Today Retailers have fundamentally two sales channels: offline (traditional stores) and online: around 90%* of sales are completed in-store, what’s left takes place online, using ecommerce sites or mobile applications.
*: in the US (…and abroad?…trust me, it doesn’t change so much…)
- Comment-#1: brick-and-mortar stores are essential since it’s in-store that the vast majority of purchases occur… …so, citing Mark Twain, reports of their (…premature…) death have been greatly exaggerated
- Comment-#2: ecommerce is very important (…seriously, we aren’t underestimating it, are we?!) since it’s growing like hell, going from 0% just a few years ago (in the pre-Amazon era), reaching approx 10% today (…ten-percent!!!), and still accelerating
Stores and ecommerce have been considered absolutely independent by Retailers: they have different processes, different people, different tools; to make matters worse, essentially they compete.
Sadly, this independent-and-competing-channels approach is plainly wrong.
Why? Because it’s Retailer-centric, not Consumer-centric – that’s why.
Consumers don’t think in terms of brick-and-mortar store OR ecommerce, but of brick-and-mortar store AND ecommerce; our ecommerce/website, our branded App on their smartphone, our store downtown, they are just touch-points in their customer-journey.
In other words, what is changing is the growing number of interactions that now occurs out of the physical store – interactions that take place before, after or even during the Customer’s shopping trip; for example, Shoppers typically gather information about a product on the Net before purchasing it in-store; how many books I bought (…or didn’t buy!) after reading remarkable reviews on Amazon…! How many hotel I booked (…or didn’t book) after reading valuable feedbacks on Bookings…
The key point here is: in the past (…remember the pre-Amazon era?), the purchase decision unquestionably took place in-store; now (…and more so in the future…) the purchase decision takes place – at least partially – out of your store, in the online world.
The purchase-process is evolving, it’s definitely and significantly different compared to the purchase-process of 10 years ago; accordingly, our sales process needs to change too.
Andy Cavallini – http://retaildom.com