The context of customer service is changing to accommodate the emotional behavior of shoppers in a new era. While many shoppers have shifted to online shopping, brick-and mortar retailers still have the chance to refocus their efforts and reimagine how they […]
The context of customer service is changing to accommodate the emotional behavior of shoppers in a new era. While many shoppers have shifted to online shopping, brick-and mortar retailers still have the chance to refocus their efforts and reimagine how they can continue to serve customers.
Home Depot’s strong Q4 2017 results is a testament to its ability to find the right processes and drive consumer engagement. This makes it an excellent example of a smart retailer.
Two dimensions are key to smart retailers competing effectively:
- Rethink how you use your store to create memorable experiences for customers.
- Create seamless, integrated omnichannel experiences across all channels, including apps, ecommerce platforms, social media, and in-store.
Home Depot introduced in-store solutions centers over the past year. These centers allow customers to ask questions about home improvements and get answers. Home Depot offers these test centers to help customers understand what they are looking for and ask about. Employees can also provide valuable insight into customer needs.
Nordstrom and Sephora, two other retailers, are showing the power of “smartly” operation.
Nordstrom has rethought the traditional store format and created Nordstrom local, a small-store format without inventory. It creates a social atmosphere that includes styling, tailoring, and manicures in order to provide a pampering experience for customers.
Sephora is the industry leader in providing a consistent shopping experience across its properties. Sephora has created videos celebrating both the pre-sale as well as the post-sale experience. These videos include expert/celebrity tutorials and user-generated videos.
Stand out by reconsidering outdated metrics
Home Depot is also a success in incorporating new metrics to measure store success, such as impact on brand impression, digital buy intent, inspiration per sq. foot, and digital purchase intent.
Retail is changing rapidly and companies must find better ways to measure customer experience. A visit to the store can have an impact even if the sale hasn’t yet closed. Retailers must find new ways to measure that impact beyond traditional methods and better align their customer experience.
Retail has undergone a fascinating evolution to ensure they can keep up with the times.
Brick-and-mortar stores were often run separately when e-commerce was first introduced. This created a confusing experience online and made it difficult for customers to recognize the brand.
A well-integrated online and offline strategy across multiple channels and touchpoints is vital today to ensure that a brand is consistent across all formats. These gaps can be bridged by retailers who are able to maximize their sales, both online and in-store.
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Target and Others to Offer Toys”R”Us Stores
According to court documents filed Tuesday and reviewed by CNBC , several Toys”R”Us shops are set to be auctioned off this week. Target and Aldi are both looking at Kendall, Florida as one of the 58 “qualified bidding” options. It is located near several college campuses. Five stores are being offered by Big Lots: Fresno (California), Exton, Pennsylvania, Durham, North Carolina, Woodbridge, Virginia, and Indianapolis. Raymour and Flanigan, a furniture chain, is bidding on three stores — one in New Jersey and two in New York. The Golf & Tennis Pro Shop which is the owner of PGA Tour Superstore in Indianapolis, as well as a Vernon Hills store, Illinois, will be bidding on both. Ashley Furniture, Shoe Station and Food Bazaar are among the other bidders. Amazon.com is also said to be interested in purchasing some of the soon-to–be-abandoned shops.
Total Retail’s Consideration: Many retailers want to purchase these properties at bargain prices and carefully research the areas that best suit their brick-and mortar strategy and target demographics. Toys”R”Us stores are large so the bidding will only attract brands with similar footprints. It will be interesting for Amazon to participate in the bidding process. It doesn’t appear that the Toys “R”Us stores are a good fit to Amazon Go. They might also be too big for their physical bookstores. However, a larger expansion of Whole Foods might make sense.