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Big brands have screwed up their retail channels

Here is an experience which illustrates the future potential direction of physical retail and why big brands have borked channel integration & in-person CRM:

“I went shopping to see if there were any sales. I walked past JD Sports and saw the brightest pair of trainers I had seen for a while (oh yes) and thought I buy them. Full price – not in the sale. I went into the shop and then waited for 10 minutes before someone would attend me. I asked for the shoe in a 9. About another 10 minutes later they eventually arrived. They didn’t fit but it was clear that the next size up was going to be perfect. I asked for the next size up to be told that they didn’t have any in stock. K THX BAI.”

What should have happened? They process the transaction and have the next size up delivered. The shoe is available in that size on the website. I can even use a cash back service to get a 6% discount with free delivery. Is this hard? No – not at all but it indicates that physical retail is struggling to come to terms with it’s future.

The future of physical retail is about experience. It’s about shopping being a pleasure:

  • as I walk in store I treated well or even recognised and addressed
  • staff are friendly, knowledgeable, empathic and brand representatives
  • my loyalty (or lack of it) is recognised
  • my purchase history lets staff know where to direct me
  • I am asked of I want to take my purchases with me (instant gratification sated) or have my purchases delivered (because who really wants to continue shopping with bags of purchases not needed for days/weeks?)
  • I get a voucher for a local eatery as I leave

All of the above could be done today for a reasonably low tech investment. Being met with a blank stare when I ask for a different size is not an option.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 6th, 2011 at 13:05 and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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