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“Omnichannel retailing is the key for success in the retail environment”

Chefclub’s Marie-Laure Marchand on the importance of offering customers an omnichannel service and a purchasing ‘experience’.

How can retailers and brands tempt customers back into physical stores?

Develop an omnichannel strategy. Omnichannel retailing is the key for success in the retail environment – a goal that everyone is supposed to be aiming for, but few know how to achieve it. An omnichannel strategy provides a seamless customer experience across devices and locations with a personalised brand experience. This approach creates a unified user experience as nowadays consumers use a wide variety of channels to interact with during their shopping journey and they often do so simultaneously. It is also an interesting way to learn more about the consumers and collect precious data on their consumption habits/tastes which in return will help retailers to better meet their needs. The circle is complete.

  • Phygital experience: Phygital retail is taking the best elements of ecommerce and combining them with the unique aspects of browsing or shopping in a real-world store. During the pandemic, e-commerce boomed, but also as click & collect. Life after pandemic won’t be the same, and retailers will have to incorporate customers’ new habits, and adapt their services to offer integrated offline and online solutions to simplify the purchase journey.
  • Experience: consumers want more than just to buy a product, they need strong values and storytelling to relate to. They need to share an emotional bond with a brand, and this is the reason why experiential marketing is essential. Selling a licensed product is not enough anymore and licensors/licensees will have to consider the overall experience they’re offering to the end consumers to be successful in this overcrowded market.
  • Reward loyalty: loyalty promotion is a great way to bring consumers back in stores and have them come back on a more regular basis. I predict an uplift in loyalty promotion campaigns in the coming months.

 

How important is experiential to the future of physical stores?

The future will be experiential or simply won’t be. As explained above, today consumers expect an experience, buying a product is just not enough and they want to share unforgettable moments and be surprised by their favorite brands. Emotional marketing should be a key driver and knowing your customer’s needs will be of an essence.

What customer experiences has Chefclub organised in-store?

At Chefclub, we develop internally our own line of innovative products designed for kids while building unforgettable memories, tying in creative digital content and experiences at home for now. We have not organised an in-store experience yet as we are a young brand, but we are in discussions with a French retailer to do so and hopefully we will be able to create an amazing phygital experience next year. We have many creative ideas so stay tuned.

How can you work with retailers to maximise their success?

Our innovative cooking content accumulates over two billion views every month, we’re followed by 100 million people in the world, and we’ve been building a very strong and engaged community. In addition to direct sales, we are also developing our retail presence to enable members of its community to find Chefclub products in their favorite stores. In return, mass distribution benefits from the massive media coverage on social platforms and thus captures customers, Chefclub’s followers and community members, who prefer not to order online.

How can you/retailers connect online and in-store experience to create a cohesive customer offering?

Chefclub is at the crossroads between cooking and entertainment and is very well positioned to give consumers an answer to their needs. As a digital brand, we offer a unique experience to our community by proposing creative recipes with ordinary and affordable ingredients that bring everyone in the kitchen! We have come to an agreement with an advertising sale house that is linked to one of the main grocery retailers in France. Therefore, they approach FMCG partners, and we offer tailor-made Chefclub branded content videos using the advertiser’s products that we post on social media. This mechanic allows them to benefit from Chefclub’s incredible media power and offer them a very innovative and intuitive way to communicate.

Why are events like BLIS important to brand managers and licensees?

The world is changing at a really fast pace and it is vital to exchange, share best practices and stay on top of key trends to be able to stay competitive, understand and adapt to this evolving environment.

Marie-Laure Marchand is svp consumer products and business development at Chefclub. She is participating in a panel at this week’s Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit (9-11 June, online) entitled ‘Brainstorming the future of licensing in retail, and vice versa’.

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