Trends to Look for at eTail West 2020, and 3 Predictions Every Marketer Should Know
What are the biggest trends to look for at eTail West 2020? NRF 2020 gave us a preview: Almost everyone said that using customer data to tailor each individual customer experience—often called differentiated CX—is the way to win in retail this year and beyond.
The eTail West and NRF speakers aren’t the only experts who believe that a combination of differentiated CX, detailed customer data, and connected retail could turn back the clocks, making in-store experiences a competitive differentiator again for retailers who use advanced technology well. And the results indicate that successful strategies combine online and offline customer experiences and use customer data to tailor those experiences for add-on and repeat sales. For example, last year, we saw Buy-Online-Pick-Up-in-Store (BOPUS) and its mobile counterpart, MOPUS, successfully bring people back to stores; and digital and online shopping outpaced brick-and-mortar stores for the first time ever.
We recently asked some of the best digital marketers and influencers we know, “What is your 2020 prediction for how data will be used in retail to improve customer experience?” Our influencers view these topics through the lens of expert experience with martech and marketing strategy. The results in a nutshell: AI, machine learning, customer data, and personalization will change everything for those who adopt a winning strategy—and for those who fail to.
Here are some of the intriguing answers we received about trends driving retail success in 2020. We’d love to hear how you see these trends highlighted at eTail West 2020.
Retailers Will Upgrade Mobile Experiences
“Retailers can get away with pushing promotions through email, however consumers expect the mobile environment to be more helpful and deliver value above all else. Retailers will deliver on that promise by taking conversational commerce to the next level. Mobile assistance will be further integrated into the store shopping experience and become more proactive and contextual in general. Store associates will be armed with mobile tools that further enhance engagement. The use of video will also play a role and become more commonplace in the mobile environment.”
Data Will Accelerate Personalization
“Retailers’ use of AI and machine learning, which can drive a “personalization” experience, is in its embryonic stage among the traditional, legacy sector—a 3 or 4 ranking on a scale of 1 to ten. Amazon is at an 8 or 9. But, the identification and use of this data is the low-hanging fruit to act upon among the old-world retailers, so it will accelerate.”
—Robin Lewis, Creator and Editor of The Robin Report, @robinreport
AI and CDPs Will Make Targeted CX Possible
“2020 will see retailers use AI and customer data to provide unique, targeted customer experiences. In-store IoT tech such as infrared foot traffic monitors, beacons, and interactive kiosks will work with customer data platforms (CDPs) to provide new data insights informed by customers’ point-of-sale transactions, web browsing, mobile apps, and customer call centers. Initially, this may feel slightly intrusive to some customers, but that will probably change as they start to benefit from more rewarding shopping experiences and personalized deals that give them better value.”
Making Millions of Customers Feel Like They’re Your ONLY Customer
This vision—AI, machine learning, and customer data all working together to provide personalized customer experiences—is clearly what most retail leaders are aiming at this year. A recent study shows that retail personalization might now be what makes or breaks retailers’ efforts to make their numbers. And there’s a growing feeling that retail’s best chances for a bright future will depend on how companies use their martech to constantly develop deeper understanding of their customers, and give every single customer an experience that’s individually tailored to impress and build loyalty—in 2020 and beyond.
Curious about how a CDP could help you deliver personalized experiences at scale? Visit Booth 511 at eTail West 2020 this week in Palm Springs or request a demo.