b'SPOTLIGHTON BUSINESS5 Trends You Need to KnowR etailing changed at a rapid pace and often tookbuild strong relationships with their customers. In turn, these unexpected turns this year and you shouldcustomers become brand ambassadors who tell people in prepare for an exciting ride. The next decadethe community and across the country about the businesss will abound with new opportunities related to technology,excellent staff and the exceptional service they consistently e-commerce, digital marketing, and product innovations.receive. Giving customers a sense of belonging is of vital Ideas that were concepts on the drawing board ten yearsimportance in a world where people are feeling more and ago will now be at the forefront of change. Its criticalmore isolated by technology. When customers feel special, to analyze the big picture to figure out what is workingthey are more loyal to the business. Ultimately, this translates or what needs to change to become an even strongerinto sells and more exposure to your brand. competitor in your market. 4. GETTING PERSONAL WITH E-MAIL1. AUTOMATED INVENTORYIts surprising that 40 percent of marketers MANAGEMENT RAMPS UP rarely customize their e-mails. When it Tracking inventory is critical to the success ofcomes to e-mails, highly personalized e-mails every business, especially one with a robustgenerate significantly more revenue. Research indicates, e-commerce operation. Soon, smart robotics willadding some form of personalization is better than none. track and process inventory in real-time speeds. Currently,Typical, personalization can include a first name in the many activities performed manually by humans will besubject line, a standard greeting in the body of the e-mail, impacted. Computerized systems will manage the processand a recent purchase. However, customers expect even from the point when products are inventoried, shipped,more. Campaigns that speak to the customer and address or purchased by the consumer. Computer-generated datatheir unique needs will be far more successful than those can be acted upon quickly and makes the overall businessthat take a one message fits all approach.operate smoothly and efficiently.5. DIGITAL ADVERTISING 2. PRIVATE LABEL BRANDSBECOMES MORE IMPORTANTGROW IN POPULARITYTraditional advertising has been impacted Retailers sell and promote private label brandsby digital advertising. The increasing use of because they are available from wholesalers atmobile devices to engage social media and a substantially lower cost than brand-name products. Theypurchase products has made online advertising a priority also contribute more to the bottom line due to their higherfor businesses and brands who want to target specific mark-up. In the past, consumers viewed private label prod- customers and customize their messages. When done ucts as being low-end and less desirable than their brand- effectively, customers should perceive digital ads as being a name counterparts. That attitude has now changed consid- natural part of the user experience without being intrusive. erably. Todays shopper is less loyal to brands and placesDigital ads offer a wide range of options to brands and greater importance on high quality and affordable price.businesses. They can be the right solution for small business According to research conducted by CB Insights, sales ofowners who want a cost-effective means to promote private label products are growing three times faster thanproducts, services, and events to their customers.branded merchandise. Home improvement retailers have aHome improvement retailers can always learn something real opportunity to promote the private label brands theyfrom the success and failures of big box competitors who currently sell or plan to stock in the upcoming year.dominate the retail industry. How companies manage change determines their outlook for a prosperous future. 3. CREATING COMMUNITYAccept that its a new day in retail and that customers are BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS always evolving. Try new ideas, and feel confident that you Building Community doesnt require a lot ofhave the tools to win in a competitive market. money. There are hardware stores around the country that are famous because they understand how to 10CUTTINGEDGE Products May 2020'