Is It The End Of Retail?
The holiday shopping season is upon us. Will it be enough to rescue the retail industry’s dismal 2017 in spite of high consumer confidence, historically low unemployment and a growing U.S. economy? Typically the perfect conditions for retailers, however retail brands are filing for bankruptcy and closing stores at historical highs. There are several reasons; one of the most obvious is the rise of e-commerce. Another is millienials spending more on experiences than things. And let’s not remove blame from the unsatisfactory Customer Experience the retailers themselves continue to deliver.
Retail Has Become Boring
The rise of mobile devices has ensured retail will never be the same. Companies must deliver a new Customer Experience or risk falling into the retail chasm. The traditional retail model has become stale and unexciting. Many provide poor Customer Experience—Harris Interactive reports that Customer service associates fail to answer a Customer’s questions 50% of the time. Bad service is made worse by bad revenue, as more salespeople are cut and fewer are in stores to help Customers.
Experience = Entertainment & Emotional Engagement
The Customer Experience, when done correctly, is about entertainment and emotional engagement. Best Buy has embraced the showroom model. CNBC called the company “a retail anomaly” because it’s actually fun to shop there—kids get to sample video games and adults get to play with the latest gadgets. For the digitally inclined, it’s real-life virtual reality. Best Buy’s stock rose more than 20% this year after the company’s in-store sales soared past expectation.
Best Buy is a wonderland for gadget-geeks. Best Buy has worked with partners like Google and Samsung to establish small sections of the store where each can show off new products. Visit a Samsung area, for example, and you’ll find the latest smartphones and tablets, virtual reality headsets and accessories. You can visit their gaming section to experience high-end mechanical keyboards, super-accurate mice and fancy gaming headsets with surround sound audio.
Best Buy faces its fair share of risks, too, with some shoppers coming into the stores to try products before buying them from other places. However Customers still strive for immediate gratification. We need places where we can go to see, feel and play with the products.
Amazon’s physical shops tie the mobile device into the experience so much that one cannot shop without it. You use the phone to enter the store, walk around, take whatever you want and it is all recorded. When you’re done, you just walk out and you’re billed on your phone.
Your Customer Experience Is Not As Good As You Think
There is a huge misperception between the Experience our employees think they are delivering versus what the Customers feel. Watch this 3-minute video to find out why and show it to your teams.
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