#166: scott buelter, ascent360 ceo on consumer trends for specialty retailers in 2021

“I think that there’s really a lot that’s happening and I think many pieces of it are extensions of what we saw in 2020…The changes that occurred in 2020, that was a very rapid shift toward technology that allowed buying from home, shopping from home, buy online pickup in store, you know, into specialty retail, into smaller retailers is continuing. And I would even suggest it starting to accelerate.”

– Scott Buelter

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Scott Buelter, Ascent360 CEO and founder returns to the show to share the newest consumer trends to focus on in Q2 2021
  • In the 2020-2021 ski season, resorts went from 15% consumer data collection to 90% consumer data collection almost overnight. What’s next for the ski industry?
  • As biking is about to pick back up, hear what you can do as a specialty retailer to stay connected and engage with your target consumer above your competitors 

EPISODE PREVIEW:

Ascent360’s CEO and founder, Scott Buelter is back for another appearance on this episode of Channel Mastery. Scott joined us for episode 157 in January 2021 and shared key consumer trends we could expect as we were in the first month of a brand new year and quarter. We were eager to get him back for this episode so he can share a wealth of information from Q1 and what we can focus on in specialty business as we’re now into Q2. 

We’ve all known that consumers in specialty markets are passionate. They’re willing to work around fragmentation and friction for our products because they adore their sports and the community that come along with them. Scott shares some of the personal touches he’s seen retailers hone in on this year to uplevel their human to human connections and increase their engagement. 

With so many newcomers first to the skiing industry and now as we enter the 2021 biking season, the specialty experience has to evolve. This is a must listen to episode, as Scott advises on what’s working and what’s not working with the data to better understand it.

GUEST PROFILES:

Scott buelter

As CEO and president, Scott Buelter guides Ascent360’s strategy and vision. His mission is to bring enterprise-level marketing capabilities to midsize businesses through a powerful CDP, allowing them to better understand their customers and achieve continual growth. Buelter draws upon his data analysis and digital marketing experience at companies such as Nike, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Loews Hotels, American Express and Samsung, as well as upon his academic background. Buelter received an MBA from the University of California–Irvine and a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of San Diego, in addition to studying at the London School of Economics and the Institute of Education Sciences in Berlin and Vienna.

TOPICS COVERED:

Ascent360, Q2 consumer trends, what to expect in the ski industry next year, consumer data collection, human to human retail relationships, 2020 consumer trends, 2021 consumer trends, specialty retail sales and data

SELECT QUOTES:

“I think that there’s really a lot that’s happening and I think many pieces of it are extensions of what we saw in 2020…The changes that occurred in 2020, that was a very rapid shift toward technology that allowed buying from home, shopping from home, buy online pickup in store, you know, into specialty retail, into smaller retailers is continuing. And I would even suggest it starting to accelerate.”

“It {Ski Season} certainly wasn’t, a blow out season or a blockbuster season or probably even a normal season in terms of revenue, but across the board, throughout most of the United States, a little bit rougher in Canada but, all of the different regions those resorts actually did quite well. And we also see the past sales have already started for you know, 20, 21, 22 season, and those are going well also. Some of the ideas continue and some of those ideas are, people want to be outdoors. People want to get out of the house. People want to experience life. And that actually works well for the ski industry.”

“Almost every ski ski resort closed their window down, their ticket window. And that means you had to buy everything online. What that also means is that ski resorts went from 15% consumer data collection to 90% consumer data collection overnight. And that was, that’s a huge benefit to all of them. It’s also a huge benefit to their future because, you know, as they move into next year, now, they actually know who their consumer is. They’re able to communicate with their consumer. They know some of the likes and dislikes of their consumers, which one took the lessons which ones you know, chose some other, other product…”

“I think that the key takeaway is that the progress towards consumer, one-to-one relationships is just the beginning. I would probably relate it to the auto industry, right? You may not know this, but the first electric car was developed in 1880 that’s whatever, 150 years ago now. And now we’re at a place where the electric cars becoming the, the mainstream. It’s not going to take nearly that long, but we are at the very beginning of the trend towards using data to build relationships with consumers, right? Data, data science, using AI, predictive analytics, all those sorts of things. It is going to get easier and easier. But what I would suggest is the one core message is that there’s no way a business will be able to compete without a strong, robust data gathering and data quality and customer data experience strategy.”

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