Keys to a Customer Centric Approach that Retains Retail Customers

Keys to a Customer Centric Approach that Retains Retail Customers

Whether customers need entertainment, medical help or professional growth, companies exist to help customers meet these needs and desires. In retail, where the competition is fierce and the industry keeps changing, this truth remains clear: Companies that thrive long-term are the ones who take a customer-centric approach in everything they do. Here’s how to implement it in your company, too.

Discover What Customers Actually Need

About a decade ago, fashion brand Kate Spade New York made a promise to inspire its customers to lead a more interesting life. As then CMO Mary Beech said at a Columbia Business School conference, the brand identified its #1 customer to be a culturally curious woman, who “lives life to the fullest… takes chances and… stands out from the crowd.”

This customer profile was front and center for all departments, from design to social media and customer service. It even led to interactive store experiences, such as signs that hid below handbags to surprise customers when they picked them up.

You can watch Beech’s full presentation here:

But this kind of customer profile isn’t accidental or made up from thin air. To discover what customers need, you need to talk to them:

=> Run surveys.
=> Invite them to roundtables or one on one calls with your team.
=> Talk regularly with your customer service and in-store employees to get direct customer feedback.

In addition, pay attention to what they share online:

=> Mine your social media and blog comments.
=> Use social listening tools.
=> Analyze product reviews on your site and on marketplaces like Amazon.

To take it to the next level, analyze what they’re saying about your competitors, too. Discover what they love about competitors, and what gaps are left to fill.

Of course, back all that with browsing and shopping data. Run product and promotional tests. See which changes speak to customers most, and adjust accordingly.

Choose a CRM that Provides a Universal Customer View

When choosing a CRM, choose one that provides a universal, omnichannel customer view, so you can start stepping away from fragmented experiences that exhaust and frustrate customers. Verify your CRM gives you:

=> Browsing history on all channels.
=> Shopping history on all channels.
=> Customer service history on all channels.
=> Loyalty program data.
=> Other engagement information, like how many channels they use to follow or engage with your brand (Do customers who follow you in three or more channels have different needs? Greater loyalty?).

In addition, it’s important to share and analyze data across silos. Customers expect to feel like they’re talking to the same “person” whether they contact you on Instagram, chat or in-store, and whether they reach out for sales or or service help. The only way you can authentically provide that feeling is by creating in-company collaborations.

Provide Personal Experiences with Clienteling

The long term relationships brands build with customers through clienteling are especially strong, because they go beyond personalized experiences for segments. Clienteling creates personal, one on one relationships between a sales associate and a specific customer – although it’s especially powerful and effective when it’s empowered by technology that provides the universal customer view we just covered.
In this case, sales associates get access to customers’ preferences, wish lists and purchase history. They get to know their tastes and desires. Therefore, it’s easier for sales associates to provide product recommendations, including upsells and cross-sells, and early access to new items.

Sales associates can go the extra mile by providing gift cards for customers’ loved ones or facilitating product maintenance sessions, for example. With the help of a mobile POS, they can help customers cut the line when it’s time to make a payment, as purchases can be finalized anywhere in the store.

Sales associates can also use their mobile POS to gain access to the unified customer data, and add their own, as they document every interaction. Put together, the brand gets a rich database that enables it to reach out and engage with the customer long after she left the store, so she can feel cared for no matter which channel she prefers to use next.

Create Emotional Connections

Brain studies show that we often make purchase decisions based on emotions first, then rationalize these decisions afterwards, reports Psychology Today. Therefore, the deeper emotional connections you can create with customers, the likelier they are to buy and keep coming back.

Consider why customers are buying, or how buying from you or engaging with your brand makes them feel.

Emotional Needs

Let’s take fashion, for example. Buying clothes can be fun, but maybe not as much if all the representations you see are of beauty models you might never achieve. But when you buy from a brand like Aerie, which continuously showcases models of different body types, races and physical abilities, you might feel valued and beautiful on a whole other level.

Values and Purpose

Alternatively, you might buy from this brand because it represents and advocates for your values, whether it’s diversity or sustainability. You might choose this brand over another because you prefer to give your money to a brand that has more financial power than you do to drive the change you want to see in the world.

Opportunities for Trust Building

Just as importantly, you’re likely to stay with a brand that takes responsibility, shows empathy and helps you find resolution when things go wrong.

When Things Go Wrong

Customer centricity is a fun topic when we’re planning marketing strategies, checking out innovative technology options, and brainstorming ways to pamper our most loyal customers. It’s easy to think that if we do all these things, it’ll be all rainbows and unicorns from now on.

And in a way, we’re not completely wrong. When companies take one more extra step toward customer centricity, customers are likelier to forgive their mistakes and keep buying.

That extra step is empathy – especially when things go wrong.

According to CEB, most customers who reach out for support already tried to resolve things themselves, which means they already feel frustrated. Then, we’ve all experienced contact centers that require us to jump through hoops, contact multiple touch points, explain our issue over and over again… only to get blamed for doing things wrong ourselves, or otherwise getting treated poorly.

No wonder that CEB reports that “customer service interactions are actually 4x more likely to lead to disloyalty than loyalty.”

It’s critical to invest in tools and training that facilitate more empathetic, customer-centric service.

The Secret Nobody Tells You About Customer Centricity: It Actually Shouldn’t Be Your First Priority

In fact, it’s very challenging to create customer centricity if it’s your number one priority, because it isn’t created in a vacuum. It’s created by people – your employees.
The challenge is, “a third of employees aren’t truly engaged on the job” and it “cost[s] companies between $450 and $550 billion a year,” reports HR Dive. When employees aren’t engaged, they often do the minimum. When they don’t feel appreciated, they often won’t go out of their way to think outside the box and innovate. When they feel stuck at a job that mistreats them, they might come off frustrated and annoyed in customer interactions.

In one company, management was so oblivious to the employee experience, that it simultaneously asked them to take actions and threatened to fire them if they took said actions. No matter what the company did to motivate its employees, or what bonuses it “threw” at them, product development remained slow and the company kept losing money.

To prevent this from happening in your company, treat your employees as your number one customer sector. Discover what they actually need, get a universal view of their experience, personalize their journeys in your company, create emotional connections, and be there for them when things go wrong.

When you do that, it’ll be much easier for them to help you successfully implement these strategies with your prospects and paying customers.

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mPOS – Why It’s a Must in 2022

mPOS – Why It’s a Must in 2022

Traditional retail POS solutions have been monumental in helping companies manage in-store transactions, but as the years pass, retailers that aim to stay relevant, or even lead the in-store customer experience in their industry, realize they need more.

They need a POS they can access anywhere in the store, one that provides access to omnichannel customer data, and allows for personalization opportunities that customers want to experience time and again.

Enter mPOS systems.

Instead of long lines and purchase abandonment…

At best, long lines are a cause for frustration. At worst, they might cause customers to abandon their purchase altogether, missing out on the opportunity to enjoy this product they actually want to buy while your company misses out on the opportunity to build a relationship with a happy customer.

… Create an Efficient, Personalized Experience

When sales associates have mPOS systems, they’re able to charge customers from anywhere in the store, reducing lines and frustration. This frees sales associates from being stuck at a single terminal, letting them provide a more customer-centric experience with an easy, speedy check-out.

They can also take the satisfied customer experience to a whole other level. With a mobile POS application, your team can have on the go access to customer data, including the customer’s past purchases, cart abandonments and browsing history. This single source of information around every customer enables sales associates to make personalized recommendations on the spot – which is a good thing, because 80% of US adults want retailers to personalize their experiences, reports McKinsey & Company.


of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences.

A mobile POS gives you all the inventory control, payment processing, customer relationship management, and other powerful features of an enterprise POS system – with the flexibility you need to provide a fresh and personalized experience for your customers.

Give Loyal Customers Extra Love

Mobile POS makes it simple to reward loyal customers by quickly calculating discounts, promotions, price overrides, loyalty programs, gift cards, tax exemptions and more. Since mPOS software gives your team access to customer data at their fingertips, your sales associates can easily see whether the customer has joined the company’s loyalty program, is celebrating a decade of purchases, or just spent more than usual in the past month or quarter. Then, the sales associate can use the software to offer promotions that are tailored to this customer’s specific needs.

Effortlessly Go the Extra Mile in Helping Customers Find Their Desired Products

Sometimes a customer really wants to buy an item, but that item is out of stock pretty much everywhere. But a good sales associate never forgets her top customers. If the sales associate is at the store, serving other customers or organizing merchandise, and notices the item has reappeared – or sees another product she knows her customer will love – she can log into her mPOS software, and drop the customer an email right there and then.

Even better, the mPOS software can automatically notify the sales associate when the product is available again somewhere in the company.

Either way, there’s no more waiting for “later,” when she can get to a computer, and risking forgetfulness or the product going out of stock again.

Turn Returned Products into a Retention Opportunity

“96% would shop again with a retailer based on a good returns experience,” reports Narvar. Mobile POS makes the return process simple by giving sales associates a customer’s purchase history right at their fingertips, so there’s no need for them to wait in line or fish through the recycling bin for the receipt.


would shop again with a retailer based on a good returns experience.

Source: Narvar

A mobile POS can give your team incredible control over returns (no matter which of your locations the customer purchased from) with features like Buy Online Pick-Up In-Store, Buy Online Return In-Store, Buy Online Ship from Store/Warehouse, and Endless Aisle.

Mobile retail POS solutions that give you deep access to data let you leverage this returned purchase as a retention opportunity. Maybe you can offer store credit or a discount, or access to an exclusive event, and maybe you just accept the return with a smile and remind your customer how valuable you know she’s been to the business for years, and how much it matters to you that she’s satisfied with every item she keeps.

Let Your Customers Pay the Way They Want To

With mPOS systems, you don’t have to worry about updating your system when a new form of payment arrives on the scene. Mobile POS software can easily integrate with new payment providers, while you can expand payment methods on mPOS devices at the touch of a button.

That lets you easily accept credit cards, configure new card readers, or offer contactless payment, which is a growing retail trend. According to Payments, Cards & Mobile, over 40% were already using contactless payments before the pandemic, and now over 75% use it multiple times a week.

Seamlessly Tap into Popup Opportunities

Planning on pop up stores at special locations? Looking to sponsor conferences or festivals, and do some product sales along the way? Worried about commerce shutting down in another lockdown, and wanting to verify you can move outdoors for a little while?

mPOS systems let you do that without changing much about your employees’ workflow, or needing to train them on new technology or ways of working, like you might have to do with traditional retail POS solutions. Being able to just pick up where you left off in the store, at least in one aspect of your operations, simplifies the process and takes some of the concerns off your team’s shoulders.

Scale to Your Bottom Line’s Content

Many mPOS software products let you integrate with other software products, add more digital options, activate more points of sale with a click of a button when you expand the number of sales associates, and provide a personalized experience that seamlessly continues any interaction customers have had with your company on any channel.
Teamwork POS can be installed on any iOS device easily through the app store, and allows you to train new employees in a fraction of the time by using common gestures and a sleek, easy-to-learn interface.

With a mobile POS, you’ll find it’s a surprisingly efficient way to delight your customers while simplifying your employees’ everyday work experience, making scaling your company through retention and advocacy easier as well.

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5 Keys for a Successful Omnichannel Strategy

5 Keys for a Successful Omnichannel Strategy

Omnichannel retail strategies are now a must for retail businesses.

After the COVID19 pandemic, customers went from offline to online, like never before in the history of online shopping. Expecting no less than consistent experiences through all channels.

So no wonder why in 2020, the year of the worldwide lockdown, the top priority for 59% of American retailers was to integrate Omnichannel capabilities into their POS Software, according to Finances Online statistics.

Omnichannel customer experience is something customers want brands to provide, and smart retailers know it. In this article we are going to show you not only why omnichannel strategy is important for your retail business, but why it is important to have one that is at least good.

We will help you understand the difference between omnichannel and multichannel, what makes a good omnichannel strategy, we will touch upon five examples of successful omnichannel strategies, and finally, we will give you 5 keys for a successful omnichannel strategy for your retail business.

Some Benefits of an Omnichannel Strategy

There are several benefits of implementing an omnichannel strategy for your retail business.

First, it can help you better understand your customers’ needs and desires. By tracking interactions and behaviors across all channels, you can identify trends and patterns that would otherwise be missed.

Second, an omnichannel approach can improve customer loyalty. When customers are able to interact with your brand on their own terms, they are more likely to develop a strong connection and be more likely to return in the future.

Third, it can help you make more sales, as customers are looking to buy the products they want, when they want them, and form the channel they prefer.

Finally, an omnichannel strategy can help businesses improve customer service. By providing a seamless experience across all sales channels, businesses can ensure that customers are satisfied, not only with their shopping experience but with what happens next.

A well-implemented omnichannel strategy will allow you to provide a great customer experience, gain more happy returning customers and increase your sales.

Omnichannel vs Multichannel

Omnichannel and multichannel are two different terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings.

Omnichannel means that your channels work together for the benefit of your customers, and therefore for your retail business.

Most brands have a multi-channel presence, with various touch points and sales channels. They are available through social media, on their website, and have increased traffic on mobile devices as well, but if their channels receive information that is disconnected from each other, that is, if they do not work together, then they are not omnichannel.

Omnichannel Strategy in Retail

How does a good omnichannel strategy look in retail?

As a response to changes in buying patterns and customer expectations retailers had to implement omnichannel strategies.

For your retail business, omnichannel means being there for your customers through all the different channels they expect to purchase from, from digital channels to physical stores.

This means being present at all times and through any channel, in order to meet customers needs and allow them to buy the products you sell when they want them, and from their preferred channel.

A customer can be entering your website from a mobile device, a desktop computer, or both at the same time, while calling your business on the phone and writing through Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or other social media channel.

Whether they send you an email, or respond to one that your company sends them, whether they contact you through Facebook, Whatsapp or your e-commerce platform, from any of the online channels, or from a cash register in a physical store , the customer will expect a quick and satisfactory response.

Customers are everywhere, smart retailers are doing something about it!

An important study by Harvard Business Review revealed in 2017 that 73% of consumers use multiple channels during their shopping journey. After the pandemic, we can all agree that number has surely increased.

Omnichannel customers spend more, according to the same study by HBR, which says omnichannel customers “spent an average of 4% more in store and 10% more online than single-channel customers.”

So smart retailers know that “Omnichannel Customer Experience matters more today than ever”, as the the global omnichannel retail commerce platform market is expected to grow from 2.99 billion it had in 2017, to $11.1 billion by 2023, according to Market Research Future.

Omnichannel is the means to provide a great customer experience, which according to Forbes 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for, whereas according to PWC 32% of customers “will walk away from a brand they love, after a single bad experience.”

What makes a good omnichannel strategy?

If an omnichannel strategy refers to a business method that employs multiple sales channels to reach customers in an integrated and seamless way, then a good omnichannel strategy will give your business the possibility to integrate marketing, sales and customer service to provide a great Customer Experience.

A good omnichannel strategy combines elements of sales strategy, digital marketing and customer service, with the aim of giving customers a fully integrated experience, regardless the channel they use.

In this way, a good omnichannel strategy seeks to improve the customer experience, and ultimately achieve more sales by creating a sustainable ecosystem for the brand.

A good omnichannel strategy goes far beyond merely having a robust online presence, a strong digital marketing, great customer service and good online shopping experience, and yet it encompasses all of these areas.

A good omnichannel strategy combines great instore experiences with great user experience at both, the online store and the multiple channels in the customer journey map, providing a brand experience.

5 Omnichannel Strategy Examples



Disney’s omnichannel experience is one of the most remarkable out there. It starts from the moment you plan your trip, immersing in a wonderful experience. All channels communicate with each other and work seamlessly together.

The magic band experience is unique, as it gives you one-touch access to Disney theme parks, unlocking your hotel room door, connecting to Disney Photo Pass photos, and charging purchased food and merchandise to your hotel bill.

This bracelet takes the customer experience to a very high standard, along with internet of things (IoT), providing information to the different systems, so that the customer lives an unforgettable and truly wonderful experience.


Apple was among the first brands to take the omnichannel experience to the next level, offering devices that seamlessly communicate with each other through iCloud accounts.

In the same way, customers exchange messages with contacts through different devices from the same account, regardless of the device, whether it is the iPad or the iPhone or a Macbook. All information is available through the omnichannel experience provided by Apple through the iCloud account.

One thing retailers can learn from Apple’s omnichannel strategy is to ensure that their customers don’t have to repeat information. Anyone who uses iOS across any device and has an iCloud account knows what we’re talking about.


The success of Starbucks omnichannel experience is in its Starbucks Rewards app, which is considered by many as one of the most prominent omnichannel strategies in the market.

How does this experience work? Whether by card or app, you can order your coffee and pay, but unlike other loyalty cards you can top up your card with money from your phone while you’re in line, if you haven’t already done so from the website, or you can also do it by the counter at the store, and of course your profile gets updated through all digital channels and point of sale, in real time.

Amazon Prime

Amazon’s vision is to “Become the most customer-centric company in the world”, and therefore there is much to learn from what they do, because they always focus on customers, creating a positive and unique experience.

The Amazon single customer account allows you to browse through all the services that Amazon offers, whether you want to watch a movie, buy a book or an item that is sold on its platform, use AWS services and even apply for a job.

If you want to know more about the reasons why customers prefer Amazon, we recommend this blog on our website:

FAO Schwarz

The dream toy store for little princes and princesses, which has appeared in classic Hollywood films such as Big, with Tom Hanks, has had an amazing rebirth, offering it’s customers a successful omnichannel strategy.

It is known the iconic New York toy store has long lines, but the staff can move throughout the store with an iPad and make sales on the go, search for products or whatever the customer may require.

Worthy to mention that the iconic toy store FAO Schwarz decided to choose Teamwork Commerce as its Point of Sale solution to support the omnichannel experience they provide (You can check the success story here).

It is true that children also enjoy a good omnichannel strategy, as it is true they will be the customers of the future. 

5 Keys for a Successful Omnichannel Strategy

1.- Make sure you have an industry leading Omnichannel Solution

One that provides retailers with Point of Sale (POS Software), Order Maanagement (OMS), Inventory Control, CRM and Analytics, that ensures a consistent experience, regardless the channel. 

It is imperative that your brand always knows how to service customers, no matter what stage of the sales process they are in. 

With an omnichannel POS Software you can ensure that customers have a consistent shopping experience regardless of where they buy from or how they interact with the brand.

2.- Provide a seamless flow of information between channels, including point-of-sale (POS) systems and websites

Ensuring that the information between your channels flows seamlessly and has no silos is essential to guarantee a great customer experience. 

All communication channels, from physical stores to digital channels, together with a seamless integration to your POS Software, digital marketing strategy and customer service, must be perfectly aligned in order to provide a great customer experience. 

3.- Know your Customer’s Journey Map

Knowing your customer’s journey map is essential for a successful omnichannel strategy, since you will know where your customer prefers to buy, how they prefer to do it, and which channels you should take into account to deploy marketing strategies and increase sales.

Identifying your buyer persona is not the only important thing, you also need to know what path your customers follow when they enter the universe of your brand.

4.- Deploy effective Omnichannel Marketing Campaigns

Retail marketers know the importance of omnichannel marketing as a consistent brand presence across multiple channels, instore and online, push notifications, marketing automation, events, call-centers, SMS, e-mail, WhatsApp, Social media platforms and every other marketing channel available to reach target audiences in compelling ways. 

Make sure you promote the brand in all channels, including social media and mobile apps.

5.- Measure your Omnichannel Strategy and adjust accordingly

Measure the performance of your omnichannel strategy constantly and make adjustments as necessary. Measurements might include how often customers contact you, how long it takes them to complete a transaction, and what is the customer satisfaction after completing a transaction.

Without measurement there is no way to improve. So if you have a clear goal and vision for your omnichannel strategy, and know what you want to achieve and how you want your customers interacting with your business across channels, then you can make sure you’re on track. 


Having an omnichannel strategy is important for your retail business because it allows you to provide a better customer experience, increase sales, and optimize operations.

In retail, a good omnichannel strategy means that your customers can buy your products when they want to, how they want to, and even pick them up wherever is more convenient for them, or have them delivered straight at home.

Improving your omnichannel strategy pays, since it is the means for a great customer experience.

By leveraging the power of e-commerce and physical stores together, you can create a seamless shopping experience that your customers will thank you for.

The most successful brands out there are using good omnichannel strategies that are not only giving a lot to talk about, but that are making their customers happy, and that are making the world a better place.

So if you’re not currently implementing an omnichannel strategy, now may be the time to start doing it.

Take your omnichannel strategy to the next level and give your customers a perfect omnichannel experience with Teamwork Commerce.

Are you ready to move forward with omnichannel retail?

Enter Teamwork Commerce. Schedule a demo to discover how you can build an omnichannel seamless experience and exceed customer expectations with Teamwork Commerce’s leading omnichannel approach to online and offline shopping.

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Sports Teams Investing Billions in Stadiums to Increase Revenue: Here’s How

Sports Teams Investing Billions in Stadiums to Increase Revenue: Here’s How

As audiences started returning to stadiums, a growing number of professional sports teams have been announcing investments in stadium renovations, or new stadiums altogether, each worth billions of dollars. Since this kind of investment is usually considered a long term one, whose ROI is likely to be enjoyed in a decade or three, it’s interesting to look at the innovations investing in sports is set to create.

Better Attendee Experience to Keep Audiences Coming Back

Getting audiences out of their comfortable homes has been a growing challenge as technology advanced. Bigger TV screens, esports, live streams, social media… All audiences need to do is click a few buttons, sit back and enjoy.

As pro sports teams look into the future, they realize the in-stadium experience needs to provide something extra.

Premium Seats for an Experience You Can’t Get at Home

There’s a lot of talk about sports franchise stadiums actually growing smaller these days, which makes sense considering the above-mentioned at-home tech advancements. But it simultaneously means more opportunities for a premium experience for those who do get in their car or catch a bus, and make it to the stadium.

Primarily, major league audiences are bound to be closer to the field and their favorite athletes. Some of the upcoming advancements focus on building seats practically on the field, where they’re almost within the game itself, almost touching the athletes.

And then there’s this million dollar ticket to the Super Bowl (starts at minute 04:57):

Source: GQ Sports via YouTube

Cashierless Check Ins and Payments to Eliminate Logistical Hassles and Delight Loyal Attendees

There’s nothing like the thrill of a game experienced in real life, but until now, it meant breathing deeply through long, frustrating lines for anything from entering the stadium to buying food.

Now, some stadiums want to offer alternatives. They want audiences to be able to walk in the stadium freely, buy whatever they want seamlessly, and walk out without sacrificing their joy of the game for even a second.

One way they’re doing it is by touchless payments, such as facial recognition. To pay via facial recognition, customers must digitally link their credit cards to their faces using apps. When their faces will be scanned in the stadium, they’ll be let in without showing their tickets, and will be able to buy food or merchandise without pulling out their credit cards. Some technological developments are attempting to pull this off even when people have their masks on.

An alternative for those who potentially feel uncomfortable with this technology could be to turn to a mobile POS. With a mobile POS, staff members can charge audiences from anywhere in the stadium, providing an opportunity for clienteling for loyal or high paying attendees. Staff members could use the data available in a POS, especially as it’s integrated with other systems, to know a VIP attendee wants a special piece of merchandise, and contact that attendee an hour before it goes on sale to the general attending audience. If the attendee is interested, a staff member could bring it to her or his seat, and instantly charge via the mobile POS.

For other attendees, a mobile POS can be used to split out long lines, speed up the transition to the more fun experiences of the stadium, and increase chances of audience safety.

COVID Safety to Allow Games to Continue

In a world where participating in sports exposes you to a severe illness, as does working in a stadium or attending a game, sports teams are investing in keeping their people safe.

COVID Safety for Athletes and Staff

A sports team’s audience might be its biggest asset, but there’s no game without athletes, and there’s no stadium operations and great attendee experiences without staff members. Therefore, many sports teams have introduced a combination of masks and face shields, including anti-fog glasses, to keep their people doing their thing safely.

Some teams have also tried implementing individual, wearable health trackers, that would notify management as early as possible if an athlete is developing symptoms that could be related to COVID, and therefore require testing. The benefit is, of course, early detection, which could prevent the virus from spreading across everyone who plays and works at the stadium. The downside is the risk for privacy, which not all athletes have been open to accepting.

COVID Safety for Everyone in the Stadium

Facial recognition, which was covered above, is being invested in partially for COVID safety. The option allows for truly touchless transactions, which reduce the risk for attendees to catch COVID.

Simultaneously, it keeps staff members from interacting with large amounts of attendees and their potentially germ-filled touches.

Another way to eliminate germs in stadiums? Smart air filtration systems, that can suck germs out of stadiums, and filter back cleaner air.

And speaking of cleaner air…

Alignment with Attendee Values to Earn Their Business

Billions of dollars won’t amount to a smart investment if it doesn’t address one of the key challenges facing our world today – climate change.

First of all, the damage to the environment that can be created from mass audience experiences is bound to catch up with all of us. Second of all, addressing climate concerns is a smart business move, as an increasing amount of people decide to vote with the dollars they spend. Gen Zers, the new adults, especially, choose who to buy from based on which brand aligns with their values and takes real action toward driving actual change in fields such as sustainability and diversity.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that sports teams are looking to move toward carbon-neutral stadiums, that are powered by green energy.

Omnichannel Options to Deepen Engagement

Stadiums might be competing with virtual experiences, but smart sports teams know they can’t ignore them. We’ll be seeing lots of investments in live streams, in the metaverse, in NFTs and, of course, continued investment in social media, as audience expectations for omnichannel brand experiences increase.

Sports teams can use these channels to promote what happens in their physical stadiums. For example, they can live stream in the metaverse from the premium seats that are right on the field. They could engage in-stadium audiences in immersive experiences, perhaps involving athletes – experiences that can be documented for social media or the metaverse, but cannot be replicated online.

Making Data-Driven Decisions to Increase Revenue

A key benefit of integrating technology so deeply across stadium operations, athlete performance and attendee experience is that sports teams get more data than ever before. Specifically, sports teams are expected to significantly increase their investments in analytics and statistics technology in the 2021-2028 period for a better understanding of what’s happening on the field, and for the ability to make more data based decisions… which extend beyond what’s happening on the field.

With smart data, sports teams can know how to improve on-field performance, how to optimize stadium spaces, and how to target, engage and sell more efficiently to attendees. They can gain a more holistic understanding of their attendees’ needs and create experiences that surpass their expectations, keep them around as fans, and encourage advocacy for long term tem growth.

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Brands to Watch in 2022: NFT Projects in the Fashion and Beauty Industry

Brands to Watch in 2022: NFT Projects in the Fashion and Beauty Industry

Back in 2006, Jack Dorsey, who founded Twitter, tweeted his first tweet. How much would you pay for a certificate that verifies you own that tweet?

If it helps you decide, the tweet said,

If your answer was three million dollars, you would have probably won the week long auction, that culminated with a $2.9 million purchase.

The certificate that the happy new owner bought in the auction was an NFT.

What is an NFT?

An NFT (non-fungible token) is basically a code that certifies ownership of this digital asset. An NFT doesn’t necessarily block other people’s free access to the asset, or allow the new owner the ability to change the asset. However, people buy NFTs to become the sole owner, or one of a small number of owners, of a unique digital asset – be it a tweet, a painting or a song – that cannot be exchanged for something identical. Twitter’s founder only tweeted his first tweet once (to the best of our knowledge, anyway).

As the NFT field gains popularity, fashion and luxury brands venture into this new territory, too.

What’s in it for Fashion and Beauty Brands

While more and more fashion and beauty brands are discovering the NFT world, it’s still pretty new, and projects still make headlines. Therefore, some brands use NFTs as part of their marketing strategy for retail innovation – say, when they launch new products.

NFTs for retailers also help brands attract new audiences. For example, a brand might use influencer marketing to spread the news of its new NFTs. To do that, it might engage tech savvy influencers, or foster collaborations of these influencers with fashion and beauty influencers.

Alternatively, a brand might create fashion and beauty products for game figures or metaverse avatars that are replicas of real world products customers can buy for themselves, too.

This, in turn, can result as an additional income stream. The brand could charge money for virtual products, just as it does for physical products – and yes, people do pay to dress their avatars well. In addition, a brand could create complimentary virtual collectibles, like art, to its real world products. This will serve both to expand its product offerings and to deepen relationships with its customers.

If a customer buys a digital shirt or lipstick, and then resells it for a higher price, some brands earn a commission from that sale. How do they know the product was resold? It’s digital, and can be tracked via blockchain code.

Fashion and Beauty Brands to Watch in 2022, and Their Interesting NFT Projects

To get a clearer idea of what’s possible for fashion and beauty brands engaging in the NFT world, let’s explore some of the most innovative brands operating today, as well as the interesting NFT projects they’ve already produced.

L’Oreal Paris Simultaneously Promotes its Lipstick and Gender Equality

NFTs for retailers might be built on new technologies, and offer a new way to engage with retail customers, but its foundations are rooted in the same challenges and bias the rest of our industry faces. A study that looked at NFT art sales across almost two years discovered that 77% of sales were made by men, who also earned more per art piece than women. Women accounted for 5% of sales, 16% were sold by artists whose gender is unknown, and 2% by collectives.

So when L’Oreal Paris launched a new red lipstick, it commissioned women artists to create art pieces that were inspired by the product. The art pieces sold as NFTs, with prices beginning at $1,500. Every dollar the NFTs made in their primary sales went directly to the artists who created them.

If the art pieces then get resold during the first year, half of the earnings the artists makes will go to L’Oreal’s nonprofit, which supports women who drive change in their communities.

NARS Cosmetics Sells Physical Products with its NFTs

When NARS cosmetics decided to promote its blush product that’s called Orgasm, it also commissioned female-identifying artists to create related NFTs.
One artist created contemporary art, which was available for free.
An additional artist created multimedia art, which went on sale for $50.
And another artist created electronic music, which went on sale for $500.
Getting one of the paid NFTs provided customers with physical products by NARS Cosmetics as well. The more they paid, the more physical products were included.

Nike Buys an NFT Company and Files Trademark Applications for Digital Products

Nike decided to go big in the NFT space. In December 2021, it acquired RTFKT, which is all about creating collectibles that connect gaming and culture. Among others, RTFKT successfully sold virtual sneakers for $70,000 a pair.

In February 2022, RTFKT used Twitter to tease an upcoming crate that’s “etched with Nike & RTFKT markings. It seems sentient… What does it do?”

As we shared in our article about retail innovation and the metaverse, Nike has been filing trademark applications, as it intends to sell more digital products. We’ll have to stay tuned to see what’s next.

DressX Accelerates the Virtual Fashion Industry

DressX might not be your traditional fashion retailer, but it’s operating in a space that’s growing in popularity – digital fashion for avatars, game figures and… real people.

In 2021, DressX launched a virtual store for virtual clothes. Some of the clothes were digital versions of luxury brand clothes. These were produced in partnership with Farfetch, a luxury retail platform, that sells luxury clothes in the real world (it started online, then opened brick and mortar stores, too). Other clothes were originally designed by the DressX team, including some that were inspired by SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer.

Either way, some of these virtual clothes get sold as nonfungible tokens, and only their owners can wear them, creating true style exclusivity, at least in the virtual world.

It’s Just the Beginning for NFTs in Fashion and Beauty

As the hype grows and the technology advances, more audiences will embrace new virtual experiences, looking for ways to emphasize their own individuality and uniqueness. Expect more retailers to enter this space as time goes on.

To be one of the leaders, start experimenting now with small NFT projects that stand for something bigger, be it individuality or gender equality. Use this as an opportunity to show your customers you get what matters to them at their core, and to deepen your relationship with them, as you walk together into whatever future the virtual world will make possible.

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How Gen Z is Changing the Retail Industry

How Gen Z is Changing the Retail Industry

The youngest Gen Zers are just approaching their teen years, but the oldest are in their mid 20s. Together, their “direct and indirect spending power reached up to $143 billion” before the pandemic, reports Forbes. It adds that, while many entry-level positions that Gen Zers would have filled have been eliminated during the pandemic, the generation’s spending power is bound to increase, as more of them reach adulthood.

Meanwhile, they are taking on a central role in retail, and shaping the industry’s foreseeable future.

Gen Zs are Less loyal, Require More to Keep Buying from the Same Retailers

Raised to be critical thinkers and action takers, many Gen Zers aren’t loyal to a single brand. “Only 16% shop at a single store for clothing,” for example, reports Accenture. To stick around, they need great experiences, great pricing, product availability, fast shipping, and for the brand to align with their values. But more on values in a bit.

Meanwhile, brands must understand that checking all the boxes now might get them an initial purchase, yet no longer guarantees long time loyalty. Gen Zers are coming of age in the most affluent time, with so many alternatives and new trends showing up on their feeds 24/7, a click of a button away.

They’re also coming of age during “cancel culture,” where making mistakes is public and, sometimes, exposes brands to the unforgiving nature of going viral.

The upside of this is that there’s always an opportunity to expand a brand’s customer base. But to retain these customers, brands must continue innovating – their products, the shopping experience they provide their customers, and the difference they make in the world.

Do Your Values Match Theirs?

One of the biggest consistencies in Gen Z studies over the past several year has been their passion for making the world a better place. They want their jobs to make a difference, they volunteer and drive change in their own families, and they understand the financial impact of who they spend their money with.

Brands can’t just talk the talk to earn that money. In the age of social media transparency and easy access to information, brands must make authentic, consistent steps toward reducing their footprints and increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in both their corporations and the representations they create in their marketing efforts.

Gen Zers Want Higher Quality Goods, But Also Shop Second Hand

Gen Zers know that, in today’s abundant retail world, there’s a brand out there that offers a high quality version of the product they want – and over one in five is willing to pay extra for it, according to Vogue Business. However, interestingly, Vogue Business also points out that over one in four is actually likelier to shop second hand.

Some Gen Zers are financially savvy and looking to save, and others are just entering adulthood and can’t yet afford their preferred high quality goods and shopping habits. That said, it looks like many of their decisions to shop second hand are driven by a greater awareness of the global climate crisis than previous generations, as well as a greater belief that they can do something about it. Brands can, of course, tap into this strong need for sustainability in many aspects of product creation, packaging and shipping.

Gen Zers Like Shopping In-Store, But Only if it Means Getting an Omnichannel, Digital Experience

This might be the biggest surprise about Gen Z. The digital natives, who were born into a mobile, omnichannel environment, where information and satisfaction is merely a few instant clicks away… like to go into brick and mortar stores to do at least some of their shopping.

Yet unlike other generations, going into a brick and mortar store just to pick out an outfit doesn’t make them happy. They’re willing to do it only to be immersed in interactive experiences that are tailored to their specific needs.

They expect digital, technologically advanced experiences, even in stores. They want sales associates who recognize them, who offer the products that matter to them, including those that would emphasize their uniqueness most, and the ability to continue building the bond with the brand even when they leave the store.

Gen Zers Prefer Influencer Marketing for Product Recommendations

Generations Zs spend a lot of time on social media. They’re there for several hours every day, discovering brands and trends, and following everyday folks turning into influencers. They’re critical thinkers, and some don’t trust influencers at all, but if an influencer does win their trust, they don’t necessarily scroll away when she or he shares a sponsored post. When the trust is there, the sponsored post can feel customized and authentic, not a generic, polished ad like other generations had to settle for. More importantly, they assume that the influencer has done her or his research, and will tell them the truth. Thus becoming their trusted source for product recommendations.

That’s because influencers, while sometimes showcasing perfectly-looking highlight reels of their lives on social media, often share their raw emotions, challenges and failures as well. It feels like there’s a personal relationship between the influencer and the audience member, like the viewer knows the influencer on a deeper level than they might know people in their real lives.

Therefore, they are likely to purchase products from sponsored posts and videos, even though they know they’re basically watching an ad.

Consistently Win Gen Zers’ Hearts to Create Retail Magic

As Gen Zers’ buying power keeps growing, retailers must grow with it. This isn’t the generation to wow once and enjoy the ROI forever. This is a generation that’s looking for constant innovation and customization, be it in your stores or in your marketing.

It’s a generation that’s looking to make smart purchase decisions. They want to save money, but are simultaneously willing to pay extra for high quality products… especially when their purchase makes a bigger difference – as in, when it puts money in the hands of brands that act on Gen Zers’ values, and use that money to drive positive change in the world.

They won’t keep buying from you just because they bought from you before, but when you consistently show up to serve their needs and delight them, they’ll consciously choose your brand over and over again.

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