“Engagement” is the name of the game!
Here at flexReceipts, engagement is at the heart of what we do. We spend a lot of time brainstorming how we can help retailers offer their shoppers the most engaging receipts possible to create a win-win proposition for both sides. So it made perfect sense to attend this year’s RIS’s Engage Conference, which took place at the beautiful Ritz Carlton in Ft. Lauderdale from Oct. 8 through Oct. 10, where we heard firsthand where retailers’ minds are when it comes to engagement. We quickly found the retailers that attended are starting to realize the importance of customer engagement, a point the conference only reinforced for them. The opening keynote speaker, WSL Strategic Retail president and CIO Candace Corlett, had the whole room buzzing with her insights on omnichannel retailing and the need to personalize and differentiate brands. The average woman now shops at about 10 different stores, making brand loyalty ever more important. She discussed utilizing 360 degree marketing, including pre-shop, in-shop, post-shop, to truly connect with customers. FlexReceipts obviously fits nicely into the post-shop bucket, but it was interesting to hear about the need to create a seamless consumer experience across all three.
In the afternoon session, Golfsmith International’s Director of CRM Kim Lewis explained why you don’t need a points program to build loyalty. Rather, the focus should be on identifying what’s important to each customer and rewarding them accordingly. She spoke to both her prior experiences at Charming Charlie and current experiences at Golfsmith with setting up loyalty programs that didn’t just rely on points, especially when it did not make sense. For example, Golfsmith thought it needed a points program, but since most of their customers make less frequent purchases for higher prices, a points program turned out to be the wrong fit.
Finally, in Friday’s morning session, Gaurav Pant of EKN Research identified the latest retail trends. He spoke about the value of “deep engagement” by showing that shoppers are willing to pay up to a 30% premium for an excellent personalized shopping experience. Retailers can also gain 10% additional revenue by implementing tight cross-channel integration and a unified commerce engine. Amazon is a testament to this, setting the standard for omnichannel execution and customer engagement.
All in all, everyone seemed to have accepted the fact that consumer engagement is no longer just a nice-to-have—it’s quickly becoming a must-have. Retailers feel the pressure to relate to their shoppers at a level that appeals to them. The days of one-size-fits-all engagement tactics are gone, and retailers are starting to aggressively pursue more meaningful conversations with their customers. We can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for their engagement!