The beauty of Retail Revival is that it brought together digital marketers, brand leaders, retail and e-commerce experts from all across the globe for a 3-day long festival that included live main stage presentations, unique experiences, and 50+ breakout sessions — all jam-packed with practical tips, innovative perspectives, and inspirational stories. 

The only drawback: all that amazing content is impossible to consume in one sitting. 

Fortunately, the entire Retail Revival festival is available on-demand, so you can go back and catch any of the sessions you might’ve missed the first time around (or re-watch your favorite sessions). But with all the choices available, where do you begin? 

To get you started, we’ve put together a list of seven must-see sessions from Retail Revival, featuring incredible insights from global industry leaders and brand marketers. 

#1. How Orlebar Brown Leverage First-Party Data to Deliver Innovative In-Store & Online Experiences

In a world where CX will make or break your brand, a truly tailored, personalized experience is the key to driving repeat purchases and lasting customer loyalty. It also sets you apart from competitors who fail to deliver the relevant 1:1 experiences customers expect. 

Orlebar Brown understands this. In fact, personalization is one of the key founding pillars of the brand.

In their Retail Revival session, they go in-depth to describe how they use first-party data to tailor every customer’s experience on an individual level, depending on where exactly that customer is in their lifecycle with the brand.

I think personalization is one of the key founding pillars of the brand. We aim to provide all of our customers with a tailored service. ‘Tailored’ is one of our buzzwords that we use every day. [It includes] how a customer may buy through our stores, online, over the phone with one of our concierge team members, to how they pay … And also, how do they want that product delivered? … One of the very early difficulties we had when it came to personalization was using basic information, such as a customer’s name, to be able to personalize our emails and other communications. But we’re able to do so much more now as a result of using Emarsys and looking at the different systems and how they integrate with one another. Really, I think it starts — from an Emarsys point of view — at where a customer is in their lifecycle. So you make use of whether a customer is new, whether they’re active, becoming unengaged, and when they become inactive as well.”

Sebastiano Elia Orlebar Brown
Sebastiano Elia
Head of CRM & Customer Insight, Orlebar Brown

#2. From Traditional Retailer to Omnichannel Trail-Blazer: Home Depot’s Digital Commerce Journey

For traditional retailers, the inevitable transition to omnichannel has been on the horizon for years. However, 2020 forced retailers to make that transition quickly, whether they were ready or not. 

But some brands — like The Home Depot — were ahead of the game and had already started their shift to omnichannel marketing, allowing them to deliver highly personalized customer experiences online and in-store. 

In this Retail Revival session with The Home Depot, Carlos Roberto López (Marketing & E-Commerce Director for the brand) discusses how the big-box retailer developed their approach to providing seamless 1:1 experiences that cover the customer’s entire journey, both online and offline. 

When you talk about data management, personalization, automation, this is an ever-evolving topic. Each year, new things. So when we think in an interconnected shopping experience … At Home Depot, we believe that [we have] to cover the entire journey. So from the awareness and inspiration, to providing a specific product know-how, to how we are communicating with [our] customers. We’re investing in a lot of different areas: infrastructure, capabilities needed to deliver the most relevant marketing messages, but also the product and value proposition for our customers at the right time. So this is not, not easy. Not easy at all, to be honest. But we’ve been [making] some progress here. So we have integrated several data sources across the company. Believe me, again, this is far, far as an easy thing. But this is a must. So you need to invest time in that.

Carlos Roberto Lopez Home Depot
Carlos Roberto López
Marketing + E-Commerce Director, The Home Depot (Mexico)

#3. Riding the Wave of Customer Loyalty with JOLYN’S AI Marketing

Driving repeat purchases is critical since it leads to more customer loyalty, and ultimately, better bottom line results for the business. But as you know, as wonderful and amazing as your customers are, they’re not going to come back and buy more from your brand out of the kindness of their hearts. You need to give them a reason to return. 

US swim and activewear brand JOLYN found that a very powerful, effective way to get customers back to their website was through the use of personalized product recommendations. 

In this Retail Revival session with JOLYN, Kelly Ringel, Digital Marketing Coordinator, gave some practical tips for using product recommendations as part of their post-purchase automation to convert more customers, enhance the overall customer experience, and increase repeat purchases. 

“We try to use our order confirmation texts and emails to the fullest. Within the past few months, we added product recommendations to the bottom of our order confirmationIt’s just such an easy way to get the customer back to the site... But then the second [tactic we use], I would say, surprised me the most, is our post-purchase automation… Because we sell swimwear, there’s a very particular way on how to care for it and make sure that the life of your swimwear [lasts] as long as possible. So we made a video and a blog on how to care for your swimwear. And it’s very easy, easy to read, easy to consume. And it does really well for us. And it converts, even though that wasn’t our intention. We just wanted to do it as a nice customer experience, like: we care about the swimwear you’re buying. So we’ve taken that and we’ve added product recommendations … to [those] blog posts. So we’re really getting that to work for us more and more.

Kelly Ringel Jolyn
Kelly Ringel
Digital Marketing Coordinator, JOLYN

#4. Driving 5x Revenue & Scaling Personalization Across 27 Markets with PUMA Europe

Retail marketers have spent the last 15 months working hard to engage and build relationships with customers online using personalized digital experiences. But now that customer shopping patterns are starting to return to “normal,” and both in-store and online shopping are in play, how do you create seamless omnichannel shopping experiences for customers, regardless of where they begin their journey? 

This is one of the most difficult hurdles that retail marketers today face, and it’s even more difficult with a lean marketing team. But with the right customer engagement strategy, it’s absolutely possible. 

And if you don’t believe it, check out PUMA Europe’s story. In their Retail Revival session, David Witts (CRM Manager for PUMA Europe) discusses how the brand’s very lean CRM team — which covers 27 countries across Europe, eight languages, and multiple currencies — is able to drive results for the global sportswear brand by creating seamless omnichannel customer journeys.

“It’s definitely something that’s been our focus over the last few months as hopefully things start to get back to normal. We’re seeing a rise in terms of traffic coming through our bricks and mortar stores … We have store segments so we can send specific store communications to certain people, and everything’s done dynamically so it looks like it comes from [a specific] store. And we have all sorts of stuff in the sense of in-store promotions, real-time directions to the store. So we’re really trying to bring that offline-to-online experience together. Still a long way to go though. There’s still a lot of stuff and a lot of potential there that we can do.”

David Witts Puma
David Witts
CRM Manager, PUMA Europe

#5. Pizza Hut’s Digital Journey: Using Customer Relevancy to Slice Through the Noise of a Competitive Industry

The one-size-fits-all marketing approach of the past is dead. Customers today have an abundance of choice, and the only way to captivate their attention and secure their loyalty is through personalized marketing that is relevant and meaningful. 

This requires a deeper understanding of their customer — knowing their needs and wants — and connecting with them on an emotional level. That’s why, when it comes to customer engagement, relevancy is at the heart of everything Pizza Hut does.
During Pizza Hut’s session at Retail Revival, we learned how the brand stands apart from competitors by framing their offering (e.g., delicious pizza) in a way that feels emotionally satisfying and relevant to customers.

“So when we talk about relevance, a brand or product obviously needs to be relevant to the customer’s functional needs. So what are they looking for in a pizza? They want food, right? But we’re also social creatures. So we normally look for some sort of deeper emotional benefit out of the experience. … It’s like the deeper, more emotional reason why you’re engaging with the category at all. So then if you can understand that and deliver on it in an honorable way, then you’re more emotionally relevant.” 

Catriona Woodward Pizza Hut
Catriona Woodward
Head of Digital Marketing, Pizza Hut

#6. How Personalization and the ‘Female Family’ Helped Lounge Underwear Scale to a £55m Business in 5 years

So much of what you want… or rather… need to do as a marketer depends on first-party customer data. And with all the recent changes regarding data regulation and privacy, your customer data will become much more critical. 

But it’s not enough to simply have it. You need to understand your customer data, so you can unlock the growth and revenue opportunities hidden within that data.

In this Retail Revival session, we learned how Lounge Underwear uses their tech stack to better leverage their customer data.

“A lot of e-com businesses will have peak periods around Black Friday … any [major] sales periods you have, you get an influx of customers coming in. And it’s a big challenge for all our systems, our back-end system, to cope with that … Working with yourselves in Emarsys around the data platform, you know, as Kiran has mentioned, [customer] data is so, so important. A lot of brands talk about it. It seems to be a bit of a buzzword. But in reality, you really need to understand your customer data. Who are your customers? Who are your VIPs? Who are you active spenders? Who are your loyal spenders? How do we engage them? How do we … approach them at the right space, at the right time, and the right wording, in the right language? These are things that are so important, and developing our tech stack is absolutely key for us to grow the business.”

Arron Kooner Lounge Underwear
Arron Kooner
Chief Customer Officer, Lounge Underwear

#7. How Gymshark Hits the Moving Target of Changing Customer Demand

2020 spurred some radical changes in customer behavior and demand. If keeping up with customer expectations was difficult before, it’s now become a moving target. 

One of the myriad reasons why mega apparel brand Gymshark is so successful is because they have such strong relationships with their customers. As a brand, they know that their customers want and expect to be truly understood. The customer experience is at the center of everything the brand does.

During Gymshark’s Retail Revival session, we learned some poignant advice on what happens when you focus on the customer experience first (hint: revenue will follow).

Don’t try [to] do everything yourself. Lean on partners and admit when [it’s best] to pass something on because, actually, you might be able to get someone else that can do it quicker, more efficient. You can spend your time elsewhere doing something more productive, and that might actually generate more revenue or a better customer experience. Always putting that customer experience first. Don’t focus on the revenue. And that sounds really, really silly, but that’s something that we’re really trying to move towards internally at the moment. The money will follow… If you’re able to focus on what that customer experience is — how are they going to perceive you as a brand? — and really drive that forward, then naturally revenue comes as a byproduct afterwards.”

Sarah Brereton Gymshark
Sarah Brereton
Head of CRM, Gymshark

Final Thoughts

Putting the customer back in commerce was a key theme from Retail Revival, and for very good reason. The brands who are solely focused on the customer are the ones who achieve the best results. It’s clear that a new era of customer engagement is beginning, and the customer is being placed right where they belong: front-and-center. 

The sessions shared in this post offer game-changing marketing insights from seven incredible, industry-leading brands. But there’s so much more where that came from. If you haven’t already registered, sign up for Retail Revival to get on-demand access to all of the 50+ sessions of amazing brands and speakers, deep diving into topics like: 

  • Unlocking the Power of First Party Data
  • Email to Real-Time Customer Engagement
  • Omnichannel Commerce & Customer Experience
  • Customer Loyalty & Retention
  • Cross-Channel Marketing & Personalization

If you’re ready to elevate your marketing to the next level, give yourself the insights to help get you there. Watch Retail Revival on-demand, only at: retailrevival.emarsys.com

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