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3 Ways Retailers can Win Over Millennials Like Me

Multi Channel Retail.JPG


In the dawn of the “Age of Disruption”, can we finally shake hands and agree that Retail is far beyond the store? (Resounding yes)

Ok, but what does the extinction of single-channel Retail really mean?

If we look at 2015, Retail sales closed with a 3% increase from the previous year to $626.1 billion. NRF forecasted solid Retail growth, Non-store sales grew 9% to $105 billion.

Today, Retail no longer means store vs. online, mobile, catalog, TV ads, personalized marketing, or e-personalized shoppers. It the perfect mix. It’s all about multi-channel.

Flashback:

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a decade and I can still smell permeating clouds of FIERCE cologne and remember rocking moose-branded flip-flops and my frozen toes still making a debut in mid-December 2005. Now, I am cringing at how ridiculous I looked (and smelled) but, a small price to pay as a bright-eyed retail associate for Abercrombie & Fitch.


At 16, this was “everything” and honestly, I did not know it yet, but the true start of a long career in Retail. Then, it meant consulting shoppers to buy my perfectly folded “jean-wall” in the four grey walls of Abercrombie, plastered with suggestive black-and-white photography.

Since those days, much has changed for Retail; the trends, styles, the cuts, colors, the platform, new technology, new ways to consume. Forget the cologne, the competition is FIERCE!

The Struggle:

The competition for Retailers is becoming even more complex. Nothing new here…

So, no longer is there that epic trip to the mall to gear up for back-to-school?

Is the Rite of Passage to Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s for the perfect prom dress a distant memory?

Could it be a wrap as we move from bricks to clicks?! My millennial kindred Spirit says- Not exactly, but close.

Many retailers compete with the likes of Fast Fashion houses (Zara/H&M), they compete on low prices, discounts, for foot traffic, market-basket size, Amazon, even with their own wholesale business etc.,.

Another newer competitive disrupter in the industry is the head-first plunge into the “Netflix of Clothing”. Its rise of personal e-shopping experience of Nordstrom-owned Truck Club, Men’s Style Lab, Le Tote, Stitch Fix, and finally a $139/month unlimited membership for leased designer threads from Rent the Runway.

The Answer:

With the competition strong as ever, Retailers must become truly multi-channel or as said earlier, just call it retail – all the channels – all the time.

According to 2016 Top 250 Global Powers of Retailing, published for STORES Magazine the death of store is a HUGE exaggeration:

“Despite the difficulties faced by many traditional retailers, however, it appears that the death of bricks-and-mortar retailing has been greatly exaggerated as more and more online players begin to establish a physical presence. This growing trend to find a balance between e-commerce and physical retail stores, to integrate online and offline into a seamless process, to view them as enhancements to each other, not as threats, will be key to maximizing both customer satisfaction and retail performance in the years ahead – See more at: https://nrf.com/news/2016-top-250-global-powers-of-retailing#sthash.ago1QVhI.dpuf

It is not about online vs. store. It is about vying for the consumers’ precious time across all channels.

Here’s how to win:

  1. Have strong online brand: almost 90% of consumers research a product online before buying it in-store.
  2. Multi-Channel Mix- over 20% of consumers shop across 4-5 channels (think catalog, email marketing, mobile apps, TV, stores, and online, e-personal shopper mix)
  3. Multi-Channel Continuity- buying goods from the same retailer in all channels, even for a single purchase. Be consistent

Winning in Retail means stepping out of the store and delivering on that experience from bricks to clicks and everything in between!

See more at: https://nrf.com/news/retail-holiday-sales-increase-3-percent#sthash.Nax5vPP2.dpuf

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