At the Glossy Forum in Manhattan on Friday, executives across a wide range of retail, fashion and beauty companies convened to discuss the concept of “store of the future.” From integrating in-store technology to finding new ways to lure shoppers to digital channels, the goal, of course, is always to drive sales.
However, with an evolving array of platforms from which to engage, this can get challenging for brand marketers. What is the best way to reach consumers, and where should these companies be investing their time and resources? We gathered some of the best overhead moments from candid conversations about staying competitive in the age of Amazon and bridging e-commerce and physical retail strategies, and how internal teams are avoiding getting stuck in silos that inhibit innovation.
Using Amazon to your advantage
“We just started partnering with Amazon because we noticed people were going there to read product reviews. Amazon is super accessible and sociable, and we offer a lot of products, so it helps her make the decision before she comes to the store.”
“We’re working with them on the Amazon Luxury side. Where it’s benefited us is it gives us more control over brand messaging and pricing. It allows us to connect with more sellers and control the e-commerce space. As one of the early partners of Amazon Luxury, it’s really benefited us; it allows us to control who the sellers are and helps us clean up a lot of the gunk.”
“80 percent of our [product] searches began on Amazon. The searches are really outweighing the searches happening on Google.”
“If I’m a customer, a lot of the time I want to buy my toilet paper on Amazon. For us, the question is, ‘Do I want to be in the same cart as toilet paper?’ It’s the toilet paper question; that’s the biggest recurring theme.”
“When people are looking for brand experiences on brand sites, Amazon is very relevant because of the Prime advantage. It provides a flexible testing ground.”
“We have a presence on Amazon, but it’s not something where we’re like, ‘Oh, this is incredible; it’s solving everything we need.’ We don’t get data from them. It feels like a really lopsided relationship, and that’s the problem.”
Balancing digital and physical strategies
“[As a beauty brand] wall experience is very crucial for us. We’re always strategically thinking about how we can get the shopper to gravitate to us, knowing that she’s going to be in between [other brands, as well.] So we’ve been thinking about testing behind the wall and doing virtual wall tests.”
“The questions are more about: How do I keep you in my store, versus online? What does the customer want? You have to look at every customer from an omnichannel perspective.”
“I work for a major luxury heritage brand, where I’m the marketing manager for both retail and e-commerce. E-commerce is just growing and growing. I think very soon it will rival the amount of revenue we bring in in-store. We’re trying to figure out how these people are buying online and encourage that same behavior in stores.”
“I work for a digital agency that worked with a brand on a holiday campaign last season. We worked with the physical and e-commerce teams, but the e-commerce team got pulled in late and it already had its own thing going on. They weren’t synced up. It should be about the consumer first and a consistent journey, no matter where they are. If they’re not having the same brand experience, it’s a huge disconnect that tarnishes the overall perception of the brand. They should feel like they’re being served the same experience.”