As part of our 2017 retail industry conference “road tour,” the Ecrebo team had a chance to attend CRMC 2017 in Chicago earlier this month. The event, openly billed as “designed by retailers for retailers,” was a wonderful opportunity for more than 150 retailers to share insights on their own marketing and CRM strategies and their unique challenges with like-minded peers and industry solution providers.
The event’s theme of “Staying Ahead of the Curve” certainly delivered as the schedule was jam-packed with leading retailers who are succeeding in an increasingly competitive space, sharing with attendees the customer loyalty and engagement programs they have implemented – areas that are obviously very near and dear to our hearts at Ecrebo!
Over the course of three days, retailers presented some fascinating insights on their key initiatives around marketing and CRM and how they are executing against those initiatives, including Maurices, discussing how their robust loyalty solution has improved the overall customer experience; ULTA Beauty, presenting how they have leveraged customer data to shift away from discounts and Lucky Brand, sharing how they have used advanced segmentation and customer analytics to drive growth.
These were just a few of the many insightful presentations from the brands who are making the customer experience a top priority in 2017 and beyond. But some the key event themes really resonated here with us at Ecrebo:
Millennials value the customer experience
We heard time and time again how important the customer experience is to shoppers, especially to millennials. Physical stores are under increasing pressure to compete with the likes of Amazon so experiences are a way for bricks and mortar retailers to differentiate themselves. Social media plays a big role in millennials’ lives, so it’s vital that the in-store experience is “selfie-worthy.” But retailers face an ongoing challenge in terms of how they measure the in-store customer experience, and sales/sq. ft. can no longer be the only metric for measuring the success of the physical store.
It’s a data-driven world
Many of the presentations focused on data. Those retailers that can and are successfully mining and driving actionable insights from data are the ones experiencing the greatest success. Retailers are recognizing that they need to ‘know’ their customers to truly understand them and achieve the holy grail of 1:1 communication. Delivering targeted communications and offers across channels is a must for retailers to drive long-term loyalty.
Concern over changes to the POS
Lastly, and most interestingly, it was apparent that changes to the point of sale (POS) are both slow and costly and as a result, many of the retailers who attended the event indicated that not making changes to the POS was a constraint to marketing and loyalty initiatives.
For Ecrebo, these takeaways were music to our ears, and truly highlight what we’ve been saying all along.
1) For starters, the customer experience must be measured and it doesn’t have to be a hurdle to growth! Our customers will tell you that our ereceipts are the perfect way to gain feedback and tie it back to a specific customer, store employee or transaction.
2) Secondly, Ecrebo can provide retailers with the data, experience and partnerships they need to ensure 1:1 customer communications are targeted and relevant – both at the POS and digitally.
3) Lastly, Ecrebo can do ALL of this without modifications to the POS. Our platform allows retailers to maximize their reach, which would otherwise be impossible given that POS modifications are consistently a non-starter.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at this year’s event and look forward to attending next year!