How about imitating the successful models? The ones that understood the importance of digital and customer experience, who have learnt the art of storytelling on social media, who have redesigned their sales spaces to better attract consumers. In this article we discuss the success factors for retailers today. We are sure you will get inspired! 😉
The new retail is in the place
Some context to get this article off to a good start. The new way of operating in retail, which has gradually taken root, is no secret to anyone. It is largely based on digital technologies and on a better study and understanding of consumer expectations. Here are some figures we have collected to highlight this trend:
- Millenials represent a quarter of the world’s population and more than 30% of consumers.*
- Today, 10% of decoration consumers buy online. Forecasts predict a third by 2022.**
- According to a study conducted by JDA Software et Microsoft among 100 CEOs, executives believe that ” 75% of store visits are influenced by online channels and 58% of sales in 2019 will be influenced by digital channels. “
These data tell us how much consumption patterns have changed over the past fifteen years. So how do these successful brands make it in such a changing context?
The naming is very marketing but you may have already heard of DNVB – Digital Native Vertical Brands. These are Miliboo, Made.com, Sézane to name but a few. These brands have based their strategy on digital and have the particularity of having a so-called multi-channel approach. Understand that the focus is on the customer experience, considered the key to success, so that they can navigate from one channel to another without obstacles and in a consistent manner. There is in fact a perfect convergence between offline (store, showroom) and online (e-commerce site, social networks, etc.).
And they are right. Not only because the trend is towards digital. Rather because the buyers and future buyers are the famous Millenials. The brands that have closely studied this “atypical” profile have finally understood three things. For him, quality takes precedence over price, the experience lived over the quantity of choices offered and differentiation is the way to retain their attention. We must therefore ask the right questions. Here are some of them:
How to encourage the customer to come to the point of sale to “meet” the brand, to immerse himself a little more in his universe?
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the history of the brands in which they are interested. Mastering the art of storytelling is therefore a major asset to encourage them to take an interest in a brand (via social networks for example) and then bring them to discover their universe. The physical space made available to them is as important as the rest and must be perfectly consistent with the perceived discourse. A brand like Sézane (clothing) has understood this well and its showroom called “l’appartement” is an invitation to dive into its universe.
Which experience can we offer our customers?
It can be based on digital, on the story told, it must show the consumer that it has been understood. The experience must be able to be lived by several vectors: an e-commerce site, social networks, the physical point of sale (essential, it is clear that brands that started online come to open a showroom or redesigned store!). The important thing is not to lose the consumer and that there is a common thread and strict consistency between all these channels.
How to measure their satisfaction once the purchasing process is over? (from pre-sales to delivery)
Customer satisfaction is essential. This is also what makes it successful. There are tools to be implemented to measure it, such as Trust Pilot. Jessica Ifker Delpirou, DG France and Frédéric Beltoise, Director of Operations at Made.com, explain it very well in an interview at the end of 2018.
The use of technology can actually be a means to help understand the consumer and to collect valuable data (be careful, respecting the DGMP). Once the analysis is done, they will make it possible to identify the client’s expectations even more clearly.
The necessary shift of traditional retailers
The benefits are worth it since the growth of DNVB is on average three times higher than online retailers. Change can be scary but it is necessary. The furniture sector is losing ground and this is also because the offer is often based on traditional players who have not yet mastered the evolution of the market. The shift is gradually taking place by some who are implementing digital tools or developing an e-commerce strategy.
It is therefore necessary to think about the project in its entirety in order to think about the way in which the consumer will follow a coherent path, starting from him rather than from the product offered by the brands. More and more studies and articles are being published and are a good tool to learn from DNVB methods. Even if the model is not the same, the adoption of a few practices and support in marketing strategy may be sufficient to turn the tide and give new impetus to this market that needs it.
Some actions to start with
If for the moment the turn seems a little too tight, here are some ideas that are quite simple to put in place to take the first steps:
- For a furniture store, it may be a question of providing its customers with a customization tool on site or through an application (Maisons du Monde 3D at Home, Mah Jong 3D). And to go a little further, why not offer your customers the opportunity to share the results of their personalization on social networks?
- Make sure that the universe you imagine for your customers is on your website and in your point of sale. We can take the example of L’Occitane brand, which knows how to transcribe its vitamin-rich universe on its website and in its stores, or Le Slip français, which shows perfect consistency between its different digital channels.
- Animate your social networks by taking care of image quality. For players in the furniture, fashion and cosmetics industries, Instagram is a must. Sharing clichés or staging of your brand’s products on a regular basis makes it possible to communicate about your universe and encourage the curious and your consumers to appropriate and adhere to it. And if you have little or no material, you can also search for your customers’ pictures that showcase your products and ask for permission to share them on your brand account!
So, shall we go for it?