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Russell Goldsmith
Russell Goldsmith 4 October 2022

Podcast - Emarsys unPredictions Report 2022 - Retail Marketing Priorities

This episode of the c-suite podcast was recorded in partnership with Emarsys, an SAP company, where the focus was on the Emarsys unPredictions 2022 research, which shows almost half of American marketers say their main priority for 2022 is to invest time into getting to know their customers better.

This episode of the c-suite podcast was recorded in partnership with Emarsys, an SAP company, where the focus was on the Emarsys unPredictions 2022 research, which shows almost half of American marketers say their main priority for 2022 is to invest time into getting to know their customers better.

Host Graham Barrett was joined online by Gregg Brockway, CEO of Chairish, Vab Dwivedi, VP Digital Products at Saatva, and Meghann York, Global Head of Product Marketing Solutions at Emarsys.

Emarsys is a customer engagement platform striving to empower marketers to reach their customers on every channel. They provide highly personalised offers and information to help marketers meet metrics that will eventually lead to customer loyalty.

Megan starting by pointing out they Emarsys released the research at the beginning of the year after getting feedback from their customers and customers’ customers, to find out what the priorities for the year ahead should look like.

Vab explained that Saatva, established almost 12 years ago, is the first direct to consumer mattress company. They see themselves as innovators in the space, and when it comes to taking a product traditionally found in a physical store and bringing that same quality experience digitally, their goal is to make their customers experience as seamless as possible across the channels.

It’s hardly a secret that with the ever-changing digital landscape, retailers and marketers are facing a constant battle to stay relevant to their customers.

Gregg said that Chairish is a leading online furniture emporium, and one of their big macro trends is the offline to online e-commerce migration, that’s been supported by the whirlwind over the last two years of the pandemic and the supply chain challenges.

He explained that there is a growing interest in sustainability, especially with young shoppers, and Chairish plays an important part in supporting recommerce, as 85% of what they do is help home furnishings and online goods find a second life.

AI

Vab said that their customer journey is quite long as customers usually want to feel their products, and so from a technology perspective they’re trying to understand customers intentions and digitally replicate the in-store experience. Key tactics they’re using are using augmented reality on their products to show customers how it could fit into their space and fit the aesthetic.

He explained that this is something they’re investing a lot of money into because they feel like it can differentiate them in the marketplace, whilst making customers feel even more comfortable with their purchase.

Gregg said they’re also trying to use technology to make it easier for customers to feel confident that they’re making the right purchase, and AI has proven powerful within the home furnishings industry. He thinks having accurate, extensive descriptions of the object can also be helpful, but that there is a variety of unsolved problems when talking about a digital shopping experience in the home furnishings market.

Megan recalled that when they first introduced AI, the first conversation was centred around whether the machines were going to take over their jobs as marketers, and there was a lot of trepidation there. Although they now know that marketing teams are resource restrained and are starting to see marketers embrace AI as an extension of their teams.

She said that with both Gregg and Vab’s businesses involving white-glove service, it can be difficult to translate those one-to-one human experiences into the digital world, but AI can help do that.

She explained that what they can do is digitally ask customers what they’re interested in, what their decorating style is like, how many hours of sleep do they get? And when they learn about these things, they can easily recommend products to customers in an app or over email, which creates an important consultative experience.

Data Insights

Megan noted that with every click a customer makes on a website they are creating a piece of data about themselves and it’s nearly impossible for a human to go in and digest all that data, pull insights from it, and understand what can be learnt from it.

Vab said that they have an abundance of data, and their goal is to turn it into an abundance of insights, and they can do that if they leverage the power of the machine through learning to better distil the data across the different points of the customer journey.

He explained that AI plays a critical part in not only understanding the customer but serving up more relevant digital experiences as well.

Gregg said that the promise of AI is to help provide answers more efficiently and if they can answer important questions their customers have while help their team, the business is better off overall.

Vab said that the first-party data they’re collecting helps them build connections with customers, not just by positioning products or services in front of them, but also by talking to them about sleep, health, and wellness. They use an extensive library of content that they share with their customers about bettering their sleep.

Megan explained that customer expectations have changed, with consumers expecting a value exchange with the brands, where before they may have been happy to give up their information, they now want something back that’s valuable to them, whether that’s an article recommendation or personalised product recommendation.

Gregg added that with consumer expectations going up, to be a delightful brand you have to make customers feel like they’re getting more than they’re putting into, when using you as a shopping destination, and technology plays an important role in that.

He said that the home is no longer just a place to eat and sleep, it has to do all sorts of other things, and sustainability is one of the underlying tailwinds that’s supporting them as a business and hopefully that will help move the world in a positive direction.

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