Retail has seen enough changes over the past few years to continually have heads spinning. Pundits may offer the doom and gloom play-by-play of brick and mortar, but reality has shown that reports of its death are greatly exaggerated. Good retail survives by creating customer experiences and reaching the customer on a human level. We saw that throughout the first half of 2018 and have collected the must-read content on the subject here. Enjoy!
In this exclusive piece for Harte Hanks, John Deighton, Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School takes a look at how brick-and-mortar retail needs to step up to compete with digital. In looking at brands as diverse as Lululemon, Best Buy, Marriott, Bonobos, Amazon and more as they create engaging customer experiences and bypass media to directly take content right to consumers, Deighton offers a host of can’t-miss insights.
In today’s retail environment, customers want journey options—for example, they want the ability to research and transact online, then go pick up same-day in the store. Smooth. Simple. Harte Hanks CEO Karen Puckett provides a look at how Best Buy understands this omnichannel experience as the critical linkage between digital and physical. Most importantly, she notes how it is vital for all retailers today to understand that it’s not about the individual channels, but about accommodating the buyer’s desired journey with the brand. Read on.
Brands tend to focus so much on the transaction that they forget that buying something is an experience. Jon Dome, VP of Marketing at Harte Hanks, states that engaging customers early on with a positive brand experience is important to pull them into a productive conversation that may (or may not) lead to a sale. But it doesn’t stop there. It also means that these customers are likely to return to continue the conversation and the relationship with your brand.
A common pitfall in retail: the belief that brick-and-mortar stores are just a mechanism to facilitate a purchase. In this post, Jon Dome, VP of Marketing at Harte Hanks, explores how the store itself is a place to create an experience that meets the needs of shoppers at various stages of their buyer’s journey. And most importantly, how to understand those stages via a needs-based approach and turn that into a road map for success.
Jon Dome, VP of Marketing at Harte Hanks, follows-up his above piece by showcasing that some brands are already excelling with the approach of designing an experience. BMW, Burbuerry and Trumaker all understand what customers are trying to achieve while they’re browsing, shopping and purchasing. They create experiences that provide value to customers all along the way. Read how.
In this first-hand account, Nicole Bump, Harte Hanks Director of Content Marketing, looks into an under-explored area of retail marketing: the return policy and how changes in policies may influence a current customer base and even non-customers in unintended ways. With further insights provided by Harte Hanks Marketing Advisory Board Members—like Ken Bernhardt, Regents Professor of Marketing Emeritus, Georgia State University; Kim Whitler, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia, Darden School of Business; and Scott Neslin, Albert Wesley Frey Professor of Marketing, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College—the reality of the complex issue may surprise you.
About the Author
Michael is a Denver-based content writer for Harte Hanks specializing in marketing copywriting, editing and design. His hobbies include music, travel, film and reading.More Content by Michael Behrenhausen