Today everyone is talking about how e-commerce is killing retail. The news after Christmas were reporting that a record-high percentage of all shopping for Christmas gifts was reached in 2017 and still expected to grow. Retailers are focusing on this threat as never and also scared of where the next Amazon storage will be located and how it will influence their business etc.
This has been going on for quite a while now. Today its quite common to see quotes like “Support local shopping”, “Shopping online kills the local shops” etc. Its sounds like beggary and doesn’t suit any professional retailer to get on their knees and beg for the consumers’ money. I personally do not believe that any retailer can survive begging consumers to come to support them for local reasons.
Another trend is talking about experiences, which is quite confusing for many retailers. Should they book a clown to hand out a balloon?
What they should be focusing on is how they can give consumers a great and unexpected experience when they visit their store. Some retailers are already focusing on this, so it’s more and more common to see Elephants in front of pet shops, Clowns sampling balloons in front of restaurants, etc. That all helps, so keep doing that.
However, no unexpected experience or advertising can make for terrible service from the staff in the store. Staff looking at their phones, drinking coffee, socializing with each other and basically doing everything else than focusing on the consumer. Even a lot of the staff focusing on the consumers seems to have left their dentures at home, keeping them from smiling. On top of that, it seems like they have no real interest, not asking any open questions and guiding the consumers, making them leave with a smile.
So, stop thinking about the dangers of e-commerce, because there is so much for you to do to make consumers happy and loyal to your store. Just make sure to meet and even exceed the consumers’ expectations.
The good news is, that it has never been easier to hire the best-fitted people and to improve their skills. Technology has made it easy to measure, train and motivate your staff. You don’t need recruitment consultants, monthly off-site staff training sessions, weekly motivational meetings, etc. A lot of personal profiling, training and motivation can be done online, and you can adjust everything to each employee. This enables retailers to make data-driven improvements to the heart of their business; the staff. This only gets better, and better as artificial intelligence and machine learning gets more and more time to process sales performance data combined with staff personality, training, and motivation.
To conclude, disruption is not only the competition from e-commerce but also from agile retailers using technology to improve great service and sales.
If you have questions or comments or just want to get on board, please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected]