The Retail Hive Exchange 2021: Takeaways from the tables

Making first party data work harder
Moderated by Wunderkind
Storytellers: Clarins, Harvey Nichols & Samsung

  • Your email open rate is your most relevant KPI to assess your CR strategy
  • How community can give you more data than just online adverts
  • Use data to engage customers in more genuine ways that link to your brand purpose
  • Create community through a sense of belonging, e.g. engage with and feel a part of the brand
  • The need to understand how you’re acquiring customers to then understand how to use their data best.
  • Use your community to enrich data. Everyone is still using popups to capture data!
  • Allow brand advocates to run with ideas
  • Community is powerful in collecting data and retaining it
  • Interesting customer identification concept: monetising site traffic
  • Make the data consent appealing
  • Value exchange needed to yet qualify 1 st party data
  • Data silos and legacy systems hamper process
  • Membership as a loyalty tool is evolving
  • 1st party data or 1st value?
  • Is the cookie apocalypse really a threat?
  • Hard to measure success
  • Consider how to ensure we’re not “over-using” or “exhausting” our 1st party data asset
  • CRM teams are not only marketing or eCommerce, but assisting all parts of the business
  • Holistic view = analysis + insight
  • KPI including NPS – beyond just profit 
  • 1st party data becomes more valuable when amplified with other data sourcing 
  • Customer data is key – sharing is everything 
  • Must collect NPS at each site stage 
  • Ideas for gathering data at checkout 

Building trust and emotional connections
Moderated by Empathy
Storytellers: Boden, G Star Raw & Thistle Digital

  • Great after sales support creates trust. Good recovery is so important
  • Trust is a feeling, it can be evoked through control and transparency
  • Reassurance through the whole customer journey is important  – you will recover minimum purchase if it goes wrong
  • Trust is frequently broken where there are errors and friction during an omnichannel experience
  • We need to learn to be more transparent
  • Trust and control don’t need to be in conflict
  • Decentralising is next… it’s not scary it’s just evolution
  • Need to find that balance between healthy privacy and enough control
  • Data of emotion
  • Trust can’t be measured
  • Authenticity
  • Trust leads to LTV (lifetime value)
  • Does every brand need to have an altruistic story to gain customer trust?
  • Go back to the reason the brand was born, the authentic story 
  • Respect customer data and don’t ignore things you can’t measure
  • Listen to customers, understand what’s on their mind and build that into your storytelling to them
  • Build a connection
  • Remember we all sell to people – they need/want trust, empathy, authenticity
  • Don’t bow to authority
  • More difficult to maintain the trust of customers
  • Customers are subjects not objects
  • The difference between trust and emotion
  • Emotional intelligence and the future of consumer trust, 1 st party and more
  • Transparency and honesty
  • Balance data and trust

Resilience in Retail
Moderated by Stripe
Storytellers: Simple Human, Bamboo Clothing & Value Retail

  • Flexibility
  • Pivot!!
  • Re-selling is the future
  • Sustainability as an opportunity
  • Opportunity for resale
  • 70% of luxury retail is resell.
  • Outlet, omnichannel, re-use second-hand manufacturing
  • Flexibility, creativity
  • People 1st, hope, resolution 
  • Tracking where sustainability messages have moved in last year in hierarchy 
  • Outlets, omnichannel, re-use 2nd hand marketplaces
  • Are our operating models fit for the future?
  • Demonstrate your profit focus
  • B2B brands have been forced to go D2C. Are they at risk of over-committing?
  • Temper your expectations of growth!
  • You need the buy-in of your staff!
  • Invest in the right people to remain resilient
  • Growth planning and budgeting are very complicated post-covid
  • Building resilience means investing in your teams and in new, more flexible operating models.
  • Ability to change fast is key to long-term resilience
  • Beta businesses/Supply chain/D2C/Experimental retail
  • Supply chain challenges = forecasting + pressure
  • Difficult to maintain agility post covid lockdown
  • Flexibility is key. Continue to be brave post covid
  • Be more focused with faster action plans
  • Flexibility of planning and execution… in spite of constant changes you must stay true to your brand
  • Keeping up the pace of innovation will be a challenge after covid
  • Is there a new normal?
  • Question everything
  • Transformation into the new ways of working are essential
  • Focus on flexibility and culture
  • Use covid as a chance to question everything
  • Keep the habit of fast decision making – be ruthless on what is important

Removing friction from the shopper journey
Moderated by Fast
Storytellers: Benefit Cosmetics & Stanley, Black + Decker

  • If you can hit customers with a one click buy checkout option at the moment they encounter the brand it would be ideal
  • An amazing user experience can be massively ruined by a clunky checkout and turn customers away, they want to just click and buy
  • International and translations – mix of machine translations and human tuneups seems best for efficiency and accuracy
  • A better online experience will future proof you
  • Not a matter of just transacting – but need to make the last transaction point as seamless as possible
  • Losing the physical in 2020 was tough and checkout causes the most friction online
  • Brexit also caused a big price point stop – how can we overcome this at checkout
  • Friction is different for every business and is difficult to measure 
  • Friction is not one thing
  • Payment options and data capture are key
  • Meet the customer where and how they want to be met. Speed = convenience
  • Experience / reduction in payment methods… building a network is important
  • Live chat & Video are great for removing friction and helping the customer
  • Have to learn how to streamline the checkout experience to empower the consumer
  • Data & tools
  • Some customers have decided before they even visit your site – allow them to transact easily
  • Hard to gauge how the customer is impacted by different friction points 
  • Different businesses have different “frictions” – you should know the customer expectations
  • Customer friction vs commercial friction
  • Internal friction and external friction is just as important to the customer 
  • If you’ve got your checkout right you’ve sorted your main friction
  • Friction is relative: find the right moment that matters most to the consumer
  • Smarter, faster, swifter, frictionless check-out = guaranteed uptake in conversion
  • Be where your customer wants to shop – and it’s not necessarily your website
  • How can we decide if behaviour is good or bad?

Demand forecasting and planning
Moderated by Peak
Storyteller: Robert Dyas

  • Forecasting supply is critical
  • It’s never been harder to forecast forward
  • It’s never too late to ask!
  • Data is key but what to do once we have it to optimise opportunities?
  • Traditional buying and merchandising still core to demand planning
  • Online data informing store merchandising 
  • Bringing more data sources together to turn into insight and decision making
  • How to forecast using AI for continuity and seasonality
  • AI will improve the forecast and plan. The “old” methodology of forecasting isn’t working in current situation
  • The utopian challenge of combining: buying, customer, forecasting

Unifying and activating customer data
Moderated by Blueshift
Storytellers: Fruugo & Crew Clothing

  • Create supplier/brand cohorts
  • Be aware of internal data silos
  • How can we focus on the data outputs rather than the input?
  • Use data for actions
  • Keep customer data simple – hard to know what the output is – this is key to start with
  • Return of QR codes – could be used and build loyalty if unique
  • You must be able to organise data in order to utilise it
  • Post covid there is a new normal. Thing that you thought were temporary are now permanent
  • Important to know what to do to activate customer data
  • Unification of data should be utilised beyond commerce, i.e demand planning /product
  • Pandemic experiences progressing post pandemic
  • QR codes are back…
  • Data is valuable only if shared internally
  • Key focus should be understanding the goal of data implication fast. Implementation should follow

Getting the biggest bang for your marketing buck
Moderated by Tapestry
Storytellers: Bamboo Clothing & Biscuiteers

  • The many ways to track marketing 
  • Best way to collect data
  • Click stream analysis for brand journey to customer
  • Incrementally testing to understand channel attribution
  • Consider regional tests as a means to measuring incrementality
  • Think about regionalised testing to measure ROI when transaction isn’t owned
  • Attribution is difficult for all, but test test test and you’ll make it clearer
  • Clickstream analytics to understand long term attribution
  • Work with the tapestry agency(!)
  • Don’t be afraid to turn things off
  • Incrementality can be achieved, be brave and turn things off
  • Find better attribution methods
  • Don’t measure everything in google analytics
  • You can turn off affiliates
  • Don’t be afraid to turn off and test paid for channels
  • QR code at till for data capture/attribution

Connecting online & offline
Moderated by Emarsys
Storyteller: COOK Foods

  • Attribution of offline campaigns
  • Online – offline. Capturing data – is it through brand loyalty or transactional (eg. discount)
  • The benefit of surprise and delight
  • Gifting / samples – hard to see attribution but building brand love has a £ value
  • Customer data acquisition is possible where there is brand trust and creativity
  • Challenge of attribution – not just across channels, but all initiatives, e.g. free samples
  • Removing data silos, data capture in physical stores, define the why and the information exchange balance 
  • There is a path to offline and online understanding
  • Very hard to attribute in store sales from online customers
  • Linking offline to online – attribution is key! Can we have data moving in both directions, adding value?
  • Data capture: what is the value trade off – why should I identify?
  • VIPs sending samples/gifts has a huge impact (halo effect) on sales through word-of-mouth marketing

The role of the store in the future of shopping
Moderated by Blue Yonder
Storytellers: Gentle Monster & Crew Clothing

  • Customer experience can come first
  • Get more robots
  • Future shopping – no CRM data, just experience, experiencing experience in stores
  • Focus on the experience first – product second
  • Bring customer experience to store using technology through mobile, e.g. customer reviews product info
  • Retail experience should be driven by brand values/vision
  • Don’t think of online and offline as separate channels – promote/provide a seamless customer journey
  • Find out more about endless aisle 
  • Stores – some will have more, some less, some staying the same.
  • Forecasting with multiple outputs
  • Location will dictate the role of the store
  • How to effectively manage stock levels with delivering, in store and click and collect models
  • There is a future for stores being able to support the rest of the business with stock being key
  • Fulfil from store. Benefit to create agility between channels
  • It is still a mystery what the future of the store looks like!
  • Store still relevant. Retailers are not generally looking to close stores over the next 5 years.
  • Opportunity to aid stock flexibility during period of challenging forecasting

Personalised product discovery
Moderated by Attraqt
Stories from: Lovehoney & adidas

  • Data science & business creates a stronger collaboration
  • Personalisation in key to product discovery and showing the right products
  • AI recommendation should be based on your behaviour – so not 1 algorithm fits all
  • Personalisation based on customer segmentation and enabling different decisions to be made
  • Personalisation should be used with care and respect. It’s not just about £, remember the brand impact
  • Every customer journey is different, must remember this at all times
  • How do we tailor recommendations to customer groups and funnel stages
  • AI can conflict with best practices from merchandisers
  • Brand values vs commercial goals is a delicate balance

Building confidence in your tech investment strategy
Moderated by Thistle Digital

  • Should platform hamper tech innovation
  • Try to align objectives across teams before tech discussions
  • Transparency of project
  • Differentiation between pitches
  • How do we decide what to build or what to buy?
  • Assessing tech: refrain, refresh, retire, replace
  • Tech being up to date with a support method to the brand
  • Data – what to do with it, optimise it and align the partner to do the job
  • Question over org design and decision making re: ecommerce and tech strategy
  • Legacy systems often have legacy values
  • Where do we start? Who do we start with?
  • Define the business needs early! Before speaking to vendors

Tools to drive loyalty
Moderated by Virgin Media

  • Emotive response to a brand drives loyalty
  • Important to increase frequency of purchase – one of the main focuses
  • Brand awareness is more of a loyalty driver than a lot of other potential channels for halfords
  • How do we measure loyalty in different segments/groups?
  • Are customers loyal or are we just convenient for them? 
  • Loyalty can be learned
  • How do we test loyalty programmes before initiating them?
  • What shop per year frequency is the right to aim for? How do we measure this?
  • Active consideration is an early indicator of potential loyalty
  • Loyalty is an emotional role, not just monetary
  • Loyalty depends on sector, product and willingness to consider
  • How do we define loyalty? Must consider transactional loyalty vs. emotional affinity
  • If customer retention is over a longer time frame, how can you make sure the customer continues being an advocate?
  • Loyalty is having an infinity with a brand

Intelligent customer segmentation
Moderated by Peak
Storyteller: Joules

  • Hindsight, insight, foresight
  • Understanding AI/data points connection
  • Keep segmentation open to allow customers to move from one to another as their needs change
  • Utilising customer data across the org is fundamentally about people
  • Segmentation should be based on need/use etc. not traditions. Data helps to inform.
  • Find the balance between human decision making vs informed ? driven by real data
  • Let marketing/digital teams influence buying teams
  • Tie up marketing and merchandising
  • Track ? and frequency of each segment over time
  • Marketing should steer merch discussions
  • Segmentation must be paired with use. Value is ? when segmentation can drive decision making effectively