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Ara Adjennian

Omni-channel marketing: Retailers and Landlords - same approach different challenges

​The current largely poor global economy, low consumer confidence yet flourishing e-commerce, have encouraged retailers to use e-channels to grow their businesses or at least prevent falls in turnover. Global, cross-channel strategies are more popular, using tools such as the web, social networks and mobile phones to reach consumers.
Ara Adjennian (Retail Director, France) discusses the shift in retailer focus from the physical store to an omni- channel approach.

​The current largely poor global economy, low consumer confidence yet flourishing e-commerce, have encouraged retailers to use e-channels to grow their businesses or at least prevent falls in turnover.

“Physical stores versus online” is no longer a debate. Retailers want to capture interest with online and offline offers, allowing consumers to purchase goods that can be delivered to any location. Global, cross-channel strategies are more popular, using tools such as the web, social networks and mobile phones to reach consumers. In 2012, 40% of retailers’ marketing budget was spent in the digital realm. Retailers want consumers to discover a product on the web, order it on a smartphone and collect it in store. This combination of physical, e-commerce and m-commerce encourages different interactions between consumers and retailers, such as:
- Obtaining advice before making a purchase
- Finding new products
- Discovering deals
By interacting with this information online, consumers are creating profiles, which are then being used by retailers to target products relevant to each individual.

The retailers that invest in connected stores, both web and physical, face the following issues:
- IT and Marketing areas do not work simultaneously
- Lack of consistent digital and physical marketing strategies that recognise the individual consumer profile
- By opting to use existing stores as collection points, the retailer reduces consumer choice of available collection points geographically.

While retailers can adapt their marketing strategy and deploy it through various channels, landlords currently face a decline in footfall and, potentially, in total generated turnover on their assets.

Landlords now use shopping centre mobile apps, websites, social networks and loyalty cards to communicate with consumers. Profiling each consumer and offering them the right products will be the next step, although this has not been developed in large regional and best performing shopping centres yet. Landlords have challenges to overcome if they want to get the most from a strategy which uses different communication channels, such as:
- Collecting and cross-referencing information from these different channels
- Sending information out via selected channels to a consumer profile group
- Obtaining offers from retailers that fit local consumers’ needs
- Technically quantifying the “web to store or store to web” generated purchases

Retailers and landlords understand that omni-channel marketing is a must. Retailers already have the tools required to achieve this, whereas landlords have to create these tools before thinking about how to technically structure and analyse the data in order to convert it into revenue. Sharing knowledge and working together will help both landlords and retailers to move forward and in line with these developments.