Last week, we participated in the ICX Summit in Dallas. The ICX Summit covers the technologies available to businesses for engaging customers, with a real focus on how to deliver outstanding interactive customers experiences.
The main message that emerged from the sessions was that the marketing model has changed. No longer is it effective to just dump marketing dollars in the top of the funnel in TV and print media to gain sales. New media choices are available for consumers. The customer experience has become even more important in today’s world.
Here are the three main themes we took away from the conference:
- Things are changing in the retail space…
Speakers outlined many statistics that illustrate the shift away from brick and mortar and towards mobile and online.
- Brands are going direct.
40% more customers are going direct from brand and skipping retail.
- Stores and Brands that provide experiences are growing.
In order to stay relevant in brick and mortar you need to give customers ‘experiences’. Brands that provide experiences are growing.
The speakers reinforced the need to innovate, often using the shift towards mobile and online as a reason why.
Amazon was cited as a key example of a company that are leading the way in innovation. The company is looking to buy an airport in order to be able to get products to customers faster. They are also investing in drones and robots. Amazon are developing predictive analytics to be able to predict when consumers are going to want something and send it before they even need to think think of it. They currently have technology that can make the process of ordering easier. For example, placing a sensor in a Brita water filter that detects when you need a new one, and then automatically places the order, or buttons on your wall by the laundry soap so you can just press and order more soap easily.
Another key example was Alibaba, who were able to take an obscure holiday (Singles day – celebrated in China) and turn it into a massive shopping day. The result: they turned over $65 million a minute. To put this into context, a large Home Depot turns over approximately $36 million in a year. Alibaba sales doubled a large Home Depot’s store annual sales every minute.
The main takeaway from the conference is that it’s now more important than ever to deliver customer experiences, and technology plays a key part in achieving this.