Review of JWT Canada’s Retail Slam

JWT LogoOn Wednesday, February 10th, JWT hosted JWT Canada’s Retail Slam: Showcasing the Major 2011 Trends Shaping Retail. Ann Mack, Director of Trendspotting at JWT outlined three overarching trends as well as five specific components influencing the retail business. The three overarching trends for retail are:

1) Retail as a third space

Competitive prices, convenience, and speed are a few of the reasons why we shop online.  Mack suggests that the retail space must be experience-oriented. The Apple Store is an example of this third space. People take funny pictures, hang out on Twitter, read blogs and really Apple products through the ringer before buying; why not! Ikea is another example where customers sit, sleep and drool all over the furniture before seeing if it is right for their home…that and their breakfast is pretty cheap!

David Peres, Chief Marketing Officer, Bee Media discussed the electronic profiling; essentially behaviour marketing on steroids. From the shopping patterns in individual stores to patterns of visiting stores throughout a mall, retailers have access to highly relevant and actionable data.

2) Urgency economy

Social buying is now mainstream. If you mention Groupon, people usually know exactly what you’re talking about and what they think about it.  People want to save money and the gaming components such as time running out suggests urgency.

Adding gaming components to the online experience isn’t new.  There are gaming components in infomercials and on home shopping networks.

Ben De Castro, Director of Marketing, TorStar Digital/WagJag highlighted crafting successful deals. The influencing factors vary. For a low priced deal such as Hero Burger’s deal which resulted in 15,000+ units sold are much different relative to a deal from Hakim Optical which sold a deal selling at the $100 mark. Even with a high price range, WagJag managed to pass 1000 unit mark in sales.

3) Worlds Colliding

Everything is online. How we learn, how we communicate and how we do business. Mack discussed the extent of augment reality in terms of levels of engagement offline to online and ultimately leading to revenue.

Mark Campbell, Account Director, VMG Cinematics showcased the value of using YouTube strategically for business. From using video for customer support to branded videos, there are avenues that your business can take to achieve specific marketing objectives.

Social media is influencing how consumers interact and engage with their favourite retail brands. The challenge for small to medium businesses is what strategy is worth investing in to receive the highest ROI.