By Eric Schaal

You can be certain data will shape the retail store of the future. Even as some legacy brick-and-mortar chains close locations and customers increasingly prefer the convenience of ordering from a mobile device, top retailers have found ways to bridge the gap between the online and in-person shopping experience.

In fact, the companies winning the retail game have found a way to leverage customer data for a more unified shopping experience. Rather than seeing stores close, they are discovering ways to bring in sales by giving shoppers the best of both worlds. Better yet, they’re using their vast wealth of consumer data to improve shopping experiences both online and in the flesh. At DMA &THEN 2017, attendees will hear from executives at Petco and Pier 1 Imports, as well as the data and retail experts who are taking retail to the next level in a session titled “The Retail Store of the Future (and the Data That Drives It).”

One customer experience for a better checkout

If a better customer experience is the key to retail operations now and in the future, then brands need their data in order. The process begins with seeing a customer profile across channels. When the view of the data is splintered or incomplete, your company cannot deliver the best experience for a shopper.

At a session on the second day of &THEN, attendees will hear from Liesel Walsh, vice president of CRM, Loyalty and Customer Information at Petco, on how her company navigates these issues for today’s consumer. Susan Rodgers, vice president of Marketing, CRM & Analytics at Pier 1 Imports, will also be on hand to share case studies with the audience.

Benefits of new marketing technologies
Getting a clear picture of your customer is crucial, but brands also need a new way of interacting with people at the point of sale. Customer service representatives will want to build upon the relationship already begun online and help take it to a more productive place for both parties. In addition, many of the “innovations” that move the needle for retailers aren’t shiny new objects capitalizing on the latest tech craze; instead, it’s smart usage of data to refine the space usage and flow of your in-store experience.

Fortunately, there will be experts on stage to help navigate these nuanced waters. Paul Conder, principal at CallisonRTKL, will share some of his consultancy’s recommendations on store design for the modern age. Likewise, Mary Staples, vice president of data solutions at Epsilon, will detail what is working for her data-driven retail clients.

The retail of the store of the future may look nothing like the one you’ve come to know. But then again, you might be surprised. Wherever the industry goes, you can be sure the data will lead the way.

This article is brought to you by &THEN, DMA’s annual event. Click here to join the leaders of the marketing community and explore how data transforms marketing in New Orleans, October 8-10. Save over $300 when you register online.