6 Ways to Maximize Your Multichannel Experience
In today's economy, brands have to do more than just help consumers become familiar with a retail establishment, product or service — they have to help make these things stand out from the competition. This was the focus of a session at last month's Retail Marketing Conference in Orlando, Fla. called "Brand Voila! Maximizing Your Multichannel Merchandising Experience."
During the session, Margaret Moraskie, senior vice president of marketing at Boston Proper, discussed how her company inspires its customers with its multichannel messaging, and offered the following six best practices:
1. Leverage your best products. When customers react well to a product, build on it, Moraskie said. For example, when a hoodie tunic that first appeared in Boston Proper's February 2010 catalog became a best-seller, the company highlighted the item in three subsequent catalogs, featured it on its "Favorites" page in its April catalog, and after the item was sold out, sent a "Back in Stock" email as soon as the reorder was in-house.
2. Leverage and adapt great creative. Start with a great product and expose it repeatedly, Moraskie said. Put it on your catalog's front cover, on your homepage, in your emails, and on your landing and category pages. "Consistent messaging spoken with conviction really drives sales," Moraskie said.
3. Eliminate guesswork. Since Boston Proper's customers like to shop head-to-toe, "we make sure to do things like show complete outfits in our catalog layouts and offer cart upsells online to complete looks," Moraskie said. "We also make it easy for consumers to buy, as well as find customer service and online answers."
4. Appeal to your customers’ lifestyles. Boston Proper "knows that its 47-year-old customer is smart, sophisticated and has a very busy schedule, so we position ourselves as the go-to destination for the events happening in their lives," Moraskie said.
5. Reward loyalty. Boston Proper regularly offers its very best customers offers or promotions to reward them for their business, Moraskie said. A Boston Proper campaign that ran in May, for example, offered its best customers $20 off their next order.
6. Keep an eye on your brand. Technology and customer access points are changing more rapidly than ever, Moraskie said. Take advantage of these opportunities by making sure your brand is represented on social networks and in other more traditional types of marketing such as email. "Brand integrity isn't variable," Moraskie said. "Use it to your advantage."
Another way to make your brand stand out from the competition is to have a high MIQ, or merchandising intelligence quotient, according to Andrea Syverson, president of IER Partners, a merchandising consultancy for multichannel retailers, who also spoke during the session.
Retailers with high MIQs, Syverson said, "know their brand, have created a purpose-driven product offering and are leveraging their product offerings to their fullest potentials."
Syverson offered tips around creating a purpose-driven product offering, as well as how to leverage products to their fullest potential. To create a purpose-driven product offering, Syverson offered best practices that included the following:
- think brand and mission first;
- offer your product as a holistic experience;
- focus on the depth and breadth of your product vs. your niche;
- make sure it helps solve your customers’ pain points; and
- make sure it's in sync with your customers’ dreams and aspirations.
To leverage products to their full potentials, Syverson offered best practices that included the following:
- be sure they have multichannel synchronicity;
- use a full repertoire of promotional activities to get the word out about them;
- understand the power of social media as a marketing tool;
- don't forget about public relations; and
- keep niche, long-tail opportunities in mind.