design:retail - November/December 2015 - (Page 40)
IRA L. GLESER
AMPLIFY MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
S WE COME TO the
end of 2015, I thought
it would be a good time
to consider what we've
learned about shoppers
this year, and where
things stand with integrating physical and
digital worlds in a retail environment.
I talked to two experts on shopper insights and retail marketing innovations: Michael La Kier currently
leads the shopper marketing and
retail strategy practice at Gannett/
USA Today and previously led shopper marketing strategy and capability for
Coca-Cola. John Edelman is co-founder
and principal at Cloverleaf Innovation, a
Chicago-based consultancy that combines
design thinking, creative insights and
practical business analytics.
design:retail: What is one trend, insight or innovation that surprised you this year?
La Kier: During the recent back-to-school season, I
was surprised, as a parent, at how much traffic was
in the stores. While this is a hectic time for parents,
and a shopping season that is ripe for innovation
and e-commerce, the experience of "shopping with
your kids" is something parents really want to hold
on to. To me, this is an example of the significant
role bricks-and-mortar stores continue to play, creating experiences that connect with the shopper.
Edelman: I would say that getting more insights
on behaviors related to the shopping experience
through digital tracking technology has been a huge
innovation this year (i.e. the ability to capture 24/7
digital behavior of a target consumer audience).
d:r: How would you summarize the current state
of integrating bricks and mortar with digital?
La Kier: I think we are moving from "pockets of
innovation" in the physical retail space to elements
of full-scale transformation, as we're starting to see
things get wired together. There is a new breed of
merchant out there, one who is as comfortable with
data as they are with design and merchandising creative. By knowing more about your customers and
merging data with creative and personalization, the
future is going to be led by "data ninjas" who can pull
all this together and make it work.
Edelman: This is a challenging time to be a
large-scale traditional retailer. The sheer quantity of stores, dollars tied up in inventory and
complex distribution networks make them
slow to embrace digital integration. Some of
the fallout we've seen this year is large retailers
closing stores. On the other side of the coin,
e-commerce companies (e.g. Warby Parker) are
executing this integration extremely well and
moving into the bricks-and-mortar space.
They operate in smaller retail spaces, they
don't have huge amounts of overhead and
they know their shopper, because they
have been engaging with them online.
They are able to take that knowledge and
curate a great retail experience that can be
d:r: Any predictions for 2016?
La Kier: I think we are going to see more
personalization as the integration of digital
and physical continues to evolve. This will
continue to have huge implications for the
shopper experience, both in the front of
the store, but also the back of the store.
I want to know "Michael" is in the store,
and with an understanding of his online
browsing behavior, my salespeople can
suggest items/products that will close the
sale faster. I also think we will continue to
see physical stores becoming innovation labs for
smart retailers. The ones that are testing and tweaking today will be positioned for long-term success.
Edelman: I think e-commerce companies will
continue jumping into physical retail, and this will
go well beyond clothiers and health-and-beauty
concepts/brands. Pop-up and pop-in concepts will
just explode. We will continue to see larger retailers
suffer, but the survivors will start to "get it." They
will have to be creative, innovative and strategic to
pull off this transformation. Finally, we will see an
emerging trend in "retail fusion"-different retail
concepts and products merging together into one
IRA L. GLESER IS PRESIDENT OF ATLANTA-BASED AMPLIFY
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (AMPLIFYMC.COM), WHICH HELPS
BRANDS AND ORGANIZATIONS CONNECT MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH
CLIENTS, CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS.
Photo by MANUEL FABA ORTEGA/THINKSTOCK
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - November/December 2015
design:retail - November/December 2015
We Love This!
Clicks & Mortar
How’d They Do That?
Have You Heard?
Shopping with Paco
New York Retail
Product Category Index
Product Category Listing
design:retail - November/December 2015