5 Trends to Watch at #CRMC2018
CRMC is not just any conference- it’s an experience. One thing we love about CRMC is the way they integrate themes into the conference journey and set the example by treating attendees to impactful experiences that extend our loyalty to the CRMC brand. For 2018, the CRMC roster of speakers will be complemented by fun events and entertainment built around the concept of “Intelligent Collaboration”.
These are our five trends to watch for at CRMC 2018 in Chicago, June 6-8.
Trend #1: Mobile shopping gets a life of its own.
In the past year, several new platforms have been introduced to enhance the customer experience on mobile, whether in-store or shopping from home. Urban Outfitters has an advanced app that notifies customers of sales and extra promotions when they are near a store, and the Starbucks app has a new order pickup feature that has been wildly popular, reducing lines in stores and building on the brand’s already legendary customer loyalty. This year at CRMC, Tillys execs will share how they re-launched their all-new mobile experience with an influencer-hosted in-store scavenger hunt campaign. The campaign drove an 80% voucher redemption rate, the highest ever for this retailer, and Tillys’ re-imagining of mobile as in-store gamification has continued to drive sales growth.
Trend #2: Artificial Intelligence goes all the way.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a trend in retail (and pretty much every other major industry) for a couple of years now, but in 2018 it has taken the biggest leap yet. AI has penetrated many facets of both online and brick and mortar retail. One challenge for brands in 2018 is keeping the “relationship” in Customer Relationship Management while integrating AI. At CRMC 2018, we’ll hear how the CRM leaders at Wayfair are combining reinforcement learning with human intuition to create a personalized experience using AI. Beauty brand Glossier is harnessing AI to gather and analyze their data from social media, brick-and-mortar stores, and email to create a 360-degree view of their customer behavior. AI permeates all aspects of CRM like never before, so this year we can expect to hear about it not only in focused sessions but as a recurring theme throughout the CRMC conference.
Trend #3: Real-Time Personalization in online shopping.
If you’ve ever used the Netflix platform to pick a movie, you’re familiar with an AI interface that changes recommendations based upon your use of the product. This concept is now being extended into retail with a variety of applications that go way beyond sort order for results. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is laser-focused on their personal relationships with customers. Their new Memory Makeover creates a personalized customer experience using explicit preferences for each individual shopper. But it goes beyond online shopping to fully integrate with marketing, creating personalized videos, emails, advertising, mobile and search solutions that constantly adapt to changing customer behavior. Neiman Marcus execs will present their results at CRMC 2018 in what is sure to be a highly anticipated session.
Trend#4: Augmented Reality penetrates retail.
Augmented Reality (AR) exploded into the consumer consciousness when Pokémon GO launched in the summer of 2016. At the time, people were all abuzz with visions of how this technology, which layers visuals atop real environments, could be used in retail. It’s been fairly slow to market, but we now have some impressive examples of AI in the retail space. At CRMC 2018 we’ll hear from Home Improvement chain Lowe’s, which has been at the forefront of AR in retail. They’ve launched an app called Measured that allows smartphone users to measure the size or distance of anything, anywhere within the camera’s view. Lowe’s also created a new online furniture store called Envisioned by The Mine, which uses AR in the app to enable people to view 3D simulations of furniture pieces within their homes before buying.
Trend#5: Loyalty programs bridge the gap between online and physical spaces.
Ever since the 1990s, it’s been all about online shopping killing brick and mortar stores. Since people crave authentic experiences, the in-person shopping experience is here to stay and is best when combined with e-commerce. Ensuring that loyalty programs reach customers at every touchpoint is key. CRM leaders from Petco, Ulta and Walgreens will share how they unite the online and in-store customer experience using loyalty programs that reward and incentivize activity at each point in the customer journey. We’ll also hear from top researchers about the emotional and behavioral components that drive customer loyalty. These thought-provoking sessions will enable retailers to analyze their own loyalty and CRM programs, to apply the latest research and discover new ways to give customers what they really want.
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