Retail… it’s a-changin’.
Not a day goes by without news of record-high inflation numbers, skyrocketing gas prices, supply chain issues, or their impact on consumer spending. Add to that the headline-making news of looming mergers and predictions of tight holiday budgets, and retailers may wonder how to keep those traditionally dependable holiday dollars coming in.
While many will look at these topics through a lens of challenges and obstacles, there’s a more profitable perspective: that of opportunities. If you really want to shine, you should look at the solutions that surfaced with these market changes, as well as the consumer expectations that became the norm throughout the pandemic—and they’re all about technology.
So, as we enter the holiday season, we encourage you to evolve with the trends, starting with these top three tech tips that will help you get those sales bells ringing.
Tip one: The secret’s in the stack
The news of Kroger and Albertson’s pending merger has sparked myriad conversations about the impact of another behemoth retail presence within the market. Not only will they have control of a retail media ad network that has the chops to compete with industry leaders like Amazon and Walmart, but their deep pockets and seemingly endless engineering resources could put regional retailers in a precarious position with customers who want a personalized experience. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Thanks to the tech-centric trends consumers adopted—first out of necessity due to the pandemic, and now for the sake of convenience—innovative technology partners have emerged who can help retailers implement the tech tools and solutions they need to stay ahead.
The single-most important decision you’ll make is choosing the best technology solutions to meet your unique needs. Cutting-edge plug-and-play solutions are out there that can give you everything you need to compete with these big-time players. Start with an option that engages consumers with a robust mobile app, a compelling loyalty program and a personalized experience. Then, add innovative tools that let you own your margin-rich retail media program and—voila!--you’re setting yourself up for long-term success.
Tip two: Loyalty is everything — invest in the customer experience
With 71% of shoppers planning to adjust their holiday meal shopping, it’s important to take steps now to capture their dollars before the competition does. Customer loyalty is one of the most valuable assets in the industry, so offering a program where shoppers enjoy a seamless, personalized experience is key to keeping them coming back through your doors.
The secret to a successful loyalty program lies in the first-party data you’ll glean from the right tech solutions. When you take that data and foray it into targeted offers, content and communication, you’re meeting each individual customer right where they are. The result: a relationship that incentivizes shoppers to choose your store over the others, regardless of their efforts to lure them away.
Not to be overlooked in this formula are the valuable connections you’ll make between your customers and your partner brands. Your loyalty program can directly contribute to the success of your retail media program, providing the data you need to inform the ads you run, the campaigns you support and the resulting revenue you’ll enjoy.
Tip three: Pick the right tech partner
Technology moves fast. When choosing a retail technology partner, make sure you identify someone who can execute on your current goals while keeping an eye on the solutions you’ll need in the future. Innovation will be key to your success and the right partner will be your eyes and ears when it comes to consumer trends, competitive advantages and turn-key ways to keep you solidly in stride with the retail giants.
Finally, the right partner will have the team, technology, expertise and resources to get you up-and-running quickly at little or no cost to you. After all, the faster you get started, the better equipped you are to close out this year (and start the next) with strong sales and a healthy bottom line.
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up… let’s go!
Customer expectations and industry norms shift without warning. It’s hard for retailers—especially those with limited budgets and resources—to identify the investments that can best benefit their business. That’s where Swiftly comes in.
We believe that the simplest path to holiday success lies in the innovative technology that’s already in the market. Once implemented, you’ll see the results you want in every customer, every dollar and every success you enjoy this year and beyond.