22 Aug, 2017

What Challenge Does Retail Face While Heading Into 2018?


“The retail apocalypse” is a term that we have talked about time and time again, expressing the challenges that brick and mortar stores face against e-commerce giants developing.

This “apocalypse” has caused retailers to go to great lengths, using multiple outlets, in order to drive sales by targeting customers.

According to a recent survey done by Worldwide Business Research, IgnitionOne, and eTail. uncovered by Retaildive, retailers are concerned about one thing: customer acquisition while heading into 2018.

“More than 60% of retailers said in a recent survey that acquiring new customers is the most important challenge they are facing this year heading into 2018.” Retaildive uncovered. 

We have seen e-commerce giant Amazon dominate the retail sector, gaining a massive customer following along the way. Because of this, retail companies like Walmart have joined the e-commerce community, driven to acquire e-commerce space.

“Walmart’s e-commerce sales have increased 63 percent in the first three months of this year, compared to 29 percent last quarter. (Walmart doesn’t disclose overall e-commerce sales in its quarterly report.)” Bigiday reports. 

So, knowing this, how can retailers dominate customer acquisition? First, let’s discuss what retailers are doing now to acquire customers.

Retaildive uncovered some of the results from the report.

  • About 78% of those surveyed indicated that they manage cross-channel advertising in-house, rather than using an agency or another type of outside service provider
  • 85% said they use e-mail lists as the data source for their promotional campaigns.
  • 32% of survey respondents said they take a holistic, multichannel approach to measuring cross-channel advertising
  • while the remaining 68% of retailers continue to approach marketing on a limited or channel-by-channel basis.

Why Customer Acquisition Is Important

Retailers need to pay attention to their customer base in order to stay ahead of their competition and to deliver their audience what they are asking for.

Building relationships with customers is an important tool that retailers must master to stay ahead. Let’s face it, without customers, there is no business. ROI’s are tightly associated with customer acquisition because it is the payoff the businesses see once customers are attracted to the brand.

There are a few steps you can take that will make customer acquisition easy and seamless.

Make Your Strategy Match Your Brand

According to Mattew Barby, customer acquisition must match the brand that you are representing.

“The other thing to bear in mind is that an acquisition channel that works for one business may be terrible for another. At HubSpot, organic search is a huge channel for us. We’ve based most of the lead generation around ranking for relevant long tail keywords that deliver millions of new visitors each month.”

You can start deciding on what channel to use by reflecting on previous data which will show what worked with your customers and what didn’t. As stated above, many retailers are using approaches such as e-mail lists.

Once you decide what platform you will be using, master that platform. For example, if you decide Twitter will create the majority of your customer traffic, make sure it represents your brand effectively, and that you are active on it.

Locate Your Audience

The way you acquire an audience will depend on where your audience is, and what they are interested in.

“There are two audiences you need to keep in mind here: your current audience and your ideal audience. Your current audience is self-explanatory; it’s the audience you are reaching already. Your ideal audience is the group you would like to reach eventually.” Kissmetrics explains. 

Your current audience works as a base and the ideal audience is the goal. You can use Google Analytics to further develop data that will dictate where your audience is, and where your strategy should be.

Once you have your audience and your platform down, you can start to establish relationships through both components, therefore, generating more customers.


Retail has never been more complex. Connecting with the on-demand consumer across multiple channels, whilst ensuring a seamless, unique, and personalized experience is a complex process with many challenges

Join North America’s most prominent digital, marketing, technology, and business leaders from the Retail Industry at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT, for the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly,  October 19-20, 2017.

This is not just another “Retail” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Register your interest here >

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