Retail has seen a massive transformation in recent years, beginning with a predicted ‘retail apocalypse’, running through a ‘retail renaissance’, and winding up in a post-COVID world where retail businesses look very different to how they did just a few months ago.
Trying to keep up with the shifting EU retail landscape has been a wild ride, and knowing where to head next can be an even bigger challenge, especially for businesses that have yet to embrace digitalisation.
For companies trying to envision what the future of retail might look like – and wondering how they might get ahead of it – we have a few predictions as to what tomorrow might bring.
What the longer-term retail landscape might look like:
Online shopping takes another step forward, as D2C commerce continues to grow and in-home services become more prevalent.
Contactless shopping becomes the norm.
Increased concern with health and safety is reflected in both products and in-store behaviour.
Stores are re-imagined as more than product-delivery systems; they become more experiential, with an increasing focus on demos, workshops, and click-and-collect services.
Retailers prioritise agility and the ability to stay nimble, resulting in increased supply-chain flexibility and more flexible rent contracts.
Brands’ trustworthiness, communications, and commitments to social responsibility will be paramount to their reputation.
At first glance, it looks like a lot to take in, but when we dig deeper, it’s surprising that many of these possibilities haven’t come to pass much sooner. It’s hard to argue that they wouldn’t create a better retail world.
But how do retailers stabilise their business in the short term, and then adapt to thrive in this emerging landscape? How do we build this world together?
For forward-thinking Dutch shoe retailer Omoda, the answer is digitalisation. Here’s how they’re tackling current challenges, building customer engagement, and innovating towards a better tomorrow.
Premium footwear and accessories retailer Omoda has been operating since 1875 when it offered free deliveries by horse and buggy. It’s come a long way since then, but one thing has never changed: for Omoda, the customer comes first.
When global events forced Omoda to temporarily shutter its brick-and-mortar shops, its personalised service and customer-centric attitude carried over to its online business. That’s not to say that shifting from the real world and into a ‘digital showroom’ was easy, as buying footwear is an inherently tactile experience. To get where they wanted to go, and accelerate the only pipeline that was operational, Omoda leaned on a trio of Salesforce products they knew they could rely on Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and Commerce Cloud.
Omoda delivered on what would be a revolutionary idea: an online shopping assistant, or a virtual personal shopper, that would provide the same exceptional one-on-one experiences that customers had come to expect from Omoda’s brick-and-mortar shops. This personal shopper – smartly augmented by video chat – was a huge hit with customers, and one of several transformative ideas that Omoda expects will lead them into the future.
The synergy of Salesforce products has also turbo-charged Omoda’s marketing strategy, and campaigns that used to take weeks are now created in 48 hours. The future is in being able to stay agile and move at pace, and by using Marketing Cloud, Email Studio, and Advertising Studio, Omoda has been able to reach customers and engage with them in meaningful ways, quickly and directly.
Another key to keeping Omoda and its customers connected is the company’s loyalty programme, Club Omoda, which has over 1.2 million members. Using Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud, integrated via the Salesforce Commerce and Marketing Connector, Omoda has been able to segment Club Omoda members into customer groups, and then use Marketing Cloud to personalise email promotions. To date, Omoda has designed over 50 Marketing Cloud Journeys to reach their shoppers.
Innovation, agility, speed, communication, community: these are the things that businesses need to focus on when preparing for the future, and the things driving Omoda to new heights today.
For more information on how to stay ahead in a shifting retail landscape, check out our 7 Ways Retailers Can Supercharge Shopper Service ebook.