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Strategy

Optimizing Your Retail Marketing Tech Stack in a Post-Pandemic World

By Julia Michaelis

There’s an innovation race going on in retail right now. Certain characteristics of a marketer’s technology stack have gone from nice-to-haves to needs. And intelligent, scalable personalization is a prerequisite for success.

Retail has changed drastically right before our eyes.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a shift to digital commerce as the de facto avenue for shoppers to explore, evaluate and buy. But now, shoppers are getting back out into stores and exploring a number of channels from in-person to digital. 

In response, retailers need agile, digital-first marketing technology that bridges gaps between channels to gain critical insights from shopper signal and data and activate new strategies in real time to move at the speed and scale of each shopper. 

Why Retailers Need to Optimize Marketing Technology Investments Now

Success that lasts means retailers need 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, save time and increase returns on technology investments — all while giving shoppers seamless, best-in-class experiences

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. 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 retailers rely more and more on easy and actionable access to first-party data with the deprecation of third-party cookies. 

How to Get Started with Martech Optimizations

Reevaluating and reconstructing your retail martech stack doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” situation. Making the right investments and positioning them correctly within the organization is 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 overnight.

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 isn’t surprising. But with the right foundation for a retail marketing tech stack, retailers can scale their programs for success across channels. 

The Retail Marketing Tech Stack Guide

To help retailers build the tech stack of the future, check out 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 martech 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.
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Julia Michaelis

Julia is Content Marketing Manager at Bluecore. Julia has been telling stories about personalization and interoperability in data and technology for three years in education, and is excited to do the same in retail. Julia lives in Brooklyn with her terrier Lee and loves shopping, paddleboarding, and reading (in that order).

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