Retail is in a Darwinian cycle of adapt or perish but it isn’t dead yet as the crew at Monty Python used to say (actually my research shows the quote was just “not dead”). The adoption of online shopping options is dramatically changing the world of retail. Early adopters of the IoT have found ways to purchase everything they could possibly need without ever leaving their home. Hello Amazon Prime!
The times, they are a-changin’ and I’m reminded of the death of the movie theatre with the advent of videotape, then DV, then crazy big flat screen TV’s. Who would ever leave the comfort of their home when you could have a theater-quality experience in your living room and with far cheaper snacks? And yet, people continue to go out to the movies. Why? Because the movie theater adapted. Single community theaters became metroplexes. Casual and fine dining was incorporated into the experience. And, while special effects were accessible in-home, theaters did a good job of staying at the forefront of new visual experiences.
Some retailers will perish while others will adapt and thrive. But a recent article by Chantal Tode suggests that companies such as Macy’s are actively transforming . Chantal mentions the recent addition of an in-store mode to Macy’s smartphone app. They’re creating an online experience in a bricks & mortar setting. That enables a virtual dialogue between the store and shopper which can exceed the performance of the best salespeople of yesteryear.
Is shopping at home easier? In many respects the answer is yes but perhaps there’s something missing from the experience. Maybe it’s touching the material in a dress or holding a piece of cookware in your hand to confirm it’s not too heavy and you like the handle. Or maybe it’s just the magic of the holidays at a store such as Macy’s. Feel free to insert the name of your favorite bricks & mortar store here.
Anyone that knows me well will know that I’m not a shopper and they’ll also know that I love sports and also attend the occasional live music event. The irony is that live events seldom match the visual or audio quality of in-home entertainment. Yet stadiums and concert halls continue to fill because of the experience. It may be the energy of a packed stadium or just the magic of being close to live music.
So the answer is that retail is not dead but it needs to keep evolving and COSY will be an important element in that transformation. Contact me to find out how.