In short, retail has changed drastically right before our eyes.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly accelerated this change — most notably the shift to eCommerce — but the truth is, these changes were well underway at the start of 2020 and their impact on retail is a permanent one.
In response, retailers need agile, digital-first marketing technology to compete effectively in this modern retail environment.
Why Retailers Need to Optimize Marketing Technology Investments Now
Success in the newly digital-first commerce environment requires retailers to get smarter and more efficient about everything. Smarter to work toward retail-specific goals, such as improving sell-through, maximizing margins, growing repeat purchase rates and reducing returns, and to improve 1:1 personalization to meet customer demands. More efficient to accomplish those initiatives at scale, reduce waste and increase returns on technology investments.
When it comes to achieving these goals in smarter, more efficient ways, retail specificity matters. Moving into an AI-driven world will help accomplish key measures around intelligence and efficiency, but only if those AI models can go deep on specific goals — like turning shoppers into lifetime customers. And in order for that to be possible, the technology needs to be built for retail.
Further, many follow-on benefits come from introducing technology built for retail, including deep expertise in strategy for how to best put that technology to work and prioritization of retail specific requirements on the innovation roadmap.
Critically, the time to make these changes is now, as digital-first commerce has already arrived and the scales will only continue to shift in that direction going forward.
How to Get Started with Marketing Technology Optimizations
Critically, introducing a modern retail marketing technology stack in your organization doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” situation. Rather, making the right investments and positioning them correctly within the organization will be a long term initiative, so while the time to get started is now, it’s important to recognize that the full change won’t happen all at once.
The best approach for retailers to get started is to (1) identify the best technology investments for their brand, (2) determine how to use those solutions together in a strategic way and (3) plan when and where to start making those changes.
While this approach sounds straightforward, many leaders have struggled to identify the best technology investments and then strategically use those solutions together. Given the exploding martech landscape, this struggle is not surprising. However, it’s a challenge that retailers must overcome — and quickly — to properly prepare for today’s digital-first world.
Introducing The Retail Marketing Tech Stack Guide
This guide is designed to help retailers introduce the necessary marketing technology to compete effectively in the modern retail environment and explores:
- Why having technology built for retail is so important when using AI-driven solutions to solve for specific outcomes, like turning shoppers into lifetime customers
- How to build your retail marketing technology stack and effectively use that technology to achieve key goals, including critical characteristics of modern retail martech, four technology must-haves and tips to measure value
- What outcomes to expect from introducing these types of best of breed solutions, including improved data activation and scaled personalization, featuring case studies from Sephora, Hammacher Schlemmer and ASICS
- How to get started on making this type of change in your organization sooner rather than later