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To Achieve Personalization, Marketers Need Resources

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Marketers are constantly looking to deliver a personalized customer experience. However, according to data from Sailthru, that’s not always easy.

Sailthru, a personalization technology company, surveyed 146 UK and US marketers in the commerce, publishing and retail industries about their views on customer personalization—and asked them what impedes their goals in this area.

Out of the many challenges mentioned, a plurality of respondents—roughly four in 10—said one of the leading barriers was a lack of resources such as time, people and money.

Leading Barriers to Achieving Their Company's Personalization Goals According to UK and US Marketers, April 2017 (% of respondents)

Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (23%) of US and UK marketers reported challenges around data, and another 14% mentioned technology challenges—either not having the right tech in place or the actual difficulty of using it.

And the hurdles didn’t stop there. Some felt they didn’t have the internal knowledge needed to execute their personalization goals, while others felt there was a lack of buy-in from their company.

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Price Alone Won’t Drive Consumer Loyalty

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Consumers’ price sensitivity has been a challenge for retailers ever since the global financial crisis some 10 years ago, but price alone is not enough to drive consumer loyalty.

Newly released survey data from Blackhawk Network, a financial technology company, suggests that when gauging loyalty to a brand, consumers place a higher value on qualities such as experience and convenience than they do on price.

The June survey found that 94% of US internet users said “a consistently good customer experience” was a top reason for loyalty. By contrast, just 57% cited “regular lower prices.”

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Beacons Are Still Trying To Find Their Place

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Although the industry is settling on a few practical uses for beacons, primarily as a helpmate for attribution, they’re just one marketing data point among many – a tactic.

“Beacons are only one piece of the equation, a component of a larger effort,” said Chris Cunningham, CRO of proximity and location data aggregator Unacast. “There are lots of other valuable location signals out there, including Wi-Fi, geofences, IoT and first-party apps.”

All are necessary ingredients to satisfy advertisers who are “no longer happy with click-through rate,” said Mike Blanchard, director of national mobile sales at Canadian TV and radio broadcaster Bell Media, which runs mobile campaigns for brands like Samsung, Volkswagen, and Johnson & Johnson.

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Mobile Deal Hunting Common as Consumers Browse In-Store

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About one-third of US adults use a mobile phone to look for nearby deals while shopping, and millennials—particularly female millennials—are considerably more likely to do so.

According to data from Simmons Research, nearly half of US women ages 18 to 34 surveyed in May 2017 said they use their phones to look for local deals while shopping. By comparison, only 40.8% of millennial men said the same, but they were still far more likely than older users to do so.

The survey adds color to other data explaining what mobile users do with their phones while they shop, showing that retailers face price-transparency challenges not only from big ecommerce players like Amazon, but also from local rivals that may be tuning offers for nearby shoppers.

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How in-store social sharing can bring a little spark back to retail

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Nike capitalizes on its iconic “swoosh” symbol to create photogenic spaces. Swedish retailer Bubbleroom has high-tech selfie mirrors in its dressing rooms. Kate Spade stores feature colorful, quirky wall decor.

These types of in-store attractions not only draw customer foot traffic, they also inspire shoppers to snap smartphone photos to share on social media.

Doing what they can to encourage this type of social sharing could save retailers from the looming “retail apocalypse,” the term inspired by the sheer pace at which brick-and-mortar stores have shuttered this year.

Whether it’s designated in-store photo-taking spots, featured attractions or creative hashtags, brands thrive when they connect online and in-store conversations. It’s all about differentiation, said Jen Forrest, director of social media at digital marketing and advertising agency DEG.

“Having that kind of experience in stores really allows retailers to tell a bigger story and still have a social shopping experience,” she said, explaining strategic marketing should take a holistic, omnichannel approach.

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Millennials Love A Good Bargain, Use Digital Coupons Heavily

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Newsflash Baby Boomers and Gen Xers: you have more in common with Millennials than you think. At least when it comes to bargains.

With 97% of 18-34-year-olds owning a smartphone, according to Nielsen, the coveted Millennials are money conscious, time-crunched and using digital coupons on a regular basis.

Digital coupons go above and beyond saving a few dollars—they make shopping an easy, personalized, shareable, and completely Millennial-friendly experience. 

According to PRRI, 48% of Millennials used online coupons, compared to 39% of Gen Xers and 32% of Baby Boomers in 2016. 

The explosion of digital coupon websites and mobile apps is transforming the way consumers shop, especially Millennials. Per eMarketer, 64% of Millennials search for coupons on their smartphones. 

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Push Consumers To Shop InStore

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As Amazon continues to heap pressure on retailers by shifting customer expectations concerning fulfillment and pricing, department stores may be suffering more than anyone, says a new study from L2News by Adriel Tey.

Many retailers have responded by leveraging off-price subsidiaries to acquire new, value-oriented customers attracted by the prospect of finding bargains on luxury items formerly stocked at full-price stores, says the report. This represents a reversion to a tactic department stores know best: getting customers into stores.


Department Stores Tactics to Push Customers to Shop In-Store

Department Store

Off-Price Subsidiaries

Promotes In-store discounts or services



Offers discount for going into store



Promotes store offering



Source: L2 News, September 2017

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A billion reasons why loyalty program marketers need customer identity

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While it might seem easy to get consumers to sign up for your loyalty program, keeping them active and engaged is another story. What’s $100 billion mean to you? Depending upon what side of town I’m on, it’s 74 times the value of the home team, the Chicago White Sox, or 37 times the value of the Chicago Cubs. It’s roughly the value of the world’s most valuable brand, Google.

And it’s the total value of loyalty points American consumers have collected yet not redeemed in the past year. For marketers, that means billions of lost opportunities to enhance relationships and increase lifetime values. Clearly, loyalty programs are struggling to keep members active and engaged over the long term.

But by no means does this mean loyalty programs are obsolete. Memberships have an innate ability to influence customer purchase behavior, advocacy and retention: According to the recently released Bond Brand Loyalty Report for 2017, 81 percent of consumers say being a loyalty member makes them more likely to do business with a company, and 73 percent are more likely to recommend brands with compelling loyalty programs.

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By | Industry Wire | No Comments

Despite the growth of e-commerce and its incredible convenience, most consumers prefer the in-store customer experience, according to a new study from the National Retail Federation.

In fact, the study shows that only about a fifth of U.S. consumers are primarily online shoppers; more than three-quarters are shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, which is as much or more than they did a year ago.

The NRF launched Consumer View, a new quarterly report designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to stores, online channels, customer loyalty, technology, and other issues.

“The retail industry is changing more rapidly than ever before, and this new vehicle will help us continue to regularly track those changes,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Solid research is the basis of informed decisions, and we want to be sure the industry has the best information available as it seeks to meet consumers’ needs. That applies whether people are shopping in-store, online, on smartphones and tablets or with whatever innovation tomorrow brings.”

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Flonase gets NFC-enabled ‘smart’ shelves in Canadian retailers

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  • GlaxoSmithKline, the drugmaker whose revenue grew 3% to $9.42 billion in Q2 2017 from a year earlier, introduced “smart” shelves for its Flonase allergy medication. Consumers in Canada can use a smartphone with a near-field communications (NFC) chip to tap a Flonase shelf in stores and get more information about the product, according to a press release.
  • Thin Film Electronics developed the high-tech shelves that contain special tags to give consumers an interactive experience while they’re making a purchasing decision in a store.
  • GSK is also using Thinfilm’s Cnect software as part of an end-to-end solution to adjust and analyze consumer’s experience when shopping for Flonase. The cloud-based platform lets the drugmaker manage tags remotely, deliver custom messaging and content, view real-time consumer tapping activity and develop insights in real time, per the release.


GSK’s smart shelving units for Flonase lets the drugmaker have greater control over the information it shares with consumers at a time when they’re in the moment of making a purchasing decision. As Thinfilm points out in the release, its interactive shelving units help to directly reach consumers in a store without intermediaries such as search engines, online marketplaces or social platforms that may steer consumers toward other products. That direct control is important for marketers to connect with consumers and provide accurate, useful product details, particularly considering the widespread misinformation about medical conditions, health supplements and miracle cures on the internet.

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