Retail - Right - Now ...

It bears repeating, but we are living in a changing and challenging retail landscape. Consumers no longer behave and interact with the store as their one and only touch point. They do not distinguish their shopping, brand, or whatever experience – customers perceive the online, mobile, brick-and-mortar, visual, textual, verbal experience as one – And if you fail at one point or in other words you put your customer’s nose out of joint at one important point it will affect your whole business - and not only with this customer.
In time past these disappointed customers ‘only’ shared their bad experience with their, family, colleagues, and friends in their pub – But today they share their good and bad, and it’s natural, one shares more likely their bad experience with the whole world and their family, colleagues and friends by the endless social platforms.
A radical rethink of purpose of stores in the customers shopping journey is necessary. Non-traditional vendors are leading the way in providing innovative customer journeys, exposing gaps in service, product quality and product range of traditional vendors.

The answer to this changing and challenging retail landscape will not be the same for every retail business or vendor.

There are a few steps which all vendors should take …

Who are you?

Role of character of the store – Your store should be unique - Determine a clear proposition for the store

Who are your customers?

Requirements and expectation of your customers – Your customer is unique - Learn to think and feel as your customer

What is your retail landscape?

Quantity and quality of your channels – Each channels is different for each business and retailer – Review the significance of each channel and how they create an overall brand proposition.

There are a few crucial aspects each vendor has to understand - It’s crucial …

… to start customer focused
… to understand how the store is going to fulfil customer’s requirements and expectations
… to understand the impact of moving to a multichannel strategy
… to allocate costs appropriately to reflect a multichannel operation strategy, rather than a parallel channel model, as most traditional retailers do up to now
… to have customers data, stock figures, etc. up-to-date and on-hand if an associate in a local store, call-agent, service assistant, etc. needs it

The ongoing internal and external changing requirements will have impact the way the business will run no matter where or how.

A fundamental change will be required by vendors all over every location and business. And that applies to each company only the vendors who recognize and respond to the reality of changing consumer behavior will survive – it’s that easy.

Following you see a few great interactive examples by Perch:

PERCH Athletic Shoes from PERCH on Vimeo.

PERCH at Kate Spade 5th Avenue from PERCH on Vimeo.

From demanding shoppers to speed of technology and increased competition -- change is all around you. Whenever the connected consumer engages, your brand must be relevant and instantly reinforced. Know your shoppers and understand your business in every moment. Manage the whole shopping journey from discovery to purchase to pick and delivery and service.

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