The latest Wall Street estimates just gave retailers a giant headache. Retailers’ combined same-store sales are now expected to only rise 0.3% in the fiscal first quarter, lower than what was originally projected at the start of 2017 according to eMarketer.

So what’s the problem? Retailers aren’t adjusting quickly enough to the wants and needs of their customers. Think about this: in the past 10 years the way that we find, consume, and share information on products has changed forever. Consumers have been replaced by a more demanding, less loyal, and savvier breed of customers. The explosion of marketing channels, especially in digital, makes attracting and retaining this new kind of consumer even harder. Retailers have never been more fragile as a result.

What can retailers do to turn things around?  A few key things:

  • Provide meaningful and relevant intertwined in-store and digital customer experiences
  • Understand what the customers’ values and motivators are in real time in order to respond to their ever-changing preferences
  • Message to customers and prospects as people instead of generic audience profiles

Easier said than done. Consumers’ values and motivators are constantly shifting and evolving. Their opinions and attitudes vary from week to week, even day to day. Needs are not necessarily what they act upon when making purchasing decisions. Retail marketers need to respect that these shifts in consumer thinking can have a dramatic impact on their bottom line.

If retailers want to gain the attention of the ‘Smart Consumer” and influence their purchasing behavior, they have to stop targeting them as one generic group and instead target them based on their individual wants, needs and values. That’s where Resonate comes in. We provide the consumer intelligence needed – in real time – to inform messaging and positioning strategies that gain customer dollars and loyalty.

Consumers are people, whose motivators are changing at a dizzying pace.

Real time consumer intelligence is the new frontier of competitive differentiation – scaled and fueled by more profound human insights that reflect the person behind the device. It puts marketers in the enviable position of intimately understanding their customer – past, present and future – to gain a holistic picture that enables them to channel their audience at every stage of the customer journey to influence their current buying behaviors, not those that are ‘after-the-fact’.

Resonate’s SaaS solutions and managed media services accelerate the ability for retailers to understand, activate, and measure customers in real-time, driving successful ‘always on’ strategy and execution. Using our real-time consumer intelligence and insights platform can help you devise more effective messaging and targeting strategies that speak directly to your customers’ values and motivations. Based on these actionable insights, marketers can convert those strategies into more effective activation tactics that speak directly to the wants and needs of customers and will get them back in retail stores and on brands’ websites, ready to spend.

The takeaway:

Retailers are on the brink of the worst performance in four years. Simply put, retailers must gain greater intelligence and insight on what is relevant to their customers in order to remain relevant in the marketplace. Retailers need to update their marketing strategies and messaging, especially in digital, to keep pace with the changing needs of consumers or they will risk falling behind and becoming the next Staples or Radioshack. This includes evaluating both the in-store and online experience and making changes to fit the consumers’ desire to have more timely, relevant and meaningful interactions and experiences.

If retailers tap into real time consumer intelligence and insights to start creating the types of experiences that these smart customers desire, then they can buck the trend of losing foot traffic and will see combined same-store sales rise and their marketing campaigns become more effective, efficient and profitable.