Consumers are looking for 'hassle free' shopping experiences. Companies have translated this to mean more 'tech/digital' projects, when the answer is something a lot more simple and less cost.
The job of retail leaders is to understand how to inspire the consumer first and foremost, ensuring your entire team are internally aligned with the 'anchor' reason 'why' a consumer should should choose your company over your nearest competitor.
Those that can do this consistently always maintain a commercially competitive advantage.
Yet it seems that those sat in privileged leadership roles seem to forget that the first place to look at how your business might be changing is to focus on consumer behaviour, not tech. What I mean by this is that every single business I've been called into when dealing with a turnaround were on a race to the bottom because they lost focus on the core reason 'why' consumers previously chose to shop with them over a competitor.
On the one hand, the CMO.com report uncovers an industry that is becoming increasingly led by and reliant on technology, with 60% of millennials saying that they’d be happy to buy from a chatbot, and 45% of under-20s more than willing to try voice-activated ordering. “Hey Siri, I need a ramen burger, an IPA and some beard oil delivered asap.”
This has led to retailers racing to embrace the next sales-enabling technology, whatever that may be, with 28% of retail executives consider Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality as exciting opportunities for the years ahead.
But while VR and AR may capture headlines, the reality, not to mention the greatest gains, may be somewhat simpler - even when it comes to parting digital natives from their money - because 77% of Gen Z shoppers confess that they’d prefer to purchase in-store than online.
Consumer's don't think in tech silo's, they don't think in channels, they're all very selfish, they just want to learn more about you, and then choose the best way to 'buy' from you in a way that works best for them.
Your job is to figure out how to do that, and knowing the 'WHY' consumers should choose you over a competitor is one of the biggest and ongoing roles any company/brand can do.
And if you're 'Why' cannot be regained, you have probably got 3 choices;
- Stay as you are - die slowly.
- Re-position with a 'leverage and build' strategy.
- Kill it yourself.
As the saying goes "Sometimes it's easier to give birth than it is to raise the dead"
“Consumers' march to e-commerce has been a dominant retail theme over the past decade, but traditional brick-and-mortar visits still remain crucial to success. Blending the best of both these channels could be the key to delivering outstanding results.”