Archive for February, 2020

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Retail’s convenience store segment is growing rapidly, presenting a wealth of opportunities for brands and suppliers.

IGD’s retail analysts recently identified five trends likely to shape the development of global convenience this year and beyond.

1. Tech supporting convenience
Just like many other retail channels, fast and efficient service is key to convenience. Retail brands around the world are integrating digital features into stores and supply chains, including everything from in-store digital displays to on-demand fulfilment platforms. The focus needs to be on how to make the shopping journey frictionless for shoppers.

2. Moving beyond c-store retailing
The traditional notion of convenience shopping is being turned on its head. New and innovative formats are popping up everywhere; retailers are pairing up with specialists such as foodservice operators, butchers and florists to deliver more exciting experiences to consumers. Brands need to consider what they can do to make their store an experiential destination.

3. Redefining product range
Consumers’ daily shopping habits are evolving – as such, categories including fresh food, food-to-go and evening meal options are transforming convenience retailing. Brands are giving consumers new reasons to pay their stores a visit. Retailers need to make sure that their product ranges, and the space in which they are sold, meet consumers’ changing needs.

4. Greater focus on health
Health and wellbeing are becoming increasingly more important to consumers across every channel. As a result, convenience operators are expanding their range of fresh food and providing plenty more healthy options. They’re also making it easier for consumers to locate healthier items, implementing promotions to generate greater awareness. The trick for retailers is identifying how they can help consumers lead more healthy lives, without sacrificing speed of shop or convenience.

5. Improved local stores and minimarts
Convenience stores are vital to communities; they know their shoppers very well. More and more brands are thinking about ways to improve their connection, supporting communities and at the same time fostering goodwill. Suppliers need to think about how they can seize the opportunity to create products specific to different locations.

If you’re a retailer in the convenience space and you’re looking to build deeper connections with your customers, the Delta Group can help. Get in touch today to find out more!

The digital marketing landscape is evolving at a rapid pace and in line with new technology. As a result, new tools, trends and techniques are being introduced to enable businesses to better cater to their consumers’ needs – both online and offline.

A Forbes article explores three trends likely to gain ‘explosive popularity’ this year. Let’s take a look at what they are.

1. Voice search dominates search queries

Experts estimate that voice search will account for half of all queries this year, regardless of device. This may be because voice search satisfies consumers’ need for urgency; it’s no secret that today’s shoppers have grown impatient after becoming used to the immediacy provided by the internet and their smartphones. This has resulted in a fundamental shift in their expectations of brands; they demand seamless experiences across every touchpoint.

Focusing on voice queries optimises a website for zero-click searches as well as for features snippets. The majority of digital assistants will only read the top entry featuring on the results page, and rich snippets typically occupy position zero. Here are some things to bear in mind when planning voice search optimisation:

● Voice searches are more about natural language and questions than keywords, which will impact your keyword research. Rather than a string of words, focus on question-based searches instead.

● Develop content that directly answers the query. Use ‘The People Also Ask’ box in the results pages for insight on other queries related to the original one – you can seek to answer these in your content too, as this will add even more value.

● Keep your tone conversational, as Google’s latest BERT algorithm update allows it to understand the context of search rather than picking through the individual words. Prioritise readability and simplicity in your content.

2. Video content continues to gain in popularity

Video is already big, but it’s expected to get even bigger this year – fuelled in part by the popularity of vloggers and the increasing number of brands using influencers as part of their strategies. HubSpot found that around half of users want more video content from the brands they engage with.

You should seek to use videos across channels, making sure they are valuable and relevant for your target audience. Product demos and tutorial videos are popular choices for brand websites, as they are much more engaging that bulk text – encouraging people to stay longer on the site.

Social media channels – like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – are popular for livestreams, which can be useful for product launches, conferences or any other events you’re attending. You can even host live Q&As with your audience.

3. Social media expands functions

In 2020, social media is so much more than likes and shares. Platforms now let users shop, create groups, play games and watch live events. Therefore, one of the best things you can do is maximise your social media strategy.

From marketplaces to shoppable posts, users can now purchase directly on Facebook and Instagram. This means that companies no longer need to think about how to integrate their online shops with their social profiles. The aim should be to cut the number of steps to checkout, providing a faster process so that sales abandonment also drops.

Social media is also useful for social listening through online communities. While measurement tools are still helpful, niche online groups can offer more accurate insight into your target audience’s needs, wants and concerns.

If you need help harnessing these digital marketing trends, why not get in touch with Delta Creative to find out about our creative and shopper marketing services?

Every retailer knows that it’s important to deliver an exceptional experience to every customer. But just how important is it?

If a recent Salesforce stat is anything to go by, it’s very important: 80% of customers believe the experience a company provides is just as important as its product and services.

This makes perfect sense.

Think about it: if you had a delicious meal at a restaurant, but you waited almost two hours for it and the waiting staff were rude and unapologetic, would you rush back? Or, the other side to this, if you returned a faulty item to a store, the assistant apologised profusely and took a good deal of money off the exchanged item for your inconvenience, are you likely to shop with that retailer again?

A brand may offer an innovative, leading product or service, but if it’s not matched with a quality customer experience then that product or service is likely to fall short of expectations.

There are many reasons why retailers need to focus on delivering an exceptional experience across all touchpoints, to each and every person who either steps into their store, or lands on their website. They include:

● Differentiate your brand. If competition is fierce in your specific sector, experience could be what inspires customers to choose you over another company.

● Turn customers into advocates. People trust people more than companies, meaning customers who recommend your brand can really help to drive sales. Providing exceptional experiences is the best way to inspire customer advocacy.

● Inspire loyalty. Retailers depend on repeat custom, especially seeing as it costs five times more to obtain a new customer than to keep an existing one. Provide your customers with quality products paired with a quality experience and they won’t have a reason to shop elsewhere.

● Increase profits. Customer experience has a direct impact on your business’ bottom line. Harvard Business Review uncovered that customers who had the best experience spend 140% more than customers who had a bad or less than great experience.

Enhance your customer experience today

If you need some support in improving your customer experience, we can help. We’re experts in in-store, outdoor and online visual communications and can partner with you to deliver innovative and engaging experiences to your customers. Get in touch today!

The Delta Group has bolstered its senior leadership team with the appointment of Kevin Pritchard as Group Transformation/Innovation Director.

Kevin Pritchard joins the Delta Group as Group Transformation/Innovation Director having worked in senior client service/transformation roles at global marketing service providers for the past ten years.

Jason Hammond, CEO of the Delta Group, said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Kevin and are confident that he will help drive future success across existing and future clients. The experience he brings is unparalleled and will ensure our accelerated growth projections, commitment to excellence in client services and innovation continues. With some great new business opportunities in the pipeline we’re looking forward to a really exciting new decade.”

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is well and truly in the air. So, what better time to take a look at ways retailers can incorporate emotion within their marketing to attract and inspire their customers?

So-called “emotional marketing” can be an incredibly effective tactic, so long as it’s applied in the right way for your audience. In this guide we’ll share some tips on how brands can effectively tap into their target consumers’ emotions while delivering compelling campaigns. Starting from the top…

What exactly is ‘emotional marketing’?

Hubspot sums up emotional marketing perfectly:

‘Emotional marketing refers to marketing and advertising efforts that primarily use emotion to make your audience notice, remember, share and buy. Emotional marketing typically taps into a singular emotion, like happiness, sadness, anger or fear, to elicit a consumer response.’

Emotion makes up a major component of a shopper’s attention span and purchase decision. But our emotions don’t just stop at happiness, sadness, anger or fear. Each emotion could be said to have sub emotions, as illustrated here by Robert Plutichik’s ‘wheel of emotions’. If you feel happy, you might be feeling mildly content or you could be in total ecstasy, for example.

Depending on your brand, product and target audience, you can’t always target a basic emotion like happiness. Sometimes you need to dig deeper to identify an exact emotion, which can then be used to inform every aspect of your marketing.

Why does it work?

Consumers trust humans over brands. That’s why brands drawing on emotion – a human trait – can really resonate with people.

A Braze and Forrester Consulting survey cited by The Drum found that consumers heavily favour brands that successfully show their ‘humanity’. Nearly six in ten (57%) admitted that they’d be more loyal to a human brand.

Aside from helping to humanise your brand, emotional marketing works because:

It makes a great first impression

First impressions mean everything. An advertisement that makes you laugh or cry is much more likely to catch your eye and stay with you than one that simply talks about the USPs of a product.

It allows consumers to decide with their hearts

Studies show that emotional responses to marketing have a greater influence over a person’s intent and decision to purchase than the content of an ad or piece of marketing. In a study shared by HubSpot, campaigns with purely emotional content outperformed those with rational content 31% vs 16%.

It gets people to act

Emotions go on to inspire other actions. For instance, happiness makes us want to share, and sharing can raise brand awareness. Sadness makes us connect and empathise, the latter leading to increased giving, while surprise and fear makes us want to cling to what’s comfortable, which can drive brand loyalty.

Three tips on making it work

Now you’ve got a grasp of what emotional marketing is and why it works, here are some tips for how to successfully implement it.

1. Know your audience

The key to any successful marketing campaign is making sure you’re 100% clear on who it is you’re targeting. Carrying out audience research can be time-consuming but is an essential step that can pay dividends in the long run. You need to uncover your target consumers’ pain points or general desires, then identify exactly what emotion will elicit the best response.

2. Evoke emotions with colour

Colour and emotion work hand in hand. Many of the big brands already use colour psychology to elicit certain feelings from their audiences – for instance, the ‘Starbucks green’ is linked with harmony, nature and health, all elements of the brand and its ‘green’ movement.

Red is associated with power, energy (think Red Bull red) and determination, black with power and elegance, blue with depth and stability. Once you’ve pinned down your emotion, do your research on colour psychology and pick a hue that will help you to convey that emotion best. Just remember to be consistent with the colour and messaging across your marketing collateral.

3. Create a story

Storytelling is incredibly powerful because it helps to humanise your brand – stories are relatable, inspiring people to empathise with the characters involved. We only need to think of the stories shared by the big retailers vying for the best Christmas advert every year to know just how effective they can be.

Identify your emotion and build your story from there. Entrepreneur explains that it can be really effective to shape the story around your brand’s presence in the lives of people experiencing a certain milestone. It cites New York Life as an example – the campaign featured a child’s first steps and assures you that it will be there for ‘all of life’s ups and downs’.

If you want to inject more emotion into your marketing campaigns and take your customer experience to the next level, we can help. The Delta Group empowers imagination by delivering dynamic, multi-channel marketing to customers across the globe. Get in touch today to find out more.

Last year, artificial intelligence (AI) played a key role in MarTech and in enhancing the overall human experience through the analysis of big data.

But according to an article we came across in My Total Retail, marketing professionals will be contemplating what’s to come this year – and beyond – to identify the technologies that will have the biggest impact on the retail sector.

As this is a time of rapid innovation for retail, here are the three key AI themes guaranteed to make an impact this year.

AR transforms in-store experiences

Augmented reality (AR) is undoubtedly one of the most exciting technologies to enter the retail space. As AR is digital content viewed on top of ‘real world’ items and backgrounds, even a simple box on a shelf can ‘augment’ consumers’ experiences – provided brands make that content engaging.

This year more and more retailers, together with the agencies that support them, will look to add AR to their offering in a bid to impress in-store customers.

AI inspires marketing and personalisation

Today’s consumers zone out of ads that lack personalisation, particularly on platforms such as social media. Innovative retail brands are already creating their own proprietary data sets – or data lakes – to explore, perfect and evaluate the petabytes of data sent from multiple sources (for instance web, social, RFP, etc.).

When these data sets reach sufficient volume levels, they can be used internally to ‘train’ AI functions that cannot be copied by other brands. The result? Even more personalised experiences in stores as well as in ads. This year, more retail wins will be created by AI-generated personalised ad experiences because these technologies cross-pollinate with key advertising channels and mobile apps.

Adopting XR to make virtual – not real – mistakes

To cut the cost of employee development and training initiatives, retailers will begin to explore using extended reality (XR) technologies to mimic workplace scenarios more effectively, while ensuring quicker productivity results.

XR-compatible solutions embedded in products and web-based applications will become extremely valuable, enabling brands to learn in the flow of work and carry out training initiatives during off-peak hours. Similarly, virtual reality (VR) will be used in concepts such as helping staff visualise in-store layouts and holiday traffic flow.

It’s an exciting time for retail, with the sector evolving quicker than ever. The brands that will enjoy the most success this year and beyond will be the ones that embrace these technology-driven changes.

If you need some support, we can partner with you to collaboratively lead change and empower your strategic goals.  Get in touch today.

Personalisation is big business for retailers these days. But is it a fleeting trend, or will it stick around for good?

A recent article in Retail Week points to Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign as being one of the most poignant and successful examples of retail personalisation to date.

During the summers of 2013 and 2014, Coke drinkers were able to buy a bottle branded with their own name, written in Coke’s iconic font. When planning the campaign, it was aptly-named ‘project connect’ – as personalisation would help to build stronger connections between the brand and its customers.

Fast forward to today and personalisation has moved on from having your name on a bottle. Now, it’s all about being able to create an experience that’s entirely unique to an individual, and retailers are starting to experiment with this idea in store.

Take jeans brand Levi: its customers can customise their denims by choosing from a range of panels, stencils, stitches and studs offered in store, creating an entirely unique look.

But it’s not just about being able to customise items. Personalisation is now what customers expect.

According to Accenture research from 2018, 91% of shoppers are more likely to purchase from retailers that use their name and make personal, tailored recommendations. Meaning retailers need to consider personalisation when they interact with customers, too.

Brands are making efforts to recognise customers as individuals who they need to build a connection with – for instance, by naming the customer in marketing emails – and this trend doesn’t look like it will fade anytime soon.

Transforming the in-store experience

Levi and Coca-Cola’s efforts are proof that personalisation is transforming the shopping experience beyond simply browsing for mass-produced items available in limited variations. Shops are turning into more than just buildings that house products – they’re becoming lifestyle destinations, all down to personalisation.

Big brands have the budgets to invest in such concepts, but other retailers will be considering where they can mirror these trends in their own stores.

Online retail is strides ahead with personalisation. Search engines learn about individual shoppers and offer them product recommendations, deals and marketing communications based on their behaviour and preferences. Essentially, they’re constructing a profile of each shopper, boosting their relevance with every single interaction. Physical retailers could struggle to match this.

Tangible experiences

Eight in ten (81%) Gen Z consumers in an AT Kearney survey said that they prefer to shop in store, with 73% seeing it as an opportunity to discover new products. At the same time, nearly half of 18-to-35-year-olds said the thing they love most about a physical store is being able to touch things and try them out.

It’s clear that young shoppers value the in-store experience – this is where bricks-and-mortar stores have an advantage over online retailers.

E-tailers simply can’t provide the tangible experiences many shoppers crave, for instance, having human interactions with store staff, shopping with friends and family and being able to see and feel products.

Retailers can learn about a shopper’s behaviour and preferences as they shop in store, and harness the chance to deliver a great customer experience through quality visual communications to boost basket value and inspire loyalty.

And rather than investing heavily in making in-store products customisable, physical retailers can build deeper connections with each shopper by sending them personalised recommendations and offers based on their individual preferences, further driving loyalty and encouraging repeat purchases.

Personalisation has essentially provided a platform for retailers to build deeper relationships with shoppers, who have come to expect to be communicated with based on their individual needs and still value physical experiences.

If you need some help designing and delivering exceptional visual communications to skyrocket your customer experience, get in touch with the Delta Group today.