For “Store First” #Retail, what are the Content & Findability Essentials for 2014?
Given that every industry watcher has acknowledged 2014 as the tipping point year where all substantial retail growth is coming from digital channels rather than traditional store fronts, you might well wonder: what company would sanely decide on a Store First omni-channel strategy? And while that’s true for retailers in electronics and apparel, closing in on 40% of revenue derived online, other product categories like grocery and hardlines still have plenty of life in centering consumer engagement strategies in the physical store.
To succeed at a Store First strategy, all digital channels (especially mobile) must be adapted to enhance the physical in-store shopping experience. The must-do content synchronization and product findability advances you’ll need for the 2014 holiday season include:
Align Online, Mobile, Coupon & Promotions Product Taxonomies to In-Store Assortment – There is nothing so frustrating as “webrooming” your shopping research online only to arrive at the store and not be able to find the same products by the same name, the related accessories, coupons or promotions that match what was offered online, or a sales associate aware of anything you saw online or on your mobile. While you’re at it, make sure your mobile bar code scanner and QRC codes match back to your online and mobile product categories, NOT to your financial, supply-side or other back-end categories.
Reserve Online, Buy In-Store and Click-and-Collect for Seasonal Collections – Last year’s holiday season was short, and so is the one coming up for 2014. Coupled with the lackluster performance of in-store Black Friday, this should be driving your 2014 holiday season earlier, relying more on mobile and online channels to announce seasonal collections even before they’re sent to the store. Start working now on seasonal site merchandising and couple it with a Reserve Online, Buy In-Store approach. As the season draws nearer and merchandise arrives, switch to Click-and-Collect. Both tactics will extend your season and drive customers into stores more evenly, giving you better chances for “serendipity cross-sell .“
Don’t go into the coming season with product findability challenges and poor synchronization of collections across mobile channels and store operations – it can impair cross-sell and conversion rates by as much as 10%. And this work is foundational to being able to really integrate content and dynamic engagement for emerging in-store technologies like iBeacon micro-targeting, white-glove VIP services, interactive store displays and more.