We are now seeing the adjustment of retail to the rise of online. As we read the reports from Walmart, Target, Best Buy and others it is clear they have learned many lessons from the rise of e-commerce and Amazon in particular. Now they are responding, and the results are very encouraging not only for them, but for all retailers.
Oh, you may think you cannot respond in kind with smart automated stores, or amazing web presences, but that is not the point. The point is that all of these giants focused on improving their experience for the customer. Since these big folk mainly trade in price and selection their reactions and methods may be different from yours, but everyone can up the experience of their business.
Some of these things are the table stakes today, such as price matching (it’s transparent out there), wide and full selection (but everyone can offer an endless aisle now), and content. These big guys have upped in store displays, training and demonstration too. It seems that things like BOPIS and being able to touch and feel (and measure) the product is still important to most people, but only when they get the rest.
So you say you do not have the budget or experience? That is no excuse these days. E-commerce solutions are available at very affordable prices and you can enable truly wide selection by working with your partners and distributors. What you need to do is offer a unique and wonderful experience and to be clear, much of that is free (save for the sweat equity involved) unless you do not want to have concerned, well-informed and enabled staff.
This is what remains true after the digital tidal wave has run its course. People like human interaction. They respond to those who listen with empathy. Real world demonstration and presentation are winners. These things are done much better by actual people.
Yes, make your digital presence, it’s critical. Make your physical presence something to remember. For most, it is the memory of the person and how they connected with them. The more things change, the more remains the same. Is your business empowering your people to give and have a great experience?