merchandise locally, but fulfill globally

Merchandise Locally, Fulfill Globally

Part five of our five part series exploring trends that are shaping brick-and-mortar retail experience. You can read all of the trends in The Store Is Back eBook, courtesy of RBM Technologies.

With cities expanding and more neighborhoods developing, people are driving less and looking to nearby stores. In 2016, more retailers are moving closer to where the shoppers are, which means transitioning to smaller stores in more urban areas.

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The rise of urbanization is forcing retailers to transform their merchandising strategies. Retailers are beginning to think small, and are accommodating the local culture of the neighborhoods they inhabit. However, shoppers’ expectations are getting higher. Retailers still need to make the breadth of products in their larger format stores available within the smaller footprint.

“Associates have iPads to make our full assortment available instantly. If you want a new color, you don’t have to search another store, we can help you purchase it overnight.”

Jeff Fisher, Global Store Experience Director at Sunglass Hut

Adopting digital applications that optimize product mixes and localize visual merchandising is critical to ensuring the inventory their customers want will be available. By producing targeted campaigns and offering locally relevant merchandising, each store will develop an authentic experience and personal customer connection. What’s more, through digital devices, retailers can offer, order and deliver merchandise they can’t physically stock.

Overall, the space within brick-and-mortar stores will shrink, but customers’ demand for product range will not. Retailers will need to be flexible for the customer who expects a locally relevant, personalized retail experience with an extensive product assortment.

To read all five retail trends, download The Store Is Back today.

4 steps to effectively localize retail experience

4 Steps to Effectively Localize Retail Experience

In our last post, Building a Community Brick-and-Mortar by Brick-and-Mortar, we examined how physical stores are becoming centers of communities, places where customers go for new experiences and to feel a connection to their distinct locale.

The retail industry is shifting. Customers are looking at stores in a new light.

We also promised a list of steps retailers can take to ensure they are properly localizing their assortment mixes to ensure each retail experience is optimized for each location. Without further ado, here they are:

Measure with precision. Measuring store performance allows retailers to quickly deliver the most relevant products, respond to customers’ needs, and develop a personalized experience at the store level.

Understand the shopper. Tracking retail experience provides visibility into customers’ behaviors. This gives retailers the ability to respond to and forecast trends as well as keep up with customers’ expectations.

Recognize the surroundings. By producing targeted, relevant and locally appropriate campaigns, each store can develop an authentic experience and personal customer connection. Achieving a localized experience strengthens the customer’s brand perception and the retailer’s position amongst the community and the competition.

Know each store’s intricacies. Individual stores vary based on unique traits like layout space and fixture size. Keeping a model of each location ensures stores receive the right production quantities, resulting in accurate execution and a better on-brand shopping experience.

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Stores are becoming part of the community, and therefore, must create experiences relevant to their surroundings.

The retail industry is shifting. Customers are looking at stores in a new light. Stores are becoming part of the community, and therefore, must create experiences relevant to their surroundings. In order to successfully become a destination within these communities, retailers need help identifying customers’ expectations and the unique attributes of its individual stores.

Many leading retailers are turning to SaaS as a solution. Through a cloud-based delivery system, retailers can keep accurate digital store models, understand the unique attributes of each if its stores, measure performance, deliver targeted campaigns and merchandising, and respond to market trends quickly.

What are your stores doing to become destinations within the community?

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Localizing Advertising Budgets

According to US Census data, 75 percent of consumer spending occurs within 15 miles of the average American’s front door, meaning 50 percent of the nation’s GDP is dependent on consumers buying locally. With these statistics in mind, it’s important for brick-and-mortar businesses—and the brands that sell within them—to connect with consumers to drive them into stores.

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Over the last six decades, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, direct mail and free standing inserts were the primary channels for reaching and serving ads to a target audience. More recently, advertisers have recognized the importance of digital advertising and have been putting more of their local advertising dollars online. According to a report by media research company BIA/Kelsey, the rate of digital ad growth outstrips total local media expenditures and is expected to rise 2.6 percent annually through 2016 to $151.3 billion.

So what do advertisers and brands need to consider when allocating local advertising budgets online?

  • It’s the scale and reach, cost-effectiveness, speed and flexibility of digital that enables advertisers to efficiently drive in-store traffic. Digital intrinsically offers greater flexibility for a campaign, and localized digital advertising solutions allow advertisers to target different ads to different neighborhoods around the country.
  • Not every consumer lives within close proximity of a retail store. National retailers waste a lot of national ad spend on consumers who live outside a store’s retail trade area. This waste gets only more pronounced as retailers get more local. With localized advertising solutions, only consumers who match a retailer’s shopper profile and who live within a specific radius of a retail location will see your ad.
  • Although most advertising programs require brands and retailers to create campaigns weeks or months in advance of when they’d like to generate interest in their product or services (for example, during a certain time of year or around a special event), highly localized digital campaigns of any size can launch within a matter of hours because you can leverage existing creative assets.

[via iMedia Connection]