Today’s competitive physical and online marketplaces have pushed retailers to perform at a higher level in order to turn casual shoppers into loyal, returning customers. The quest to draw customers in, give them the best possible experience and keep sales revenue healthy has turned retailers towards the importance of reinvention. In fact, reinvention is the new reality for retailers looking to stay competitive and deliver to rising consumer demands. Successful reinvention has multiple benefits: higher traffic and attachments rates, better customer loyalty, and an overall stronger revenue stream.
Consumers want a marriage of traditional amenities and innovative new experiences. To achieve this, brick-and-mortar stores must maintain visual standards and navigational ease, but also serve multichannel compatibilities and real-time omnichannel interactions that drive an overall better experience — all while keeping an eye on brand efficiency. These factors all conspire to make a reinvention plan not just an option, but a necessity.
So where do you begin? First and foremost, by working with your team to evaluate one critical question: why?
What's Your Why?
Making a reinvention vision a reality starts with a detailed plan. Your team must diligently think about both the short- and long-term benefits of executing a reinvention strategy before mapping out the details. This means discovering why this plan is necessary and important to the growth of your brand. Your answer to this question is a guidepost, keeping your team on track through every step of the process.
There are typically four common “why’s” you should consider:
- Creating a new and improved brand identity that stands out.
- Building a more technologically savvy approach to serve customers’ ever-changing needs.
- Streamlining operational processes that serve you today and in the future.
- Increasing sales and boosting revenue.
While priorities and resulting actions will vary depending on your individual business model and vertical, the guiding principles remain the same. It’s important to keep perspective and aggressively stick to the “why” to avoid getting lost in the reinvention process.
What Do Your Customers Want?
The next step to planning a successful reinvention is understanding what your customers want. If a you blindly push a reinvention plan out without continuously gauging decisions against your customers’ expectations, you run the risk of missing the mark entirely.
Instead, take the time to speak to your customers and understand their exact needs. Do they want a personalized experience? Do they want to seamlessly transition between your digital and brick-and-mortar locations? How to do they want their interactions to vary between the online and physical worlds?
Speaking with your customers not only ensures that redesign processes align best to their needs, but also strengthens the link between your customers and your brand. By allowing customers’ voices to be heard, you can reinforce their importance and value to your business, enabling you to stand apart in today’s crowded retail marketplace.
Remember the 2 ‘W’s’
The keys to a successful reinvention center on asking and answering the two “W’s.” Armed with this information, you can better understand the long-term perspective of your customers’ needs while also determining whether this current moment is the best time to undertake a reinvention project. With the planning stages complete, you can use your “why’s” to shape, mold and ensure the lasting success of your reinvention execution strategies.
Ron Lutz is the executive vice president and chief client officer at Miller Zell, a fully integrated retail experience company.
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