Reimagine 2011 Retail Predictions

My friends at Omnicom’s Interbrand recently published 2011 Retail Predictions. Their always-reliable crystal ball foretells:
• Consumers’ digital domination
• More targeted “deals” driven by Groupon-like models 
• Brick and mortar reinvents itself
These predictions inspired this musing on creative and practical implications for clients.
Consumers’ digital domination
At TPN, we know that digital integration is now price of retail admission. But tablets and digital signage are just novelties if they’re not bringing your shoppers more value. Reimagine these technologies to offer your shoppers more value.  
For instance, why do I have to hike to the hammers in Home Depot, then back to stand in a front-of-store line to checkout? That’s SOOO 2010. Give those great orange-aproned employees a card-swiper and let them check me out on the spot!
The art of the deal
We counsel our TPN clients that the vast majority of American consumers are living the “New Frugality.” They’re spending, but cautiously, and they’re demanding more value.  And this is something that is not likely to change anytime soon.
But value doesn’t have to mean only discounts. Maybe it’s access to a Flash Event open only to your best customers, or localizing your already-scheduled sales with Groupons. The key is consistently presenting value in new and engaging ways. That’s what will help you drive more sales in 2011.
Brick and mortar transcends itself
I believe that customer expectations for positive retail experience will continue to rise. Let’s face it, our shopping standards have now largely been set by online retailing . There, we get instant, personalized information targeted to our tastes and even previous buying habits.
With consumer spending starting to rebound, albeit slowly, smart retailers will focus on customer service in a much more heightened way. The will invest in ROI improvements like more specialized service, shortened purchase paths, more bundled offers and simply more inviting, customer-centric environments.
Final thought
The coming year will produce abundant opportunity for imaginative retailers. I’m excited about the prospects and truly thrilled to be in shopper marketing at such a transformational time. Happy New Year!