BrainTrust Query: Mobile Is a Distraction
Through a special arrangement,
presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail
Before any technology fans begin labeling me a Luddite, let’s
look at the facts:
- “Seventy percent of brand selections are made in the store and 68
percent of all purchases are, to some degree, impulse driven.” — Doug
Knudsen, president of retail sales for ConAgra at the National Retail Federation’s
Big Show 2011.
- “With 87 percent of surveyed retail associates noting that shoppers
can easily find a better deal, offering the best customer experience is more
important than ever.” – Frank Riso, senior director of retail solutions,
- “E-commerce sales will represent eight percent of all retail sales
in the U.S. by 2014, up from six percent in 2009.” — Erick Schonfeld
at Techcrunch.com, using forecasts put out by Forrester.
Numbers. Statistics. Just the facts. What does it all mean? It’s relative.
In the same way you can look at a glass as half-full or half-empty, you can look
at certain data and see reason to celebrate both m-commerce and e-commerce sales
and their steady increase.
Or you can see evidence that online sales are a supporting
block in the foundation of brick & mortar sales figures, one among many.
look at some of the numbers again:
- E-commerce sales will represent eight percent of all retail sales in the
U.S. by 2014, up from six percent in 2009.
That huge market of online consumers? It still represents a fraction of total
Sure, having online customers is great. But they want to purchase
items in the real world. While they are doing all their own research right
now, customers still want that face-to-face element. And that socialization
that comes from being in the real world.
Yet, retailers are increasingly concerned
with taking them out of their stores, linking them to this app or shopping
guide and encouraging them to finish their purchase online. All the while they’re
abandoning the store experience that built those brands — people. It
shows in whom they put on the floor, how those employees are selected, trained,
valued and scheduled.
Is the race to mobile a distraction from how miserable
a shopping experience is today? Do retailers have to pay customers to endure
their store experience by offering endless promotions? And what kind of world
are bricks and mortar stores headed for if we continue to look the other way?
why I researched and wrote this manifesto: Bricks and Mortar
Retailing At Risk In The Digital Age: From Silicon Valley to Main Street.
Discussion Questions: Is the fixation on mobile and e-commerce for many retailers coming at the expense of proper attention to brick & mortar operations? Is mobile technology a fad, the wave of the future or something in between?