Breakfast waffle… Retail going back to the future

breafastwaffle2 Breakfast waffle... Retail going back to the futureIn his last Liverpool Daily Post column of the year, Ben Hatton takes a look at the last 12 months in retail marketing as well as what 2013 could hold.

“As we see 2012 draw to a close, what have we learned from the experiences of the past 12 months?

Multi-channel went mainstream

In digital marketing, certain key themes dominated. Multi-channel really went mainstream and stopped being merely a ‘nice-to-have’ asset.

Brands and retailers without comprehensive multi-channel platforms looked like they’d missed the boat.

The emergence of augmented reality, interactive apps such as Shazam, mobile commerce and geo- location tools has helped retailers enhance the shopping experience.

Mobile and tablet devices have driven the blurring of lines between in-store and online with click-and- collect making retail easier, faster and less stressful.

Retailers such as Amazon and eBay, previously only online, are looking for ways to reach beyond their digital presence with delivery options, pop-ups and integrated mobile technology.

Finding ways to motivate shoppers

In recent times, price promotions and voucher offers have been ubiquitous. Now some brands – and especially stores – need to find fresh ways to motivate shoppers without affecting the bottom line.

In 2013, watch out for extended and enhanced loyalty schemes overhauling the scatter-gun use of vouchers.

As an example, supermarket chain Morrisons is already taking the lead, making it clear they intend to develop new mechanics to drive value without denting profits.

Done well, loyalty schemes work – Boots’ scheme has now been running for 10 years, and Nectar for 15 – but others, unable to deliver to a large enough client base, have faded away.

Another prediction for 2013 is that there will be greater emphasis on content marketing and unified platforms tailored around customer behaviours, with brands looking to build their relationships with consumers.

Good service, personal attention, and making customers feel valued – sounds like Back to the Future.”

Ben’s next breakfast waffle will arrive in the New Year.

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