This Week in Retail Marketing Innovation - Nov. 6th 2017
A Sea of Change in the Pharmacy/Drugstore Industry
It seems the last week had a big focus on the pharmacy and drugstore sector. Walgreens decided to close 600 Rite Aid stores as part of the merger while also hiring 300 tech jobs in Chicago. Amazon made big moves by acquiring wholesale pharmacy distribution licenses in a variety of states, fueling rumors that it may make a similar acquisition to Whole Foods to get local retail access to consumers. Meanwhile CVS is allegedly in talks to acquire Aetna, signaling that they may be making bigger investments into their MinuteClinics and integrated health services. The merger would make CVS second only to Walmart with revenues of $240b.
With spending in the beauty category outperforming the retail industry overall, many are making increased investment in the category. Target has announced a major update to 75 stores to become the “Sephora of drugstores.” With high margins and spending frequency, beauty is a smart category to use as tent pole of retail marketing.
Our friends at Insider Trends put together a nice strategic analysis of Bobbi Brown including the “importance of physical interaction and the tactile retail experience. There’s no better way to prove the quality of your product than by tapping into customer senses – from sight to touch. Shopping in physical stores also gives retailers the chance to personalise the experience to the individual and their needs.” We couldn’t agree more and have been incorporating those strategies in the Sephora Virtual TryOn and other innovative interactive retail displays in the beauty category.
The Holidays Are Coming Into Focus
With the holidays just around the corner, the inevitable coverage sensationalizing the battle between online and physical retail is inevitable. In a preemptive move, Amazon has begun it’s 50 days of deals to help train consumers to think online first before the Black Friday hype begins. Ex-Head of Target’s Store of the Future Chris Walton predicted that this strategy will only become more pronounced over time.
Hot Technology and the Internet of Eyes (IoEyes)
All eyes are focused on camera-based technologies to streamline the checkout process so you can just walk out. Skip (in stealth mode), Standard.ai and Amazon Go are showing some of the capabilities of the Internet of Eyes, which is projected to grow to have 5x as many cameras and people in the next 5 years.
The Internet of Eyes is a combination of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). Fung Global has a comprehensive post about how each of them is affecting the future of the in-store retail experience.
Amazon is using it to their advantage to be able to scan any product with their app and use visual recognition to pull it up to order. That makes every storefront an Amazon storefront. And with Amazon capturing half of all eCommerce, that should scare retailers.
Speaking of transformative tech changes, is Amazon about to make a big bet on cryptocurrencies? Will they begin accepting them as payments?
Why is no one but Amazon is excelling at personalization when it leads to a 7.6% increase in revenue? We at PERCH think the easiest and most effective experience personalization is tailoring the message to what the products the customers are touching. The experiences are compelling.
Fashion is Enrolling in the Subscription Model
On the heels of Rent the Runway launching a lower tier subscription model at $89 per month, Ann Taylor has announced a new subscription rental service powered by the parent company that launched the successful plus-sized subscription service Gwynnie Bee. Will the subscription model reinvigorate Ann Taylor’s struggling business?
Meanwhile, with the launch of their private label offerings, experts debate what type of company StitchFix is and will be. And will digital natives hit roadblocks to scale that slow growth and undermine their valuations and investment options?
There you have it. Another fascinating week in retail. Should we be covering your big news? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what transformations you see happening in the retail marketing sector.