How Retail is Adapting with the Changing Times?



COVID-19 had the retail market in shackles. However, the industry leaders are ready to make a comeback.

The world is still struggling to recover from the damages by COVID-19. Countries across the globe are slowing lifting the lockdown and shutdown restrictions and opting for more relaxed mandates to help revive the lost gig economy. Each industry is now facing a new set of challenges about the uncertain market. The ones with a transparent policy have managed to retain the trust of their customers and the market. Not only that, but in the days ahead, transparency will be the key to survival in a highly saturated and competitive market.Therefore, it is high time industries make the most of modern technologies to optimize and redeem themselves and stay relevant. This is highly necessary for the retail market sector, due to its close relation with customer behavior. Since, the next quarter will be critical in deciding if retailers could survive the pandemic threat and make a comeback with a robust digital strategy.

Digital Upgrade

The first and foremost step retail marketers have to take is going digital. The necessity for a digital upgrade was highlighted when stores were closed overnight to enforce government lockdown protocols. With no option to engage with the customers in person, major retailers rushed to the adopt e-commerce version of themselves. They had to convert potential customers quickly with intuitive websites that make it easy for users to purchase on the devices of their choosing. Even after quarantine, retailers who plan to retain their customer-base must be agile, innovative and prioritize reaching all touchpoints of the customers irrespective of the modes of communication. In addition, they can rely on social media channels where they can engage with their isolated customers and build credibility too. This can be done by sharing inventory updates, encouraging users to take part in the viral challenges, introduce brand hashtags and much more.

Localize the Marketing efforts

Though customers constantly go through lifestyle changes, and local government with the safety protocols, retailers still need to stay ahead of the curve. The key is to communicate with the locals who play a crucial role in the success of a retail outlet. One of the ways to ensure that is is through effective use of marketing technology like a cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) tool. DAM software can help brands streamline their marketing localization efforts by acting as a central repository for marketing collateral materials. Using this, retailers can give regional updates like store opening hours, sales announcements, delivery options. It can further help enforce brand guidelines with universal updates, effectively managing outdated assets, images, trademarks, logos, and disclaimers.

Another great way to lessen the workload on marketing teams while highlighting customers is by taking advantage of user-generated content (UGC). UGC is more authentic and trustworthy because it comes from a brand’s customers and advocates.Such content is highly effective at boosting user engagement and interaction, especially on social media, while driving increased conversions and revenue. E.g. GoPro cameras.

Observe Seasonal Drifts

While retailers suffered an immense loss in the first two quarters, they so have the chance to make up for the damages. This is done by analyzing the inventory of available stock and marketing assets to plan to promote future deals and trends. And the best time to deploy this strategy is during seasonal and local events. Retailers can create alluring campaigns or sale offers around these times. The success of these campaigns does not start at launch time. In fact, managing marketing collateral begins months in advance during the planning period. For that, retail marketers need to stay updated with incoming local festivities and identify want type of collateral the region is prioritizing for a particular season. This is important for retailers to be flexible to adapt to changing trends and events quickly and pivot their local marketing tactics to accommodate these shifts.

As the world goes through tumultuous times, retailers must understand the sensitivity of the market and its direct impact on customer behavior and plan accordingly.