Watch the next episode of our Exceedra Byte “Retail Execution Basics” mini-series which explores the concept of Retail Execution in the metaverse and how companies can leverage this new reality and execute a holistic strategy at all levels of the customer journey.
In recent times we have been swarmed under tons and tons of new technologies that are forcing us to think differently about the way we interact with consumers. Virtual reality, augmented reality, crypto currencies, NFTs, virtual goods… all of them are shaping the new vehicles for companies to put products available for customers. This is the new reality, a “metaverse” in which the buying and selling experience looks completely different to what it used to be.
The idea behind the metaverse is to have a “persistent” world that evolves and changes regardless of people being logged on, just like the real world does, but with the ability to interact with it in real time, not like the existing internet in which people are asynchronously pulling the information they need from a server.
But this “new” reality is not new – digital channels of interaction with customers have existed pretty much since the first online purchase could be made, which can be traced to the very origins of the internet. What is happening is that changes in the digital landscape of things are occurring at a very accelerated pace, while companies are not evolving at the same speed. And this is particularly true in the realm of Retail Execution: While companies are adopting digital channels, they are mostly conceived with the same intentions and strategies as the brick-and-mortar ones without a great focus on what stands out in the digital world: the customer experience.
Think about the last time you bought something on Amazon: the system was very prompt to remember your previous purchases, to suggest you other purchases that will go very well with what you are searching for and ultimately, to help your buying to be the best experience possible and to buy more.
For some brands and companies, this experience is simply not there as they are still very reliant on the retailer to do this job, losing an opportunity to reach out the consumer directly.
Now, don’t get us wrong: Brick and Mortar are not going anywhere. In fact, before COVID it was not uncommon to find people doing online research about certain products only to go to a physical outlet to acquire them. During COVID times it became increasingly common to have goods delivered, but latest numbers have settled favoring curbside pickup and in-store pickup since the immediacy of this simply can’t be beaten. All this makes us think that companies need to have a holistic strategy at all levels.
On one hand, supplying the consumer with information and availability through multiple digital outlets (think Amazon, Walmart, Linio, AliExpress – you name it), accompanied by strong presence on social media, specifically targeted to the audience of the product (here you can think about placing ads and maintaining posts on TikTok for the younger consumers, while the more traditional ones resort to Facebook or Instagram). And on the other hand, ensuring that the product is physically available at the stores nearby the demographic, keeping the same identification elements of the online campaigns (logos, colors, etc.)
Enabling this holistic strategy comes with a “good” sort of problem, which is “what to do with all the data?” As a company you have to think always that the information availability is a cycle, in which the data acquired needs to feed the next iteration. And now you have to consider that you must feed multiple channels instead of one, in turn, you will have multiple sources of information feeding your systems.
Here is where Exceedra can help you greatly, by orchestrating your data flows, and making the data available in every step of the way through multiple solutions. Remember that Exceedra is not just Retail Execution or Trade Promotion Management. We have a plethora of solutions that cover the whole lifecycle, from the warehouse to the consumer. And you, are you armed with the right tools to enter the Metaverse?
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