TechBytes with Stephanie Klimaszewski, VP of Marketing at Aki Technologies

“Personalization tech powers regional call outs, product recommendations, local inventory counts and maps that drive foot traffic and sales.”

What are some of the changes you’re seeing in retail and how are they impacting consumer behavior?

Retailers these days are easing the tension between mobile and brick-and-mortar.

Brick-and-mortar stores are addressing the issue of showrooming—when people visit a store to look at a product and then buy it online elsewhere for a lower price— by pricing their merchandise competitively, by updating Point-of-Sale systems to support mobile payment and coupons, and by creating more engaging in-store experiences to attract shoppers and keep them in the physical stores. Mobile-first touchpoints, such as Augmented Reality, have also really changed the retail experience for shoppers.

And in the last few years we’ve all seen e-commerce retailers adopt a well-crafted mobile presence and embrace customer-first values as the new normal. Consumers now expect free shipping, for example, and loyalty offers. And shoppers have high standards when they visit a mobile web storefront or use the app for a retailer.

Another trend: Mitigating waste. Retailers like IKEA and Patagonia are investing in sustainability teams to respond to the climate crisis. Consumer behavior follows suit with decisions to go “waste free,” use recyclable grocery bags, refill water bottles and buy less single-use plastic.

How do these changes impact the brand/marketer side of the equation?

These changes mean that retail marketers need a unique selling proposition for their “storefront” (literal or digital), not just their merchandise.

Video, formerly an awareness solution, is now a performance solution, thanks to personalization. Personalization tech powers regional call outs, product recommendations, local inventory counts and maps that drive foot traffic and sales. And as personalization grows, think of the possibilities with personalized digital out of home and dynamic pricing in “smart” store shelves.

The “waste-free” mindset extends to marketers, too: Wasted impressions are a colossal concern. Consumers are receptive to advertising in some moments, not others. Pinpointing these moments is paramount to mitigating wasted impressions and ad spend.

There’s a lot of demand for accountability. How can marketers keep up with innovation and balance that expectation?

I admire marketers’ discipline to verify, measure and painstakingly ask: “How will I know this was successful?” Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) measurement solutions set a high – and warranted – accountability standard for paid media.

Yet, innovation requires that marketers champion learning KPIs. Marketers must vouch for paid research, test budgets and learning campaigns, or risk “accountability paralysis” and regression. Marketers work with innovators like Aki to meet their learning objectives and better understand their customers. For example, a typical Aki campaign shows how new technology and media impacts a customers’ journey, receptivity and buying decisions.

Stephanie Klimaszewski is the VP of Marketing at Aki Technologies

Aki logoAki Technologies revolutionizes how marketers engage mobile consumers. Through Katana, Aki’s AI-powered moment marketing science platform, Aki predicts when and how a consumer is most likely to respond to a marketing message.

Leading brands use Aki Katana’s insights, mobile ad targeting and optimization to dramatically improve awareness, engagement and in-store traffic. The company has offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle and Los Angeles.

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