It’s no secret that the world of Retail is changing – and it’s changing fast. Over one-half of all consumers say that they begin their purchasing journey using some kind of digital platform, while over two-thirds of consumers report that they prefer a combination of digital and in-Store options while shopping. In this world of fast-paced change, retailers are going to new lengths to keep up with the shifts and stay relevant.
“The retail industry is currently going through a very visible existential crisis. On one end, there are long-time brands closing stores and refitting showrooms to become distribution centers,” Eric Feinberg explained in Forbes. “And on the other? Well, to casual observers it probably looks like the equivalent of a retail version of a mid-life crisis.”
In other words, in order to keep up with shifting consumer demands and shopping habits, retailers are increasingly looking to reinvent themselves. Often, this involves stretching themselves beyond their core businesses competencies. Iconic department store Nordstrom, for example, is expanding well beyond traditional department store territory of apparel, homeware, and beauty products. Now, Nordstrom department stores will have full-service fashion centers, which boast everything from scheduled spa amenities from full=service juice bars. Ikea is moving beyond just furniture and is now offering handyman services, while Whole Foods is increasingly trying to get customers to ditch store visits in favor of home delivery services.
Essentially, retailers are increasingly looking to get customers through their doors not just relying on the allure of the products that they’re selling, but also the experiences and services they can offer their customers. In order to succeed, retailers will need to keep reinventing themselves to keep up with evolving consumer behaviors. To survive this Midlife Crisis, brands must measure satisfaction and customer journeys to make tweaks to their selling models and strategies accordingly.
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