A lot of important industry information is shared at events like the Internet Retailer Conference and Exposition. In keynote sessions from retailers like Barnes and Noble and Walmart, Baynote listened to the innovative ways these companies are developing and maintaining relationships with their customer base.
Stay on top of technology trends and think of the future generations. Retailer Barnes and Noble introduced the NOOK in competition with the Kindle and other e-readers. Sales have sky-rocketed (and in combination with Microsoft), generated $1 billion in sales. A new feature Barnes and Noble has incorporated is personalized reading. This allows customers to record their own voice on the NOOK, which is great for both parents and the next generation of NOOK users, the kids.
Connect the store with the shopper. Walmart shared some of their best practices for keeping physical stores relevant to the online shopper. They have added several features to both the in-store and online experiences. Features like Endless Aisle, Pay with Cash and Store Connect make it easier for the consumer to shop both in the store and online. This omni-channel approach ensures that the customer’s experiences runs smoothly and decreases the likelihood the shopper will “bounce.”
Be optimistic about America’s position in the global economy. Fareed Zakaria from CNN led a speech on how e-commerce has positioned the United States for success in the global economy. In his words, we are best poised to “figure out what the customer wants and, using technology, change the customer experience.” He added that United States will stay in the forefront because “Ecommerce is innovating from the bottom up to create collective changes in reality and US retailers are leading the way.”
Recommendations will always be relevant. It’s a known fact that people ask others for suggestions on products and services. “90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know,” Randall Weinberg says. What must online retailers do? Be where your customers are. While ads on Facebook will help you brand and encourage users to visit your site, they won’t necessarily guarantee purchases within Facebook.
Consumers know what they want. Forrester predicts, 112.5 million users in the United States will have tablets by 2016. In response to the question, “What device do you use most?” a user said “Whatever is nearest my fingertips”. As a result, it is critical to have consistency of experience across touch points. A tablet experience is typically better than mobile due to the size of the products on screen. However, most users will use their smartphone or mobile device to do in-store to browsing online. As Lauren Freeman says, “embrace m-commerce.”