Online shopping concept
What does the future hold for retail, particularly in the fashion industry? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
It’s fair to say that in this constantly evolving scenario of integration of physical and digital, new retail models will emerge; after all, I’m the CEO of a company that is doing just that.
Traditional retailers are trying to leverage their in-store appeal for consumers and move into the world of e-commerce with an effective omnichannel strategy that offers a seamless shopping experience online and offline. However, this is hard to achieve because it requires rethinking the entire supply chain, logistics and more fully utilizing big data and analytics to better understand the customer.
Fashion brands and retailers must change the traditional branding strategy that is often based on a one way communication flow. It has to become interactive. The objective is to have promoters, not just loyal customers.
It would be too easy if building advocacy was just understanding one generation, or the most talked about, the Millennials. Actually, we should really focus on Generation Z, born from the mid nineties to the late 2000s. This is the generation that is truly digital native, innovative and globally connected, hence they are very tech savvy and the most multicultural and diverse generation ever. This is also the generation that was born in a more unstable world and witnessed the financial crisis early on, thus they are more self-aware and self-reliant.
Let’s also remember that the Baby Boomers are still a very, if not the most, relevant generation for purchasing power. The vast majority also browse and shop online. Then, we have Generation X, also routinely buying online and habitually checking their email and responding well to personalized offers tuned to their past purchases and interests.
Hence, to start designing a marketing strategy, we need a more articulate segmentation approach. We can think of a segmentation matrix, where the y axis represents the various generations and the x axis the demographic factors. Here I am using demographic loosely, by including psychographics (attitudes, values, style) and digital behavior (everything that can be tracked).
Once the segmentation of customers through a matrix is clear, it also requires engaging them in a two-way conversation through storytelling that is compelling and able to incorporate reactions, ideas and feedback. This requires “mastering” social media and having a consistent voice across channels and linking up customers’ online and offline activities into a single profile.
Through engaging storytelling it becomes way easier to explain the brand values and crystallize its value proposition. Storytelling also works to engage and motivate internally the organization and externally the customers, who are not only buyers, but also content creators, and brand ambassadors.
To conclude, I believe we’ll see a truly new distribution model once digital-native brands and retailers add-on the physical, not vice-versa. Consumers will always be passionate about creative design in fashion, high-quality garments, beautiful things and elegant experiences, and the specialness of expressing themselves through personal style.
This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter and Facebook. More questions: