Stitch Fix, arguably one of the most disruptive retailers today, relies on deep personalization to connect with their customers. It’s not a surprise then that the online retailer employees over 60 data scientists. What might surprise you is that they still rely on the personal touch of 1000s of stylists to make sure that every customer receives the perfect ‘fix’ – what they call their box of curated items sent directly to the consumer’s door.
Same-store sales have long been the metric by which the retail industry measures the success and failure of brick and mortar stores. Measuring the change from year-to-year of a retailer's sales, in a fixed base of stores, for a given month, this statistic stood unchallenged throughout the 20th century.
Topics: Brick And Mortar
As hundreds gathered for the opening address at the Retail Innovation Conference in NYC this past week, every retailer had the same thing on their mind: Amazon. When keynote speaker Bryan Eisenberg hit the stage his message was being like Amazon is easy, so easy in fact, that even a lemonade stand can do It. The message: the challenge retailers are facing is not about understanding how Amazon does what it does. Per Eisenberg, it’s simple – focus on the customer in everything you do. The challenge for every other retailer is executing that strategy when faced with the organizational silos that cause retailers to lose sight of customers when key business decisions are made.
Last week Amazon announced the launch of the newest iteration of their home assistant - Echo Look. As initial reactions to the announcement rolled in, it’s becoming evident that Echo Look is Amazon’s way of placing a target on the backs of apparel retail.
If the headlines are to be believed, retail is in a death spiral and it won’t be long before every brick and mortar retailer closes up shop, and Amazon win’s the Ecommerce battle crushing or acquiring its competition.
Store Locator (noun)- A part of the website, often hidden to the user, that displays hours and locations of a retail store. Often the only significant online presence for the physical store. Presents minimal value to customers who often turn to Google to find the store.
There is no shying away from the fact that 2017 has seen some of the most aggressive retail store closings since the last recession, and by some projections, we may even outpace store closures figures from 2008. However, simply looking at top level numbers for store closings only tells part of the picture of what’s happening in retail. There is no doubt that the industry is undergoing a correction brought on by Ecommerce, but at the same time the store remains an essential pillar in retail, albeit in a changing role.
Mobile is rapidly becoming the defacto shopping platform. We’ve seen the signs for a while now, but it seems that we are rapidly nearing a tipping point in the desktop vs. mobile shopping paradigm, which started with explosive mobile revenue over the Cyber Monday/Black Friday shopping weekend in 2016. The shift that we are experiencing will only be accelerated as the first wave of theGen Z cohort graduates from college and starts generating and spending their own income. Keep in mind that while the rest of us merely “adopted” mobile devices, Gen Z was born into mobile, and don’t know a world without it. With the ever-growing convenience provided by our mobile devices and the growth of new, mobile-centric shopper cohorts, if you’re not looking at retail through a mobile-lens, you better start now.
Today’s consumer is more driven by deals and discounts than ever before. This is why we see retailers like TJX experiencing unprecedented growth, while the rest of retail struggles to get foot traffic through the door.
Off-price retailing isn’t a no brainer however. Retailers that have both full-price stores and discount outlets face challenges in today’s retail environment.
As the week comes to an end, it is apparent that the second annual Shoptalk will occupy a place alongside such great sequels as The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, and The Godfather: Part II. Like the Empire Strikes Back, Shoptalk II was full of surprises and new technologies.