keters should ensure alternative methods of ordering through
the retailer’s website are prominently featured at the point of
purchase, offering free shipping to store or to home options.
Next, deliver goods to retail and ensure they are at shelf
in time for key selling events and support retailer sales events.
With all of the just-in-time manufacturing and logistics capabilities marketers have at their disposal, there are countless examples of marketers missing the selling season window.
Finally, secure feature displays. End caps, side wings, and
power aisle displays can increase sales by as much as 700 percent
over inline shelf merchandising. Marketers should continue to
work with retailers to create feature displays.
Koeppel: Consumers want experiences that surprise and delight.
Think about what it’s like going into an Apple store. Costco’s
business model is predicated on the idea of the consumer coming in for staples and then discovering an item they had no
intention of buying in the first place — a form of treasure hunt.
Similarly, Amazon is opening bookstores that one could argue
are a throwback to when one would scan the shelves of their
local bookstore and discover a book they did not know about.
Similar to Amazon is Warby Parker, which began as an online
seller of eyewear that allowed customers to try on frames with
no obligation through the mail. It has branched out and opened
boutiques that allow consumers to try the glasses on in store.
Distribution is another key consideration. Although the
window between ordering and doorstep delivery keeps getting
compressed, sometimes a consumer wants to get their hands on
a product immediately. That means conventional retailers have
to be constantly monitoring which products are in demand and
making them available for in-store pick-up. Further, some online
retailers are branching out. So, for example, Harry’s razors and
shaving gels are now available at Target, in addition to being
sold through their continuity program delivered direct-to-your-door.
Finally, service is key. In certain categories, such as computers, smartphones, AI speakers, and the like, consumers want
expertise and guidance. Again, think Apple. Its entire store is
set up to consultatively help consumers make smart buying decisions, without any pressure or self-serving agenda.
Lee: In-store retail strategy for 2018 and beyond must include
omnichannel marketing that includes social media. The K-mart
“Give a Gift” Christmas video on You Tube has millions of viewers being served brand status for loyalty.
Another consideration: open the sales funnel earlier. Utilizing messaging earlier will bring consumers to purchase later. For
example, Christmas in July may not provide immediate sales,
although it opens the funnel for purchase during the holiday season. Offering promo codes allows for driving interest and tying
back store sales with promos that will provide attribution for
spend, as well as provide capture of segmentation and user data
for retargeting and remarketing.
Finally, there’s customer service. This has already started with
many online retail sites offering purchase and then “in-store”
pick up. Customer service for future successful in-store retail
strategy should include personal shoppers. These educated employees have been offered in high-end fashion departments for
years. If they were offered in do-it-yourself (DIY) stores, certainly the average order value (AOV) of each customer would be
increased. Also, return policies need to be “all inclusive,” which
has already been instituted at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond
and Home Depot. All stores should offer “return anytime for full
refund or replacement.”
Stacey: Retail is a challenging environment and being successful requires doing lots of things right. This includes products.
We test hundreds of products, but only a few pass the test of
being a good seller. You then have to get past the buyer and
onto the shelf. Many buyers have not seen the movie Moneyball
and are still trying to guess what sells, rather than relying on
big data. Once on the shelf, you have to have a system to drive
sell-through with media support and carefully manage inventory
levels, so you don’t ship in too many and get stuck — or ship in
too few and run dry.
Still, e-commerce’s success is not overblown
— look at Walmart and Target shifting online
strategies to compete with Amazon. What
three things must marketers take into account
when installing an e-commerce strategy?
Besasie: Marketers today are facing an omnichannel opportunity
and challenge. It’s important that marketers avoid the trap of
building their channel strategies in silos. Of course, each retailer
or channel has its own set of requirements and demands. Sales
plans must meet their specific needs, but sales management
needs to take a step back and assess the sales plan at a more