Dear Retailers, I’m putting the finishing touches on my new white-paper titled “The importance of brick-and-mortar stores in an omnichannel world” that you will be able to download on my blogsite http://www.gaia-matrix.com very soon.
[…just to be crystal-clear: it’s a white-paper, it’s free, I’m not selling anything…]
While you wait, in this Post I am sharing the first preview of some content: enjoy it and please stay tuned…
Dear Retailers, let’s take a quick look at how things are going: around 90%* of sales are completed in-store, what’s left takes place online, using ecommerce sites or mobile applications.
*: in the US (…and abroad?…trust me, it doesn’t change so much…)
- Comment-#1: brick-and-mortar stores are essential since it’s in-store that the vast majority of purchases occur… …so, using the words of Mark Twain, reports of their (…premature…) death have been greatly exaggerated…
- Comment-#2: ecommerce is very important (…seriously, you aren’t underestimating it, are you?!) since it’s growing like hell, going from 0% just a few years ago (in the pre-Amazon era), reaching approx 10% today (…ten-percent!!!), and still accelerating…
Stores and ecommerce are traditionally two distinct channels and, so far, have been considered absolutely independent by Retailers: they have different processes, different people, different tools; to make matters worse, essentially they compete…
Dear Retailers, pardon my bluntness, but this independent-and-competing-channels approach is plainly wrong.
Why? Because it’s Retailer-centric, not Consumer-centric – that’s why…!
Consumers don’t think in terms of brick-and-mortar store OR ecommerce, but of brick-and-mortar store AND ecommerce; your ecommerce/website, your branded App on their smartphone, your store downtown, they are just touch-points in their customer-journey
In other words, what is changing is the growing number of interactions that now occurs out of the physical store – interactions that take place before, after or even during the customer’s shopping trip; for example, shoppers typically gather information about a product on the Net before purchasing it in-store; how many books I bought (…or didn’t buy!) after reading remarkable reviews on Amazon…! How many hotel I booked (…or didn’t book) after reading valuable feedbacks on Bookings…!
The key point here is: in the past (…remember the pre-Amazon era?), the purchase decision unquestionably took place in-store; now (…and more so in the future…) the purchase decision takes place – at least partially – out of your store, in the online world.
The purchase-process is evolving, it’s definitely and significantly different compared to the purchase-process of 10 years ago; accordingly, your sales process needs to change too – prove me wrong, if you can…
I know, dear Retailers, changing a sales process that is at least 50 years old is not easy; the new sales process requires several changes, and the main one is omnichannel integration, a transformation that is not for the faint of heart: it’s difficult and very complex because it extensively impacts processes, people and tools – all at the same time.
Andy Cavallini – firstname.lastname@example.org