Retail Physical & Digital Must Be Won!
1. Do your local retail stores have their own digital DNA? If yes, is the digital foundation within each of your physical retail stores accelerating local consumer traffic?
2. How is it possible that digital clouds thousands of miles away can outmuscle your highly trained in-store human capital, brand assortments and ambience store experience in local markets?
3. How is it possible Google announced “back to school” search is up 45 percent versus last year while overall physical same store retail sales are down 5 percent?
Many of us are schooled in the language of retail attributes, core operating foundations and unique selling propositions in order to succeed through retail outposts. These retail attributes include: Assortment, convenience, ambiance, service and value. Notice I characterized the fifth principal of successful retailing as “value.” The further definition of value as to not abate the almighty “price” consideration is a simple formula defining price and value as integrated within a consumers consideration and mindset. The fiduciary retail formula with respect to price is: price divided by value (brand, product or service value) equals the true cost and consideration for any consumer, for any brand, for any product. Value in our retail-digital-future spills heavily into preference for consumers based upon their emotional and socially charged digital shopping experiences. It is no longer valuable to offer a retail experience but rather essential to offer an imaginative, seamless digital brand relationship through physical store aisles.
Retailing success of course is only possible through steady consumer traffic, profitable against the high tide of SG&A operating costs. These costs, sometimes running as high as 28% for physical retailers need to be melted down and re-casted quickly. Retail's profitable future is defined through digital transformation, speedy convergence and app-based mobile-personalization. All designed to exceed consumer cloud experiences.
Our physical retail buying future, based upon digitalization and transformation will be unlike anything we have experienced before. And for both physical retailers and consumers we will experience a dramatic decrease in human capital replaced by invisible “digital machines.” Of course today the simple pre-digital-transformation example is the computer-cashier at CVS or Home Depot. Tomorrow your digital wallet, bracelet, glasses, digital t-shirt or digital-something will identify you,deliver you the dignity of purchase knowledge, will accept your payment, will speed up transactions without “carbon unit” human intervention.
Peter Weedfald is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sharp Home Electronics Company of America (SHCA). He has also served as President of Gen One Ventures, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer of Circuit City, SVP of Sales and Marketing in North America for Samsung, and SVP of global marketing and EEVP, GM & Chief Marketing Officer for ViewSonic.