Six Areas to Consider for 2017 Planning
By Chris Haines, Director of Strategy, Fluid NY
In retail it seems like each new year is heralded as The Year of… Mobile/Omnichannel/Personalization/[Add Latest Trend Here] and 2017 will likely be no different. Trend watchers and industry insiders will anoint another silver bullet strategy that promises to solve all retailers’ challenges online and off.
At Fluid, we look at things a bit differently. Although we’ve followed each year’s trend carefully, and created engaging and successful engagements as a result, we believe that a more holistic approach is in order for truly successful retail experiences. To us, winning retail isn’t so much about the destination, it’s about the journey.
This year, when clients have asked us what they should be focused on and where they should allocate their budgets, we’ve proposed six different areas to lean into.
1. Customer Experience Diagnostic
How can you create truly winning experiences without understanding who your customer is and how (and where) they’re engaging with your brand? This analytics and heuristics-driven engagement identifies your core customers, what their needs and preferences are, and how to create experiences that meet them where they are—wherever that may be.
2. Mobile Optimization
It’s almost 2017, folks. Brands that haven’t optimized their mobile shopping experiences are missing the boat. We can fix that with key optimizations that leverage the mobile form factor to elevate the brand—while removing the friction—resulting in dramatic increases in conversion.
Remember the Year of Omnichannel? Now that it has come and gone, what are you doing to connect your customers across all touch points? From endless aisles to clienteling apps to visual styling tools, we have solutions to bring the many facets of retail together as a unified whole.
4. Conversational Commerce
The Year of Conversational Commerce has a few months left before ceding its spot to the Next Big Trend, so we can’t blame anyone for not going full-throttle on this one yet. But it had best be on your roadmap by now. Conversational Commerce can mean a lot of things, from simple chatbots driven by basic decision trees, to intelligence dialogue-based solutions using cognitive computing. We’ve partnered with IBM’s Watson technologies to bring you the world’s first Expert Personal Shopper.
5. Content Strategy & Production
If you’re like us, you’ve heard “Content and Commerce” uttered so many times that it’s almost lost meaning. We take a brass tacks approach to this one by doing deep dives into existing content and identifying white spaces before creating winning strategies that weave snackable bits of brand, product and how-to content seamlessly into the shopping experiences. We’ll even create the content for you.
6. Custom Program Services
We’ve been bullish on product customization for years and have our own software, Fluid Configure, that enables mass customization for brands around the globe. But product customization is not simply a “Build it and they will come” strategy. It needs to be supported by shareable assets, social influencers and an easy-to-use accurate visualization tool. We’ll show you how.
How Can We Help?
Fluid works with retailers and brands to help identify the pain points for consumers that impact business, prioritize which to address first, and executive flawless customer experience solutions. We’d love to help you too, as you finalize your 2017 roadmap. Contact us today!
As the Director of Strategy at Fluid, Chris Haines is responsible for the strategic combination of data, brand content and user-generated content to create highly immersive digital experiences that increase engagement and conversion.