It’s Just Retail, Folks!

Posted by Lisa Roberts at 9:40 am in Merchandising, Personalization

Guess what retailers? Everyday, run-of-the-mill shoppers do not care anything about the word “omni-channel” or any other marketing buzzword associated with it. What do they care about? Retail shoppers today, equipped with more knowledge and technology than ever before, care about things like:

• Convenience, but they don’t really care how a retailer handles their shipping or order fulfillment as long as it arrives to them in the manner and time period in which they prefer;
Price, but they don’t care what price intelligence solution powers the retailer’s dynamic pricing strategy so long as they can compare prices on their computer or smartphone at the click of a button; and
• A Delightful Shopping Journey, that provides them with a relevant shopping experience and that is seamless, no matter the channel.

As RIS News recently reported, “Call it what you will, cross-channel, boundary-less retail, or omni-channel, retail is no longer defined by brick-and-mortar or e-commerce — it’s all just retail and the philosophy remains the same: To provide customers with a seamless shopping experience regardless of how, when or where they shop.”

Modern Shoppers Now Call the Shots

Today’s “modern shopper” is a far cry from a 1960-something consumer who was heavily influenced by the real “Mad Men” of New York’s Madison Avenue during the golden age of advertising and the rise of consumerism post World War II. (Consider this quote from the fictional character, Don Draper, “What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons.”) Retailers and advertising partners in crime had the upper hand then, but things are quite different now.

1950s Schlitz ad  7up baby 1950s ad

Shoppers have quickly evolved through the advancements of technology to all-knowing beings, and they decide when and how they want to shop. The modern shopper expects their favorite retailers to be at their beck and call, 24/7, and they want retailers to anticipate their preferences, shopping behaviors and individual paths to discovery, within reason. This is especially true in the e-commerce and mobile channels, where the path to discovery can open up a wealth of information about shoppers.

modern day shopper on phone

Actually Meet Shopper Needs & Experiment with Relevant Tools

We recently announced our Visual Shopping product, giving retailers the ability to offer shoppers a Pinterest-like shopping experience that is personal and memorable. We are already seeing measurable improvements for our retail customers, including Urban Decay, who have told us that shoppers who interact with the Visual Shopping platform are more likely to engage, participate and buy from the brand.

“Our customers are highly visual beauty fans who turn to Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration,” said Katherine LaFranchise, AVP, Urban Decay. “Edgecase’s Visual Shopping offering allows us to provide a mobile browsing experience that is similar to these apps, with a layer of intelligence to show shoppers what they are looking for, even if they can’t name it themselves. This is an amazing value proposition, and our early results are exceeding expectations.”

It’s Not Omni-channel, It’s Just Retail

For those of us in the retail industry who are constantly trying to innovate and push the envelope, this is the kind of feedback that fuels our drive. To see the value we are driving for our clients and their customers is incredibly gratifying, and the opportunities ahead are exciting. We look forward to bringing retailers technology that solves their omni-channel needs by simply creating product discovery experiences that delight shoppers.

Photo credit: Vintage ads
lisa roberts

Lisa Roberts is a 15-year Ecommerce vet who’s worked with technology innovators, including Edgecase, who are building real solutions for hard retailer problems. Her experience working inside a retailer, agency-side and vendor-side give her a unique perspective on how to innovate at the pace of consumer evolution while remaining focused on delivering proven results.

Follow Lisa Roberts on Twitter @lisadoesaustin

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