Email Marketing for Retailers: Essential Takeaways from Shoptalk 2019

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Marketing masterminds and retail trailblazers recently gathered in Las Vegas to learn, network, and (sorry) talk shop at the annual Shoptalk conference.

An enormous crowd (including the Liveclicker team!) made the pilgrimage to meet and discuss the biggest changes, challenges, and opportunities facing businesses in retail, ecommerce, CPG, and related industries. As always, the conference was overflowing with expert perspective on emerging trends and technology and needle-moving insights on email marketing for retailers.

Shoptalk this year was sold out—and even if you went, you probably weren’t able to attend every incredible session, round-table, presentation and forum relevant to retail email marketing. Either way, not too worry! We took careful notes for anyone who missed out so you can make the most of your email program in the coming year.

Automatic, for the People

Among all the insights, reports, analysis and discussion, one theme dominated the Shoptalk conversation: the customer experience.

Today’s retail consumers live in an era of unprecedented choice. Shoppers have more options than ever: more products, more stores, more locations, more channels. Competition for their attention and favor is fierce, and delivering a compelling, relevant experience is one of the few reliable ways for a brand to differentiate itself and earn loyalty.

“Real personalization is not just about products, it’s about the whole digital journey of our consumers,” said Philip Thompson, Worldwide Tech Leader for Amazon Web Services during a presentation on AI.

email marketing for retailers speaker

Personalization would come up time and again as one of the most important ways to improve the retail customer journey from beginning to end. It’s an especially valuable lesson for making and deploying the best retail emails, since email as a channel has so much potential for 1:1 engagement and relevance.

For instance; email personalization can mitigate brand abandonment, a problem rampant in the retail space. Qubit founder and CTO Graham Cooke revealed during his session that 83.9% of retail shoppers only purchase once! He suggested an authentic customer experience, driven by personalization, could drive that number down—but also cautioned that tracking loyalty metrics can be difficult and implementing personalization throughout the customer journey requires well-equipped cross-functional teams.

Jana Eggers, CEO of Nara Logics, highlighted the importance of relevance and shared a personal story on how retail email marketing still has a long way to go. She recounted an experience buying a set of spoons from a home-and-kitchen retailer, and getting a follow-up email encouraging her to pair up her shiny new spoons with…”a jar of pot roast sauce.”

Shoptalk speaker - email marketing for retailers

This is a great example of digital marketing gone wrong. The idea was right; a targeted email set to trigger after a purchase can be incredibly effective at engaging and upselling. But unless that message is packaged with real-time relevance, it will fall flat and tarnish your brand relationships. Eggers would go on to emphasize that marketing needs to be focused on what the customer wants and needs not what we want to show or sell them.

More Great Conferences on Email Marketing for Retailers

Looking for even more opportunities to power up your retail email marketing and network with the best retail marketing experts around? We’re hosting The Future of Email circuit right now! It’s totally free for email marketing professionals, and coming to a city near you! Learn more about the event and how you can register here!


Interested in learning how you can easily add real-time relevance to your email campaigns? Schedule a demo with us today!

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