Learning from E-commerce
Look out. According to a survey done by CEA Market Research in November, 89 percent of consumers found their online CE shopping experience either good or excellent, while only 80 percent could say the same about their in-store shopping experiences. What does this mean for CE dealers whose business is conducted primarily face-to-face with their customers? Does it mean something’s wrong with the face they’re putting out to customers, the convenience (or lack) of the store location, the speed (or lack) of the transaction or is there something else wrong? Or is it that online retailers have just improved that much more while the face-to-face shopping experience has stayed the same.
Consider how much shopping online has changed in the past five years? Dealer and product selection has improved significantly. Supply chain and software efficiency have sped up product delivery. Packaging improvements have improved product security. Paypal and other easy payment systems have made purchasing easier. Things like one-click-buy, virtual shopping carts, online wish lists and online help and product guides have made information easily available—sometimes more accurate than asking someone in-store. The rise in home broadband has also made online shopping easier, but the retailers can’t take credit for that.
While some of these merchant innovations are small, they’ve all emerged or expanded in the last five years. What has changed in your brick-and-mortar store in the last five years? Have checkouts gotten faster? Have sales associates become better informed? Have the isles gotten wider?