What’s In Store for Retail Marketing

What’s In Store for Retail Marketing?

In previous decades, being sustainable was largely linked with extra costs, particularly in the short term. However, over the past decade, corporate social responsibility has been gaining increasing momentum within the retail industry and an increasing number of companies are looking for ways to emphasise their commitment to environment and social goals. In recognising that sustainability is here to stay, the retail industry has seen an undeniable shift from looking a sustainability and “green retail” as a cost center, to seeing it as an opportunity to reduce and manage risk, improve customer and employee relationships and ultimately deliver better products and a better service.

Within the retail sector of the UK economy the British Retail Consortium reported way back in 2005 that “CSR is increasingly providing a template for retailers to report on a range of issues” and that “for retailers, CSR is inherent to their business strategy”. It is apparent, however, that CSR remains at the forefront of retailer’s strategic decision making and in a recent report sustainability experts from 82 countries worldwide were asked to identify leading companies integrating sustainability into their business strategies. The number of mentions ranked companies in the following order…

  1. Unilever (38%)
  2. Patagonia (12%)
  3. Interface (8%)
  4. Marks & Spencer (6%)
  5. Natura (5%)
  6. Ikea (5%)
  7. Nestle (4%)
  8. GE (3%)
  9. Nike (3%)
  10. Coca Cola (3%)

(Published in the 2015 Sustainability Leaders report)


But what can retailers expect to see a rise of in store in regards to green marketing?

  1. The use of Video with in store POP

While in general retailers will begin to adopt and experiment with technology and innovative ideas, companies are notably trialling the implementation of a number of video formats.

EXAMPLE: Visa used a four part ‘shoppable’ YouTube video series to promote Visa Checkout- an online service that allows users to store their payments and shipping information. Using YouTube shoppable video technology, the audience can buy products featured by clicking directly on the video.

Result: Increased consumer engagement and an inventive way of showcasing products even for the busiest customers.


  1. Increased use of recycled materials

A survey by Cone Communications and Echo Research recently uncovered that 87% of global consumers factor CSR into their purchase decisions. Ultimately this demonstrates that simply, consumers these days are more attracted to retailers or companies that invest in CSR schemes and initiatives.

EXAMPLE: Waitrose are already known for their support of British Farmers but have furthered this recently by backing British Wool licensee and entrepreneur Kim Stead with her innovative reusable 100% British Wool shopping bag. The new concept of “twool” wool bags has been a major investment for Stead, offering a robust bag that provides a sustainable and biodegradable alternative to commonly used carrier bags.


  1. Development of in store marketing systems and the value chain for continuous improvement

Robin Lewis and Michael Dark highlighted a key factor to ensure retail success in their book, The New Rules of Retail. They argue that if retailers are looking to offer persuasive and exciting shopper experiences there is an undeniable need to take control of the entire value chain, from product manufacturing to distribution and marketing.

Sustainability is not a static concept that is over after a sustainability report is written. Retailers are now beginning to develop long-term sustainability projects with short, mid and long-term goals and objectives. Goals require infrastructure development in order to achieve continuous improvement. Management and IT systems for continuous improvement involve supplier scorecarding, management training, employee training, energy reduction goals and regular sustainability reporting.

EXAMPLES: Apple and Ralph Lauren are both praised on their ability to manage the value chain from pre to post purchase.


  1. CSR initiatives promoted in store rather than product benefits

2015 will likely see an increase in retailers launching ethical initiatives promoted in store. CSR improves the shopping experience in a number of ways. It makes customers feel good knowing they’re contributing to a worthwhile cause, essentially it boosts shoppers propensity to spend the money in their pocked by assuring them that the money they are spending is not going into one person’s pocket but is truly making a difference somewhere in the world.


Evidently, the bottom line is that it is all about the customer experience, so our recommendation? Jump on the bandwagon as quickly as possible because these trends are not something you should be missing out on. Once again, the customer is king.


A chat with… Jon Howland-Nielsen

A chat with… Jon Howland- Nielsen

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  1. What is your professional background?

 Sales and Marketing executive with over 10 years of selling and marketing within the Mobile and IT sectors

  1. What projects are you working on at the moment?

 My most recent project i’ve been working on is setting up an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) within HP, using my past experiences from my mobile industry roles. The concept is to provide 3G/4G connectivity to anyone purchasing a HP tablet or some notebooks to enable them to be more productive in the commercial space and never have the fear of missing out on the latest viral Facebook clip for the consumer space.

  1. What has been your favourite project to work on?

 My favourite project has been building a business from scratch in HP. The accessories business (bags, mice, keyboards) basically anything that isn’t a computer, printer or ink is vitally important for any PC company as it’s the area that delivers the most margin. I had the opportunity to own, grow and push this business for HP for over 2 years and loved every minute.

  1. What trends are you seeing emerging?

 More and more consumers want to be connected and the “Fear of Missing Out” is leading to the demand for connectivity on devices anywhere, whether it’s a Sim Card in a Laptop or Tablet, or just using the hotspot function on your mobile phone more and more people are choosing and needing to be connected.

  1. How would you describe the HP in store experience?

 HP’s instore experience is better than it has been but still has room to improve in the way we communicate to customer via our POS materials or how we talk about our products and services. We need to be less about specs and more about the real world needs. Manufacturer’s are also reigned back by the retailer as they want certain things done “their” way which makes the customer communication harder less intuitive.

  1. What are your thoughts on incorporating digital/social media technologies into in store marketing communications?

 I think this will become more and more prevalent in 2016 and beyond as customer continue to change the way they purchase big ticket items in particular. Showrooming is more important than ever and it’s not all about seeing in store and purchasing online, it’s about the whole experience with that brand you are purchasing or the retailer you are purchasing from. 

  1. What part do you think ‘green’ retail will play in the future of in store marketing?

 I think less demand on paper for fact tag and communication in store moving to more digital elements will save wastage, but personally i think it’s the products manufacturers that will change, small packaging or none at all…less cardboard, paper, plastics means less frustration unpacking and less impact on the environment.

Virgin Money

Virgin Money wanted a solid company to help transform their banking branches in to the relaxed and informal experience that they are today.

Valley was tasked with delivering many elements including window displays, literature holding units and internal communication displays with an emphasis on quality, robustness and an ability to turn around new requirements at speed and with the minimum of fuss.

The Health Lottery

In December 2014 Valley were commissioned by The Health Lottery to manufacture 7,500 kiosks for installation in retail outlets throughout the UK.

Never ones to shy away from a challenge, Valley made maximum use of our flexible resources to scale up and begin work, delivering the project from start to finish in just 3 weeks – no mean feat when considering that one of those 3 weeks included Christmas.


Berluti have been making shoes of exceptional quality and character since 1895. In 2015, 120 years later, Berluti turned to Valley, a business of equal heritage, to help create the “Patina of Time” in the windows of their boutique stores across the globe.

Valley were privileged to be able to work alongside Berluti and renowned American artist Tobias Tovera to ensure that the Berluti patina was honoured as an art in and of itself in these incredibly beautiful window displays.