5 Strategies for Retailers Competing in a Digital World
5. Individualize through digital convenience. Integrate digital kiosks and tablets throughout your stores to encourage feedback in online forums, and to provide in-store shoppers with tools to easily visualize products in their everyday lives.
Boutique retailers like Fab and Gilt Groupe create dynamic, intuitive and visually engaging content that reads more like a fashion magazine than an online retailer. This keeps consumers interested in what they can discover or "find" and relates back to brick-and-mortar retailers regularly resetting the store. Others, like Amazon.com and eBay, observe your shopping behaviors and respond with recommendations, bundles and other insights. They're simply offering a virtual personal shopper or that favorite sales person who knew you from department stores’ past.
Whether you're a "brick" or "click" in this digital world, it's important to be consumer centric, putting your customers first and understanding the journey they're on when shopping. Make your user interface real or intuitive, simple and meaningful. Finally, shopping will remain a social behavior — especially in Western culture. Therefore, it's important that your brand and experience remain human, real and authentic to consumers. Digital strategies should enhance this human experience and not replace it. New ways and places to shop can be created, but brick-and-mortar retailers remain the best way to make, maintain and foster the human connections that will be necessary to compete in an increasingly digital marketplace.
Randall Stone is a senior partner and director of customer experience and retail designat Lippincott, a global brand strategy and design consultancy.