January 25, 2024
Brands can unlock new value at the intersection categories to drive deeper customer engagement
Coming out of NRF, industry leaders are unanimous: Shopper engagement in 2024 will be about developing strategies at the intersection of creativity, experience, and data. During the Valtech event The Future Frontier: An immersive Journey brand leaders, creatives and technologists gathered to discuss the retail trends impacting the business today.
“In today’s world of digital acceleration, access to the best has never been easier, explained David DeCheser, Chief Creative Officer at Valtech. “It also means that what used to be the best, is now the best practice.” He added that the traditional crawl, walk, run approach has become a race to parity. “At Valtech we believe that leaders need to leap,” declared DeCheser.
With this staggering rate of digital acceleration brands that want to dominate must pivot their approach. “Taking those leaps requires a bold confidence to connect with customers in new ways and blurring the lines between categories,” said DeCheser.
He referred to examples like luxury brand Neiman Marcus who is reimagining travel and hospitality by curating unique travel experiences for their clients such as their yachting treasure hunt through Indonesia with Pelorus. Brand CAMP has been blending retail with entertainment and creating immersive family experiences within their stores, including a recent Encanto themed one.
Experiences at work
The macro trend driving today's increased consumer demand for unique experiences is clear: There is a yearning for human-to-human connections, explained DeCheser. “The isolation born from the hyper-connectedness on social media and amplified by the pandemic has created a craving to feel and experience more - and a desire for more memorable group experiences.”
A fireside chat between Lego Senior Art Director, Clinton Williams and Valtech SVP Marc Maleh, reinforced how in-store experiences have the ability to bridge the gap between online and bricks and mortar. Much of the work they have being doing together centers on how these rich in-story moments deepen overall customer engagement.
Williams reinforced the notion of getting creative: "The best reflection of the night I had was to use all the tools, the data, the AI, and the insights,” he said. “But never forget to bring the magic when creating new experiences in retail!”
"Many times the magic in retail is the human touch,” added Maleh. “Much like we discussed when working together with the notion of hand on brick".
The great enabler
Brands need to start adopting this thinking into their overall strategy to developing deeper longer-term relationships with customer.
Technology becomes the enabler to these big ideas.
This is where composable comes in. It makes your technology a competitive edge, helping brands leap in industries with a high rate of digital acceleration. Whereas traditional technology is rigid, siloed and limiting, composable is open. It gives you the power to experiment, scale and continually adapt to the changes in technology.
Gartner predicts that "by 2023, organizations that have adopted a composable commerce approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation." This only reinforces the depth of composable technology and how it will help power many of the bold ideas that creatives are bringing to life to create deeper connections with customers.
“Composable technology is uniquely positioned to help brands make this leap,” said Casper Rasmussen, SVP Technology at Valtech. “Because it is open to changing fast, to innovation and emerging trends; and it unifies customer intelligence, the customer experience and within organizations cross-functional collaboration.