Physical retail spaces are becoming less exciting, transparent and with less variety of options. And wine, like many other products sold in retail stores, are not exempt.
Consumers in South and Central America are shifting towards physical retail spaces (retailers) which offer more than a simple transaction or ‘excellent customer service’, which is taken for granted.
From comfort to self improvement, through social value and much more, these five retail concepts target some of the deepest desires and needs of consumers, re-imagining in the process, the future of retailers for 2015 and beyond:
1. MERCHANTS NOMADS. The delivery option.
Now that the ultra-busy city dwellers can order online and expect delivery in one or two days, their motivation to move to a particular store has dropped to almost nothing.
One of the most remarkable consequences of this is that the most established brands are finding new ways to disengage from fixed locations and are seeking out consumers wherever they are located.
WHAT CAN WINE RETAILERS DO?
Listen to their consumers through the cheapest and easiest form that they have at their disposal today: social networks – and through “social listening” find out where their customers are. Let them say where they want to be with their wines and go there.
2. SATISFIED PASSENGERS. Being part of the trip.
In the bustling cities of Central and South America, residents are constantly in motion, this has been termed METRO MOBILITY. And what’s more, these hasty consumers are determined to extract the maximum value from their travel time.
Consumers are already making purchases with their smartphones and searching for offers from retailers from the railway platform. They embrace those brands that look ahead and create unexpected combinations between transport and sale, to help them eradicate the ‘dead time’ of their day.
WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH WINE?
Think of all the ways that urban mobility is changing the way consumers shop and consider how it can be present during travel time and help maximise it. Becoming “convenient” and adapting to new needs is fundamental.
In addition, gourmet products that are exploring other retail formats and packaging already exist, such as Tincan, a restaurant in London serving tinned seafood, prepared sophisticatedly in small tin cans, and some wineries who are already offering young, easy to drink wines for summer in unconventional containers that can be perfectly placed in beverage dispensers.
3. OFFLINE = ONLINE = OFFLINE. The boundaries between the digital and the physical are disappearing.
Consumers who own smart phones have made the border between
the offline and online almost invisible. It is no wonder that we can now expect retail platforms to offer them the best of both worlds: sociability and immediate customer attention in shops and physical stores and the convenience of purchasing through the internet.
This expectation will intensify as the scope of broadband and 3G improves, allowing many online experiences to be faster, like better integration of digital technology in physical spaces.
In fact, it is expected that wholesale online retail in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico will more than double in the coming years, from USD 20 billion in 2013 to USD 46 billion in 2018 according to the latest report by consultancy firm, Forrester (December 2013).
WHAT CAN RETAILERS OF WINE AND WINERIES DO?
The merger between online and offline is in full swing. Development and/or improvement of online sales channels: supply, delivery service, payment methods available, just to mention some of the aspects of e-commerce which should be taken into account to be successful with this trend.
Also, the possibility of providing purchasing assistance and customer service using social networks, via Whatsapp for example, as a major commercial centre in Sao Paulo did recently, or creating an online chat service to answer non-frequently asked questions or to offer recommendations – could be another great alternative and inexpensive to implement.
4. SOCIAL STORES. Selling a message.
Consumers are busy maximising online space without borders, but that does not mean you have to forget places, concerns, traditions, local communities and cultures.
In fact, for many consumers, LOCAL LOVE is more important than ever, as it strengthens its own identity and way of thinking in the midst of the global village. That means directing their affection, attention and respect towards retailers and products that are committed to social and local environmental issues, and are able to drive positive change.
Picture.. 95% of Mexican “prosumers” (influential and discerning customers) believe that companies have the same responsibility as Governments to generate positive social impact.
WHAT CAN RETAILERS OF WINE AND WINERIES DO?
As a retailer, they can offer the community something that has real social value. Working with NGOs and CIVICSUMERS (consumers seeking positive change in their environment) to promote public services are not yet being offered by the public sector, such as the option of recycling containers or CSR activities.
And from the standpoint of wine, emphasizing the need to communicate the benefits of the product and the actions of corporate social responsibility that are being carried out and trends already established for fair trade, companies B, organic wines, eco -friendly packaging and the possibility of joining campaigns that promote positive change in the community.
5. EDU-COMMERCE. Don’t lecture, teach.
Even in those regions where there is an established middle class, there are always VIRGIN CONSUMERS: Consumers testing a product or benefit from a service for the first time or moving into new income brackets (from low to middle income or medium to high).
That means many consumers who crave guidance and advice with regard to products and services. What then is the future of customer service in the region? Retailers that are not limited to lecturing on the benefits of their products but, instead, teaching how to maximise the value that can be obtained from them. In the process, offering education about related areas, from culinary skills to financial management and more.
Picture – Consumers in 6 out of 10 countries of Central and South America are more willing to buy products and services from companies that support projects related to education.
WHAT CAN RETAILERS AND WINERIES DO?
Improve the knowledge and skills of consumers and at the same time, introduce wine in such a way, so as not to let them feel they do not know “anything” and should be better educated to appreciate the product which can leave them feeling intimidated.
The truth is: to learn by playing or experimenting with the product in a relaxed environment, by offering the possibility of joining tasting courses or sharing entertaining topics, appropriate for the audience you want to reach, are the perfect tools to encourage sale and consumption.
Finding the balance between education and fun will be the key to creating an unforgettable experience!
These five trends are here to stay, but we must not forget that the Holidays are just around the corner so, to complement these new ideas, here are 9 essential marketing techniques for Retailers and wineries that are exploring e-commerce:
-Offer products and services for every budget
-Have gift boxes ready for the festivities
-Themed combos of wines and services
-Consumer Loyalty programs
-Begin promotions for the holiday season much earlier
-Prepare stock and place orders in advance, to be ready
-Make sure you have a friendly and practical website for consumers, not forgetting that there are more users connecting from their smartphones
-Make the shopping experience something simple and pleasant
-Campaigns in local media and social networks.