4 retail execs explain where they’re investing in 2016

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling beauty products or chicken fingers: Now is a difficult time to be a retailer. It’s a struggle to earn and keep a shopper’s attention, let alone loyalty. At the Digiday Retail Summit, which takes place June 27 – 29 in Nashville, the sharpest minds in the industry will discuss how retailers are investing in technology to engage customers.

As we prepare to visit the country music capital of the world, we asked four speakers what areas they’ll be investing in to modernize the shopping experience. Here are their answers, lightly edited for space and clarity.

Melissa Barnes, senior director, brand strategy, Rent the Runway
We are investing in ways to bridge the gap between our offline and online world. We just launched RTR Now so users on our site can see what’s currently available in store and then stop by to try on and rent. Conversely, if they like something in store, we want them to easily be able to save it to their ‘virtual closet” to rent online in the future.

Kira Clayborne, digital marketing and media manager, Church’s Chicken
In 2016, we are focusing on our guest. We’ve decided to invest our resources in supporting our Mobile App. With the app, our guests can connect with Church’s Chicken anytime, anywhere, which promotes deeper connections and ultimately, loyalty.

Joy Chen, CEO, H2O+
We closed the last of H2O+ Beauty’s retail stores at the end of 2015 to modernize our distribution model and align our company with our consumer target, who tend to shop online. While we continue to offer products through retailers such as Ulta, our new website will serve as both our flagship store and a tool for communicating and interacting directly with our customer.

Lisa Johnson Kolodny, VP brand marketing & communications, FreshDirect
Modernizing the shopping experience means making it as frictionless as possible — a smoother, easier, more customer-friendly way to shop. We’re planning to evaluate all aspects of the shopping journey to remove friction, build shopper confidence, and enable customers to get what they want faster. The end result will impact key shopping moments including sign-on, getting started, reorder, shopping lists and more.

To learn more about the Digiday Retail Summit, click here.


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