10 Ways Retail is Changing
Part Two in a Three Part Series
1. Hidden Profit Centers are the new Markup
Low-cost providers such as Sam’s Club and Best Buy are selling “in-store exchange” policies at the cash register to supplement the manufacturer’s warranties they don’t honor. In other words, you can’t take a faulty purchase back to the retailer if there’s a problem – you have to contact the manufacturer directly – unless you bought their “in-store exchange” policy.
2. “Hard-to-find” items are no longer hard to find.
Just Google it.
3. A huge in-store selection can be counterproductive.
When buying locally, a shopper confronted with too many choices can go into analysis paralysis. Successful stores stock only those items that represent the best value for the money. And they make sure never to run out of those items. The best stores stock only what’s hot. They may offer just one vacuum cleaner, but it’s the one that everyone is buying.
4. Traffic is in decline
because comparison-shopping is in decline. A customer who used to go to 3 or 4 stores to gather information is now going to just 1 or 2. When a customer goes to just one store, second place is the first loser. Don’t be number two on their list.
5. Intrusive visibility is more important than ever.
Intrusively-visible locations are destined to become even more important as media fragmentation continues. But don’t confuse visibility with mere traffic count. Seeing you is altogether different than driving past you.
6. Hype doesn’t sell anymore.
The effectiveness of artificial urgency is in sharp decline. People are no longer naive. Companies that were built on high-impact ads are finding their dwindling, traditional customer base won’t respond to anything but high-impact offers and new customers won’t take them seriously. These stores are closing their doors and no one is noticing.
7. Attention spans are shrinking.
Too much to do, too little time.
8. Clarity is more important that creativity.
Web surfing has taught us to quickly appraise whether information is relevant to us. The most effective ads are short and clear.
9. Details matter.
Quirky and cute ads were effective in the 90’s because they made corporate America warm and approachable. People still like these ads and may even compliment you on them, but they’re no longer driving traffic. Buying decisions are increasingly based on logic. Give customers a no-loopholes warranty and a story that rings true and they’ll respond.
10. Speed is essential.
Customers don’t complain when you waste their time. They just don’t come back.
Yo. Wake up. It’s a brand new day.
Roy H. Williams
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