Digital Disruptors for Retail Marketers in 2015
Simply put, disruptors change the formula for winning business models. For retailer marketers, digital disruption is becoming a constant. In the past few years, nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population has moved from phones to smartphones and downloaded over 100 billion apps. Billions are active on social media globally, publicly sharing who they are, what they do and what they like. Digital has moved from transforming the purchasing of media (e.g., music, movies and books) to influencing 50 percent of all shopping purchases.
Marketing is forever altered by these tectonic shifts. Retail marketers must now be highly flexible and adaptable, anticipating and reacting to the next round of digital disruptors. As we progress in 2015, here are five potential disruptors that all digital marketers will need to be actively engaging on to ensure they continue to have a winning formula for success:
1. Location, location, location: Physical store locations have long been a critical element for retail success. In today's digital world, real estate is taking on a new meaning as the consumer's mobile screen has become some of the most valuable "real estate" for a retailer to "occupy." With the always digitally connected and active consumer, marketers are now able to add current location, as well as past location-based behaviors, to their toolkit for understanding and interacting with consumers.
Marketers need to be familiar with location technologies like beacons, Wi-Fi and geo-fencing. These technologies open up new dimensions for real-time and personalized marketing. Innovative retail marketers are already exploring opportunities for competitive advantages with location-based technologies. Walgreens with beacons and Wal-Mart with store-specific apps are notable examples.
2. Social shopping 2.0: At the dawn of social media, there was a large push to simply port the storefront to social media. Superimposing the traditional e-commerce platform onto this new platform, focused on transactions, didn't work. As the social media phenomenon has matured somewhat (notice I didn't say "is mature"), it presents a number of potentially disruptive opportunities and challenges.