Cross-Channel Consistency, Mobile Integration Are Keys To Success
The holidays may be months away, but smart retailers are strategizing today, according to the Retail TouchPoints2012 Holiday Outlook Guide. The buzzwords for the holidays are similar to what retailers are hearing year-round in today’s marketplace: customer service, cloud, cross-channel, social and mobile. But how these tactics are implemented as part of holiday strategies can make or break the season for many merchants.
A number of top industry analysts and retail executives shared their insights for this year’s Holiday Outlook Guide, including Paula Rosenblum from Retail Systems Research (RSR), Greg Buzek from IHL Group and Gary Schwartz from Impact Mobile. Some of the topics covered in the Guide include: mobile technology, social media cross-channel merchandising, retail in an election year, and retailers to watch.
“The big realization that many brick-and-mortar retailers have come to (many belatedly) is that the cloud and the store are not separate checkouts,” noted Gary Schwartz, President, Impact Mobile. “The consumer is checkout agnostic. The consumer is channel agnostic. To succeed in the 2012 holiday shopping season, retailers need to use mobile to engage in store and move the shopper into their cloud or engage in the cloud and drive door-swing. If the retailer cannot effectively clientele using mobile in the store, if the retailer cannot capture the mobile number opt-in at POS, their shopper will be poached by Amazon or, worse yet, simply abandon intent.”
The fast-moving social media environment also will take retailers for a ride during the holidays. “Given how quickly social media has been adopted, how many channels are popping up, seemingly daily, we believe the opportunities for retailers will increase this year, along with the competition for consumers’ attention,” noted Michelle Crames, Founder and CEO, Skuloop.