Tony skinner 00:01
Hi, and welcome to the podcast channel podcast my business. And today we have Adam Loakim from emarsys.com thats e m a r s y s.com And how are you today Adam?
Tony skinner 00:16
Very good. Great to meet you, Tony. How are you?
Tony skinner 00:19
Yeah, you’re pretty good. I, I Are you in North Sydney, you’re in a CBD
based in the CBD. So it’s nice and sunny where I am, albeit getting cold in Sydney.
Tony skinner 00:30
Yeah, it is cooler. And this is interesting, cuz I’m in Sydney as well. I’m in North Sydney. And online is the way to go. It is the future it is what people like still face to face is important. But some of these things that we’re doing now can be done online a bit more conveniently. Because then you’re in your office, you’re in your home environment.
Absolutely. I think one of the things we’ve missed from being in the office is just that collaboration, the background conversation, the water cooler discussion. I think zoom and, and all these remote tools were a bit of a novelty for a period of time. I think we’re a little bit over them now. So as we’ve started to be able to open up a mixture is nice.
Tony skinner 01:06
Yeah, absolutely. And it is that mixture. So if you’re doing it for a purpose, such as this, but if you’re doing it as the new way of working. I’m not sure about that. That’s good. Okay, so I guess I wanted to cover a few things with you guys today. And not many people may be aware of you guys yet. So tell us the emarsys story.
Perfect. So emarsys prior to November last year was an independent company working predominantly with direct to consumer brands on customer engagement. So how they communicate how they engage and how they eventually activate to transact with their high value customers. We were acquired by SAP in November last year, so we’ve become part of the beast, which is SAP fitting into the customer experience suite. And we built up quite a successful business around the world, predominantly in retail and e commerce.
Tony skinner 01:59
Right, okay, so, Okay, I’m gonna be a bit more upfront, but I’ll just say, look, we had a year ago, that the world turned to dust. You know, you can imagine I’m, you know, it doesn’t matter. So the world turned to dust about March last year. And it impacted all of us globally. It’s like, I keep telling kids and whatever, look, you are living through history for 100 years. And it’s pretty scary when you think about that. But you know, we’re lucky here in Australia, we are an island and we’re able to shut down and whatever. However, the world of retail, and the world of apps has absolutely exploded and apps supporting retail. How do you fit into that?
Yeah, it’s interesting, right. So in the, as you say, in the context of the world that we live in, many, many horrible things have happened in the last 12 to 18 months. One of the better things that have happened for retailers is that they have had to adjust their strategies in the ground engaging with consumers when a physical store is closed. And that’s your only way to generate revenue.
That’s a big problem. If you haven’t got an online presence if you haven’t got a mobile presence. And what we really saw last year was when you talk about retail marketing, there’s two factors is customer acquisition, and customer retention. COVID really did a lot of the customer acquisition for a lot of brands. But what that meant was we were all at home, we were all on our phones, the average consumer spends about three hours a day on their phones. And so it’s one of the greatest ways to engage and communicate with customers and eventually get them to become mobile shoppers through an app. So the rise of apps is huge.
You know, we saw 40% of people last year through some research that we ran state that they found it more relaxing shopping with apps, and about 60% said they’d like retail stores to feel like apps. So this whole customer experience is coming and becoming much more prevalent.
Tony skinner 03:57
So when you say a sort of feel like an app, you walk in and just press some big buttons.
I think when people are talking about that, they’re talking about the personalized experience. So walking in and having someone potentially greet you by name, understand your transaction history, looking at the things you’ve purchased in the past.
So product affinity, and it’s really being able to have an experience in there. We’re seeing a lot of stores with coffee shops opening within their stores. JD sports have DJs in their stores now. So it’s really an immersive experience rather than feeling like you’re walking into a shop.
Tony skinner 04:29
Yeah, and I think it’s so many I’ve had to step up to the new future. And I think it’s it’s basically sped up development over three or four years into 12 months.
Absolutely. So I mean, look, prior to the pandemic in Australia, you’d have an average of 10 to 12% of transactions happening outside of a traditional store environment. So via a website or via a mobile app. Now that’s around 20%.
So it’s really accelerated that kind of double In a really short space of time, I think that’s quite a good thing for the industry. Australia has lagged behind in what we call this omni channel experience space. Places like the US or UK are well ahead, but I think it’s improving. And that’s a good thing.
Tony skinner 05:14
Great. Well, thank you for that wonderful segue, I was going to ask you about omni channel, it can mean different things to different companies. So what do you mean by omni channel?
omni channel for me? Look, it’s a bit of a buzz term. But for me, omni channel genuinely means the ability to engage and transact anywhere, anytime, in a location place way that is relevant for the consumer. If I as a consumer prefer to be in a physical store. That’s my channel of preference. But what brands are really having to do is come up with this kind of commerce anywhere or commerce everywhere type piece is seamless experience across a brand. Because when you think about customers, as a consumer, I don’t think about channels, I think about brands.
So if it’s an app, if it’s a store, if it’s a website, if I’m seeing an advertisement on Facebook, all I think about is the brand, rather than the individual channel. So the channel is hugely important, but it really just means being available everywhere.
Tony skinner 06:07
Okay, so again, when you’re talking about apps, are you talking about apps like in the Google place, or Apple Play Store? Or what type of apps are you referring to?
Generally, yes, generally, we have brands that have mobile experiences that are not apps, they’re just mobile ready websites. But individual apps have become hugely prevalent recently. Now, everybody looks at the likes of Netflix, or Spotify, or Apple TV, or these immersive experiences.
And what COVID actually did was really accelerate some of those. So if you look at the apps that are growing, and have grown over the last 12 months, it’s in the areas you would expect. So it’s food and recipes, its beauty, and grooming, we’re all spending way too much time looking in the mirror at home. So how we how we groom ourselves sitting on the couch, for example. Fashion is a really interesting one.
So people are still concerned with what they wear, how they look, which is one that I probably would have thought would have been unexpected prior to a pandemic. You know, we’re all on the couch, most of the time doing our zoom calls, but people are really caring about the way they look. And that translates into the way they feel. And of course, toys and games. So toys and games are important. What I find most interesting about the research that we did was there’s a huge disparity in the generations.
So 30% of 16 to 24 year olds subscribe to an app that dropped to 9% when you get to the 55 plus, so you see this real drop off as you go through the generations. My sense is that is likely to change. But that’s also as a result of pain being people being more mobile comfortable than others, I guess in the older generation.
Tony skinner 07:38
Okay, so let’s look at the customer journey. So you’re talking about they go into the customer goes into the store, they get a personalized experience, is that because at the moment shopping centers are able to pick up your Wi Fi from your phone, is there a way of marrying that to apps, perhaps,
not generally, but the Wi Fi itself, because the Wi Fi doesn’t actually identify the individual that identifies the phone. The way the company is attending to do this is when you transact, you can have things like barcode receipts, you can have identification at store. So if you make a purchase, someone’s capturing your details, which completes the holistic journey of the online and offline consumer.
We’re seeing some really cool trends in this space as well. So cute clothing are a customer of emarsys. What they’re doing is they’re looking at customers that are not transacting in their stores. Often if someone walks in, they don’t buy something they walk out, you lose that connection at the point that they leave. But they’re using wish lists in stores where they can append the products that you looked at the categories you’re interested in to your record, and then offer those to you at a later date via a website or via an app, for example.
So it could be we noticed you like the black pants and they were out of stock. You might get an email or an app pop up that says your black pants are now in stock, or there’s been a price drop or come to this exclusive offer or this exclusive event. So closing the loop of the install, and the online customer journey is becoming more prominent.
Tony skinner 09:05
Yeah, that’s interesting, because I remember Amazon trialling a new way of shopping in the states where you have a chip, maybe a wearable chip or something like that. And you walk in, and you press what you want without having to buy the products. And then as you walk out, it’s presented to you and build without any human interaction as such, is that a potential outcome of this sort of software?
Yeah, I think it absolutely is. You look at the way that the world has adapted. We’ve now got not only click and collect, we’ve got contactless. Click and collect, you can drive up to a Dan Murphy’s. Let them know that you’re there and your water is delivered to the boot of your car within a couple of minutes. We’re seeing a lot of apps now become more immersive and experience. So virtual styling as an example trying sunglasses on your own face or looking at clothing on your own body, or makeup with your own skin tone. These types of experiences are really making it more interesting.
Tony skinner 10:02
Okay, so all right. So where does that leave the future for brick and mortar stores?
I think there’s certainly still a place for brick and mortar stores. What I see with the retailers we talked to is that they’re going through what I would call a rationalization of store networks. Do I as Myer, let’s use Myer as an example, really need 50 stores or 60 stores across the country. And Myer is a real example, who are actually downsizing their store network, as a result of the online consumer. But I think there’s certainly a balance because the experience of the touch the feel, wanting to see the product, I don’t think goes away. But it’s supplemented by the online and the mobile experience.
Tony skinner 10:40
So still gonna have people that turn up to the store, look and feel the product and still buy it online?
It’s absolutely could be the case. And I think that means that the way that you would traditionally KPI retail store, which historically was based around revenue, how much money did my physical store make, really make some experience centers rather than revenue generators. And it’s a tough one for retailers to adapt to.
Because there are a lot of fixed costs with a retail store, as you would imagine that you need to try to recoup and then completing that customer journey to understand where the sale was attributed, or the original journey was attributed, then becomes important to the profitability of that location. I think shopping centers are adopting I think stores were adopting. But I also think that there are a lot of traditional omni channel only retailers that are now moving into brick and mortar as an experience center or a face for their brand as well. So it’s going both ways.
Tony skinner 11:30
Yeah. And I think that’s, that’s an important thing, because you still need that connection. And as we were talking right at the beginning, being online is good. But having still having that as water cooler moments still having those experiences. And while apps are good, and I’ve got apps, I don’t play the games with them anymore. All that is still that virtue of that VR one that I always like, I hope it comes back. But yeah, so it’s about having that experience, which you just can’t quite get with pressings on an app on your phone.
No, absolutely. The in person experience, they’re talking to human in a store, the engagement or the background noise. They’re going from store to store to shopping. If you look at there’s an interesting stat that I read recently that said that 75% of users will only ever use an app once.
And then they drop off the face of the earth, three quarters of people that use an app go away after the first use, that’s a significant drop off. So without without a huge amount of personalization in that app or something that’s relevant to the consumer. That’s a huge problem. And so that’s where it can be supplemented by the brick and mortar experience, or the online experience or the social experience.
Tony skinner 12:41
Excellent. Okay. Well, okay, with this, so much wicked deep dive into is like a pool that’s very deep that we’re swimming in. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
There’s probably two tips that I’d like to give at the end of this. And the first is, I kind of touched on at the start customers don’t think in channels. So don’t customers thinking brands and not channels. So if you’re blasting people with irrelevant emails, if you’re sending them content that’s not relevant to them. If you’re sending them the same content over and over again, you will lose them.
Consumers in 2021 are incredibly fickle. And they’re spoilt for choice. So really try to personalize the experience based upon the data that you have. aggregate the data, centralize the data and then make experiences based upon your segments. The second one is around privacy. So it’s been well publicized recently, there’s been significant changes to privacy laws.
Apple’s iOS has changed the way that people engage with brands. So the power is now in the hands of the consumer to give you their information rather than the inverse, which was true historically. So try to create the value exchange with individuals to want to give the your data, whether that’s invites to exclusive events, whether that’s personalized offerings, whether that’s something that’s relevant to them as an individual discounting is one way, but discounting is also a problem because it creates a race to the bottom, that I don’t think anybody wants to win it a cannibalizes your margin, but devalues your value proposition. So it’s got to be careful about discounts. So for me, it’s value exchange. And obviously, customer channels.
Tony skinner 14:14
All right, great. All right. Look, thanks very much for your time, Adam. And that’s Adam from please pronounce it for me because I got the pronunciation wrong.
Tony skinner 14:25
Emarsys There we go. I had a completely wrong way. E m a r s y s .com
Tony skinner 14:32
Right. Thank you.