As we head into the holiday shopping season, we are likely to hear prognostication about Americans plan to spend, how they plan to shop, and what the most popular gifts of the season will be. It is the same year after year. What doesn’t change is the need to make customers happy, to offer them what they want in the way they want it, whether that is in on the phone, in a brick-and-mortar store or online, and to provide them with a seamless, hybrid shopping experience across platforms. Read more in this roundup:
Customer Experience Critical for Hybrid Commerce Success
It’s 1994. The holiday shopping frenzy has already begun even though fall has just arrived. To skip the crowds, you decide to shop from home. With your catalog and corded phone in tow, you call to place your order that will then be shipped right to you. It’s easy to forget that home-based shopping and omnichannel sales aren’t new, it’s just evolved with the use of the internet. In 1994, 98 million consumers purchased $60 billion of goods from home, but that’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to the $452.8 billion that consumers spent on e-commerce last year. With the internet available to all, and consumers expecting a fluid experience in-store and online, retailers today must offer both in-store and online to create a hybrid commerce shopping experience that works together seamlessly. Read the article here.
To Thrive in Today’s Retail Sector, be Customer Centric
Just about a year ago, there were a flurry of articles and think pieces lamenting the demise of the retail sector. The Retail Apocalypse was nigh; beloved brands were toppling and prognosticators imagined a retail environment dominated by Amazon and Walmart. Meanwhile the customer was largely left out in the cold. But even with a little interrogation, this vision of the retail sector fell apart like the strawman it was. In fact, if you looked at data from the sector, it was true that some brands were struggling. However, many others were thriving. Moreover, while many brands were closing their brick and mortar stores, internet darlings, like Warby Parker, were defying logic and opening brick and mortar stores. And while Amazon and Walmart are certainly sector leaders, other retailers were capturing the imagination – and wallet-share – of consumers. Read more about it here.
Brick-and-Mortar is Dead! Long Live Brick-and-Mortar!
Online shopping is so easy, so convenient, and so established. Brick-and-mortar stores, on the other hand, could use some help. Messy aisles, confusing advertising, and long checkout lines are all too common. Despite the clear trend toward online shopping, some retailers are diving back into the brick-and-mortar pool to broaden their brand reach. From a store packed with the best-rated items in New York City to a night shopping experience in Los Angeles, this new age of brick-and-mortar just might surprise you. On top of Amazon Go, the company is opening a brick-and-mortar store that only sells products from their website rated four stars or above. The store opened earlier this month in New York’s SoHo neighborhood and offers Prime members a new way to shop. Read more about Amazon and other retailers here.