Do retailers need to reevaluate their omnichannel strategies and tactics?
Four walls and no walls. Bricks to clicks and clicks to bricks. There has been Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com and Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. And much, much more.
A convergence is happening in retail and it’s causing major disruptions across all retail marketing channels. Several sessions at Shoptalk 2019 discussed this convergence as both a challenge and opportunity for merchants that started in the physical world and their rivals that started in the digital one.
On the traditional retail side looking at ecommerce, the guidance ranged from emulating the physical shopping experience online so shoppers aren’t confused with the marketing strategy to using a combination of stores and distribution centers for efficient fulfillment.
On the digital side looking at physical stores, billboarding (blowing up elements of the online environment in the store) and using analytics of online shopping data to be more intimate with the shopper in person were suggested.
For both, the consensus from the experts is to test, test, test. The “fail fast” cliché was also bandied about, as was embracing the blur of the two channels in all merchandising and supply elements.
“A brand has to identify their customer’s behavior and then establish the best channel to serve them,” said Amy Errett, CEO of Madison Reed, a hair color ecommerce retailer starting to move to physical stores.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why is having an omnichannel presence becoming more critical for retailers that started with either physical or digital offerings? Is it more challenging moving from physical to digital or from digital to physical for retailers and consumer-direct brands?