wine companies want to wow shoppers, they need to focus on displaying these factors that can sway customers’ decision-making process.

The trick is creating a brand experience that is truly superior to the competition. As Carpenter and Humphreys explain, “Consumers become fans and pay premium prices, despite the availability of literally thousands of excellent alternatives.” When your customers believe that they are purchasing the best of the best, they will be willing to pay more.

The in-store display can be an excellent way to promote your products. Having a vibrant yet elegant display stating positive reviews and comments by influencers and customers will help accelerate your product sales by swaying the purchase decisions of customers. Sometimes too much information is better than lack of one, especially not many customers have expert knowledge when it comes to selecting a bottle of wine.

And they will keep coming back for the same brand and products in the future, hence, growing brand loyalty.

Wine companies can build a strong fan base by emphasizing the positive ratings and reviews to help navigate the customer’s buying decision.

Conclusion

Wine brands are discovering new ways to reach their customers. Instead of wasting money and resources surveying shoppers to learn about their wine preferences, they are focusing on influencing consumers with innovative products and creative packaging, and through influencer marketing.

Recommendations and strong reviews by influencers are an essential part of the decision-making process for modern-day consumers. By understanding the thought processes of shoppers, wine brands can help navigate them to make the right decision. As a result, it will create a fan base of customers who will remain loyal to your brand and increase your brand’s footprint in the market.

 

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Why NVISION?

NVISION® is a marketing execution company helping Fortune 1000 organizations optimize their marketing supply chain process. We provide the expertise to simplify the creation, procurement, fulfillment, distribution and ongoing account management for customers’ printed marketing materials.

With 100 years of supply chain management expertise in streamlining operations, leveraging buying power and creating innovative solutions, we reduce cost and increase speed-to-market. NVISION provides dedicated experts that understand clients’ brand standards, internal processes, deadlines, and distribution needs.

We manage every step of the process to deliver marketing operations – simplified.

See how NVISION can help your business | Let’s start a conversation about your complimentary assessment!

2020 Shopper Marketing: Are You Ready For This New Wave of Consumers?

Due to advances in technology and society, the way that consumers shop is radically changing. And consequently, according to Robert I. Tomei at IRI, the future is looking up for marketers.

Analysts predict to characterize the 2020 shopper by multicultural diversity, age, and technology.

Hispanic consumers, as well as Millennials, are beginning to dominate the shopping world. And the majority of them are using their smartphones or laptops to do it.

So, how can marketers and businesses prepare for the 2020 shopper?

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Use Digital Platforms to Better Meet the 2020 Shopper’s Needs

More and more 2020 shoppers turn to their smartphones first before making a purchase in order to compare prices and search for different products. However, many of them do still prefer shopping at brick and mortar stores where they can actually see and feel a product before purchasing it.

The best method for marketers is to combine these two experiences. The first step is to build a strong online platform that drives customers into the store. Then, establish a positive connection in store to keep them engaged and satisfied with their purchases, so they’ll keep coming back.

Use digital platforms as well as legacy marketing assets to appeal to the habits of the 2020 shopper. The better in sync your physical and digital marketing efforts are, the stronger your brand will be in their minds.

Meeting the customers where they are comfortable – a strong online platform – to drive them into the store to establish a positive in-store connection is a critical step for marketers to be prepared for the 2020 Shopper. 

Employ Marketing Techniques that Relate Specifically to the 2020 Shopper

As Tomei explains, “There is no such thing as a simple, one-size-fits-all marketing and sales strategy in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.”

To succeed, Tomei suggests marketers need to do three things:

  1. Understand the emerging 2020 shopper.
  2. Use their preferred digital platforms and channels to engage with them.
  3. Drive them into retail stores for experiences that convert.

The 2020 shopper is looking for a customized experience, one that’s tailored to their needs. The easier the process is for them to find and purchase what they need, the more satisfied they will be. And the more likely they will return, as a result.

The 2020 shopper is looking for a customized experience, one that’s tailored to their needs.

Remain Up to Speed with Market Changes

The 2020 shopper is shaping up to be different from the kinds of consumer groups that previously dominated the market, and therefore will respond differently to legacy marketing strategies and assets. For this reason, new tactics will need to be employed to reach them.

Marketers must remain agile to the constant changes that occur within the consumer industry and react swiftly by taking advantage of new ways to reach customers as they are made available.

The success of your brand depends on how well you can adapt and utilize these changes. A flexible supply chain and responsive marketing operations will be critical.

Marketers must remain agile to the constant changes that occur within the consumer industry.

Conclusion

The 2020 shopper is going to be more diverse, younger, and more connected to technology than previous consumers. By taking advantage of these factors, marketers can relate directly to the 2020 shopper and offer a customized, streamlined consumer experience that meets their unique demands and keeps them loyal to your brand.

By working with a partner who can help you prepare for the 2020 shopper and take advantage of new methods to reach them, your brand can compete in the ever-changing consumer market, instead of being left in the dust.

 

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Why NVISION?

NVISION® is a marketing execution company helping Fortune 1000 organizations optimize their marketing supply chain process. We provide the expertise to simplify the creation, procurement, fulfillment, distribution and ongoing account management for customers’ printed marketing materials.

With 100 years of supply chain management expertise in streamlining operations, leveraging buying power and creating innovative solutions, we reduce cost and increase speed-to-market. NVISION provides dedicated experts that understand clients’ brand standards, internal processes, deadlines, and distribution needs.

We manage every step of the process to deliver marketing operations – simplified.

See how NVISION can help your business | Let’s start a conversation about your complimentary assessment!