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How to survive the retail apocalypse

With the growing popularity of online shopping, retailers are facing a crisis.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

More stores closed in 2017 than at any other time on record. Consumers are switching to online shopping for their needs. So, how do marketers connect with their consumers?

Yes, Lifecycle Marketing has released its latest report, Surviving the Retail Apocalypse.

It surveyed 1,000 consumers in June 2018 to find out what motivates consumers to engage with retailers, make purchases, and become loyal to a brand.

The report looks at opportunities and trends for marketers to ensure their email campaigns stand out this holiday season.

Also: Walmart testing fully-automated store with no cashiers TechRepublic

It is critical that retailers reach consumers with the right messages and products at the right time

Forty-seven percent of consumers rank email as their preferred channel for brand communications, and Gen Z are more likely than all other generations to say they receive too many emails (68 percent). Yet email communications do not seem to work well with consumers.

Respondents found that inbox overload is the biggest reason subscribers ignore marketing emails, followed closely by irrelevant product recommendations (50 percent) and content (41 percent).

How to survive the retail apocalypse ZDNet
Yes Lifecycle Marketing

This shows that many retailers fail to understand their subscribers' preferences in terms of mailing frequency, timing, and interest. The report found only 37 percent of consumers who say that the communications they receive from retailers are adequately personalized.

Also: How this retailer got robots and humans to work in harmony CNET

Thirty-three percent of subscribers ignore marketing emails if they do not offer a discount or free shipping, and 60 percent will purchase from emails that offer these elements.

According to the study, more than four in 10 consumers (42 percent) say they do not unsubscribe from emails they do not read, but instead, scan subject lines to determine if they will open the email.

So, how do retailers steal a march on the competition and keep their customers opening marketing emails? The survey recommends that you keep the subject line of the mail between one and 20 characters to improve the open rate.

Include the recipients name in the subject line, and include an offer to maximise the chance that your email will get opened.

Use social media to share funny and interesting posts, write posts that your audience will likely agree with, and encourage positive feedback with your posts.

Also: More than 1 in 10 consumers want voice commands for their toilet

Nine out of 10 consumers (90 percent) purchase in stores at least once per month, and 60 percent say they shop in stores because they want to see items in person.

If you are on the brink of giving up, do not despair. The in-store experience is not dead -- it is changing.

Retailers will need to make sure they change too.

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