Good morning, have you heard about the latest updates from Shopify and Yelp? 

Both platforms have made recent moves to help SMBs and local shops integrate their online and offline customer experiences. As we mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter, Shopify has updated its POS solution, adding new features designed specifically for smaller merchants — allowing them to wed their offline and online sales, orders and payments. 

Yelp has updated its site to help surface businesses offering takeout or curbside pickups. It has also added a “virtual service offering” icon for service-oriented businesses now providing virtual classes, tutorials and consultations. 

These types of platform updates reflect the massive shifts happening across industries, according to MarTech Today’s Greg Sterling. Companies are being forced to implement digital strategies as existing business models are being upended by COVID-19. 

“Omnichannel has been a buzzword for years in the retail industry and has been vaguely synonymous with digital transformation,” writes Greg, “But now there’s more urgency, as traditional merchants large and small are having to place more emphasis on technology, e-commerce and integrated online and offline experiences (e.g., BOPIS) during the pandemic.”

Greg says offline sales and fulfillment aren’t going away, but it is going to get really weird over the next few months: “The capacity to sell and fulfill online and better integrate online and offline operations (e.g. BOPIS) will separate the winners from those that fail to adapt.”

Speaking of massive shifts, what are your thoughts on in-person events in the coming months? Do you think you’ll be ready to attend a trade show or conference once shelter-in-place policies are lifted later this year? Please take our survey to help us gauge how our community is feeling about live events: Marketing Events Survey.

We’ll be using the survey results to make decisions on our own events, but also plan to share what we learn from the survey on our site and in our newsletters going forward. 

There’s more for you below, including a Soapbox from Gongos Chief Innovation Officer Greg Heist. 

Amy Gesenhues,
Senior Editor

 
 
 
Soapbox
 

Customer centricity in the new normal

In what seemed like a moment, the entire world changed. Everything we took for granted about the economy, consumers’ attitudes and values, and ways we collectively went about living our lives have been suddenly turned on its head. 

The implications of how this will influence consumer choices are seismic in scope. Complicating this is the fact that now, more than ever, what the “new normal” will look like for all of us – as human beings and as consumers – is largely unknown. Like a pebble dropping into a still pond, we’re experiencing the first ripples of this change…and the aftereffects will be felt for many years to come. 

This means that all our underlying assumptions about what makes consumers “tick” need to be pressure-tested. 

This new reality creates an urgent challenge for brands and marketers: how to remain nimble while understanding how consumers’ lives will continue to change, how to connect with consumers in authentic ways, and how to create meaningful value in peoples’ lives.

As researchers, we will need to re-envision how we “go” into people’s homes as ethnographers, how we help our clients immerse in insights and collaborate together in ideation sessions; and urge clients to make online experiences just as fulfilling as in-person or in-store interactions.

It’s a daunting challenge that can only be successfully navigated by fixing our sights on the consumers who are the lifeblood of any business, deeply understanding them as humans, and making them the focal point of our strategies to better serve them as the new normal takes hold.

Greg Heist is the chief innovation officer at Gongos, Inc.

 

[Tomorrow] Learn How to Build Great Digital Experiences

In today’s business climate, the right digital experiences will position companies to prosper. Yet, more than half of businesses around the globe struggle to deliver on customer expectations for digital experiences.  As a result, customers often look elsewhere and reward those companies that provide engaging digital experiences with their loyalty. Join this webinar and learn to simplify the creation, deployment, management, and extension of your company’s digital experience capabilities.

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MarTech Minute
 

Combined DAM and PIM tools offer product marketing managers peace of mind

ARE WE ON THE SAME PAGE?  Brand asset management solution Widen has launched a product information management (PIM) platform as part of its digital asset management (DAM) tool suite. The company says the combination of its DAM and the newly added PIM will help companies accelerate product launches and ensure the accuracy of product listings across the web. The PIM solution will help product managers and marketers collate product information, including technical specs and sizes. The data can then be pushed into the Widen Collective platform where marketers will be able to automatically route creative content for feedback, review and approvals, syndicate final product data to e-commerce sites, and more. 

Why we care: The key word here: automatic. Marketing and MOPs teams are looking under every nook and cranny for new ways to automate processes as many of us are having to accelerate our digital initiatives. We’re doing “a lot more” with “a lot less,” so any new martech solution that can automate tasks like collating product specs across the web or routing that same product information to various channels for reviews offers product marketing managers some breathing room.  

In other martech news …

 

Take our survey

For most marketers, attending in-person events is a key component to their professional development. But COVID-19 has significantly impacted the ability to travel, at least for now. How are you thinking about and planning your fourth quarter event schedule?

Take the survey »

 
 
 
What we're reading
 

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

A Responsive Data Strategy Is More Critical Now Than Ever Before – CMS Wire

Facebook to add gift cards, jobs and donation tools to its COVID-19 Community Help hub – TechCrunch

Intel acquires urban mobility startup Moovit for $900 million – VentureBeat

IAB UK Creates Head Of Ad Tech Role To Focus On The Industry’s Existential Crises – AdExchanger

The Importance of Information Architecture to UX Design – UX Matters

Web Stories, powered by AMP – Amp Blog