Retail: Retail's Final Frontier?
After all, just below the much publicized (hyped?) consumer concerns over privacy is the very real, inherent yearning for that old Mr. Green Jeans merchant figure — shopkeepers who recognize customers when they walk into the store, know what they want, what they like and what will make their day. They have a history with customers, and they remember it.
If there’s one thing that dramatically sets Web merchants apart from traditional retailers, it’s real-time access to all the information they’ve accumulated about each and every customer that can be used every time that customer re-enters “the shop.” That’s what translates into the ability of customers to save time, money and hassle — to ensure they don’t make buying mistakes — by subtly, but dynamically, presenting items you know they want and need when they want and need them.
There’s no more powerful means to establish trusting and profitable relationships with customers. In fact, seasoned online customers not only expect it, but demand it.
In the third and final installment of this series, we’ll go back to the future — sort of. We’ll explore the concept of turning retail stores into showrooms by maximizing centralized online inventory management and limiting SKU countsin stores.
Rick Braddock is chairman/CEO of online grocer FreshDirect (email@example.com). Donn Rappaport is founder and chairman of data marketing services provider ALC, and CEO of Zumbox, a paperless postal system (firstname.lastname@example.org).