Retailing Today Survey: More channels better for marketers

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Retailing Today published the survey  “The Omnichannel Advantage.” It was conducted by digital marketing firm Fluent. They surveyed 1,802 random Americans online. Below are some of the highlights from the survey. Read the full article at Retailing Today.

  • Consumers who are reached through a greater number of channels make in-store and online purchases from their favorite retailers more frequently. Using all these channels is known as “omnichannel marketing” for retailers.
  • Roughly 40% of consumers reported seeing television, print, and online ads from their favorite retailers in the past month.
  • 78% of respondents who engage with their favorite retailer via Twitter and email make purchases at least once per week.

In summary, shoppers are mostly impressed, engaged, and called to action when retailers use omnichannel marketing techniques. Suppliers should take note of this and implement these successful practices for their consumers.


The Seattle Times: Jeff Bezos marks Amazon’s banner year at shareholders meeting

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The Seattle Times recently published an article recapping the Amazon shareholders meeting on May 17, 2016. The statements below from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos give a small glimpse to its omnichannel retail strategy:

  • “Our goal with Amazon Prime, make no mistake, is to make sure that if you are not a Prime member, you are being irresponsible,” Bezos said.
  • Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar bookstore, in Seattle’s University Village, won’t be the company’s last, Bezos said. He also acknowledged the irony of Amazon, a company that sped the demise of many physical booksellers, getting into that business itself. “It’s an experiment,” he said. “We’re definitely going to open additional stores. How many? We don’t know yet.”

Shoppers being irresponsible demonstrates Amazon’s recognition that today’s omnichannel shoppers are fully into convenience. It will become irresponsible for a shopper to not participate in Prime, or programs similar to Prime, because it makes shopping easier, faster, and more automated.

To better understand the future of shopping just look at the automobile industry. In the past, car maintenance was a chore. Many of us remember checking oil levels with dipsticks, having a choice to put a seatbelt on or not, checking tire pressure before road trips, adjusting the air-conditioning/heating, and using cumbersome, folding road maps to navigate. Computers do all of that work for us, as automobile manufacturers have been on a long race for more and more convenience for their drivers.

What was chores is now automated. This was all based off of universal and individual behaviors. Expect the same with retail shopping. Shoppers will soon not even shop for hand soap, except for the initial purchase of a soap dispenser with a microchip that automatically orders soap to replenish itself. I would hate to NOT be the brand that was chosen first. The brand that was chosen first will be the one which embraced the omni-shopper. It will be the one which got in line with technology, data, and content that was discoverable by the shoppers in web searches and with omni-retailers.

Amazon’s brick-and-mortar effort is limited and small. However, it represents an objective for the e-commerce giant because brick-and-mortar retail sales still boast 90% of all retail transactions today, until 2020. Face it folks, Amazon is going omnichannel. A focused e-commerce strategy will NOT accommodate the omni-shopper. They know it, Walmart knows it, and the shoppers know it. Do manufactures know it?

YAHOO! Finance: Walmart disappointed with e-commerce gains

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According to a recent article by YAHOO! Finance, Walmart reported good financial news, but is disappointed about its e-commerce gains. But we’re not here to talk about that.

We would like to focus in on the following quote from Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, which we at WhyteSpyder feel is very important:

“Our marketplace is ramping up, but it takes time to build the assortment to the point where customers realize the depth of assortment,” McMillon said. “We now offer more than 10 million SKUs on and we are growing that number through a combination of first-party and third-party items. It makes sense that perception will trail reality and we’ll work on both during the course of this year.”

For over a year, WhyteSpyder has been meeting with Walmart suppliers to encourage them to provide Walmart with optimized and enhanced data and content. The reactions are virtually the same for all suppliers, large or small.

  • Supplier Reaction: Why should we invest in when it’s only 1% of our total business with Walmart?
  • WhyteSpyder Reaction: Walmart’s request for optimized and enhanced data/content is about Walmart’s omnichannel retail strategy to accommodate the modern shoppers. Walmart’s intention to grow is just one avenue/channel within the bigger scheme of omni-retail. Therefore, you (the supplier) should look at a data/content investment for your total Walmart business. Most suppliers are two years behind the omni-shopper. And you will be even more so in the coming months as Walmart unleashes its omni-retail solution – which, by the way, is the best on the planet right now.
  • Supplier Reaction: We purposefully do not provide certain products to Walmart as part of our corporate strategy because those products do not fit the Walmart shopper.
  • WhyteSpyder Reaction: This was a good strategy for yesterday. Again, you (the supplier) should stop thinking of e-commerce as a single channel business. Look at e-commerce, Walmart Supercenters, Walmart Neighborhood Markets, order online pickup at store, drones, Walmart apps, and distribution centers as the single entity of Walmart. Walmart will be the everything store in physical and virtual space. Opening your product catalog/assortment to Walmart directly will offer key advantages in working within Walmart’s strategy for omnichannel retail. Walmart has already greatly increased its assortment online and will use first-party (direct from supplier) and third-party (Marketplace) relationships to accomplish the greatest assortment on earth. Walmart’s omnichannel strategy has been made quite clear from the top down. The execution is somewhat confusing and things may seem chaotic. But, it still requires investment from you as a supplier.

The strategy is clear and they are moving forward.

Suppliers that “comply” with Walmart will continue to conduct business with the world’s largest retailer and the nation’s most popular store. Suppliers that get behind Walmart’s strategy and help execute and deliver high-quality, optimized, and enhanced data and content will have more sales and opportunities.

As Doug McMillon said: “It makes sense that perception will trail reality and we’ll work on both during the course of this year.”

Suppliers cannot afford to be left behind. Suppliers should have vision. They need to try to see the bigger picture and where this strategy is going.