What does it take for retailers to thrive amid shifting consumer preferences?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
In a presentation during the 2017 Retail Innovation Conference, Josh Wais, emerging technology and strategy lead at Jet.com, shared five key takeaways he felt retailers must follow if they want to survive and thrive in the midst of these constantly shifting consumer preferences.
- Go Where Others Aren’t
“In the past, location was that,” Mr. Wais said. “We could have region differences in our footprint and we wouldn’t be competing with others. Today it has to be through your value proposition and the role that you fit in the lives of your customers. You have to think about how that’s unique, and how that’s going to serve not everyone, but your particular customers in a way that they’re going to choose you rather than one-click away choosing someone else.”
“There’s always been a lot of talk about experience since it’s a fairly obvious one,” Mr. Wais noted. “What’s different now, is that you didn’t have to compete with experience. Your experience could frankly be pretty poor and you’d still be okay.”
- Try To Capture The Entire Lifeline Of The Customer, Rather Than One Transaction.
“You might lose money on your first transaction, but it’s worth it if you can get that customer to keep coming back, because that’s going to be the new normal,” Mr. Wais said.
Mr. Wais said, “As all categories start to move online, fast isn’t always necessarily what you need, and fast is really expensive. We’re going to hear more about blended fulfillment; being able to use traditional online methods with in-store methods to be able to do pickup, or even have a store hand it off to an Uber driver that can take it to your house.”
- Act Early
Mr. Wais said, “If you don’t do it now, you are going to have to pay a lot more to acquire those customers and to invest in your experiences that will lead to repeat customers later on. Even though it’s always scary to invest a lot of money, if there’s a time to do it, now is the time.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which takeaways from the article do you think are most important? Which is the most frequently neglected by retailers?