Russell Goldsmith
Russell Goldsmith 25 May 2022

Podcast – Interview with Guest Panel on Omnichannel and the New Consumer

The third episode in our ‘Marketing Futures’ series of the csuite podcast, produced in partnership with SAP. Guests from Nestle Nespresso, Econsultancy, Bata India and SAP get to the heart of today’s retail trends and the shopping experiences of the future.

Host Graham Barrett was joined online by Jim Clark, Commercial Research Director at Econsultancy, Michela Cocco, Global Customer Experience and Innovation Manager, Nestlé Nespresso and Anand Narang, VP Marketing and Customer Experience, Bata India and Sunny Neely, Global Solution Director, Consumer Products at SAP.

Two reports that Econsultancy has produced for SAP, were the basis of the discussion, The Retail Trends Playbook and Retail Experiences of the Future.

Econsultancy’s Jim Clarke explained that ‘The Future of Retail’ report was based on nine industry thought leaders, Anand was one and other brand speakers included the likes of Asda, Alibaba, Boots, Bata and Currys.

Sunny added that he loved the reports, and the key theme that stuck out for him was around consumer data being the foundation of everything in terms of increased consumer engagement.

He said: “the MarTech landscape is wildly varied and cluttered with 8,000 different solutions out there. I think brand managers are going to need a simple solution for solving those two different deficit problems.”

Anand explained that Bata India has transitioned from a single channel to multichannel to omnichannel, and with them being a footwear and accessory retailer across 70 markets, they started selling on Flipkart and Amazon.

Michela said: “the first thing you need to understand is what is the ideal experience that you want to deliver to your customers, regardless of the channel based on your brand, based on your promise. So, once you identify that you have already a big foundation and a big starting point.”

She added that their boutiques are a key touchpoint as there is a human experience that you can’t find on other channels and said, “you need to guarantee consistency because when customers see inconsistency, then they don't believe in the brand anymore.”

Jim explained that an innovative example from the report includes Freshippo, established in China, where 60% of sales are online but in-store is magnificently digital, he said: “in the fresh seafood section, if a customer was buying lobsters, they can scan the barcode and the app provides you with a rundown of where it was sourced, a digital certificate that it was organically farmed, how to cook it, which wine to drink with it or if it you want to have it cooked in the in-store restaurant.”

Sunny added that at SAP, they’ve been working with Adidas, and their amazing collection of fitness apps called Runtastic for running and training. With around 182 million people signed up, the community enables 200 different data points to be pulled together to deliver a personalised message to these consumers.

Anand said they saw that the penetration of multi-channel usage was less among certain key customer segments, but described them in three cohorts:

1. Digital Natives

Younger target audiences typically 20–25-year-olds. They are familiar with online shopping; they use social media extensively and discover trends over Instagram or Snapchat.

2. Digital Adopters

They have limited online experience, people in their 40s or 50s and they would need some recommendations. They have all the digital instruments to shop online, but handholding is required.

3. Digital Novices

These customers typically don't have a credit card, relies more on the cash economy and would prefer to speak to a store manager before deciding.

Michela said they had to understand who their customers were, by using archetypes they were able to determine what these people are driven by, their values, and what they care about, and once they did, it had to be translated into Nespresso.

She added: “we personalise our communication based on coffee preferences, based on their consumption occasions, based on the fact that if they like black coffee or milk coffee. And these I can tell you can change drastically within the different markets that we have. Coffee habits are very different.”

Jim explained that the Metaverse is a perfect example of a virtual world that has opened up people and shoppers, particularly in the West.

He said: “the role of the store will remain important. But obviously, it's going to be more embedded into the customer journey to stay relevant”

“An example in the report was Nike's Rise concept stores in Asia. It's like a lifestyle hub. You can go in, you can socialise, get your shoes fixed. You can enlist in community events. You can see your running stats on the board, which is a sign of note people that are in store that are logged into the running app.”

“I think that's a great example of the future and how shopping habits, or at least an indication of how shopping habits will continue to evolve.”

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