“How did you go bankrupt?"
“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
If you were thinking of starting a business today, chances are that opening a physical store would not be anywhere near top of your list of potential ideas. Every day brings news of closures and famous names teetering on the brink of administration. The end of the high street has been talked about for years. In many parts of the UK, it has finally become a reality.
The reasons behind this are complex and varied. Ultimately, it all comes down to one thing: the increasing divergence between what retailers see as the purpose of shops and what their customers want that role to be.
This divergence has been building up for some time. Now, it’s accelerating.
The irony is that consumers are, if anything, shopping more than ever–it’s just that the role of shops in shopping has changed. But not in the same way for all retailers.
What sort of experience should you be offering your customers?
If you believe the hype spouted by consultancies and software companies, today’s customers expect retailers to:
- Provide augmented reality apps that will allow them to ‘engage’ with products in a deeper way
- Use artificial intelligence to predict what they want to buy before they know themselves
- Use facial recognition software to identify whether they are ‘high value’—as soon as they enter the store
- Use Bluetooth beacons to push personalised, ‘in the moment’ messages
- Sign them up to a tiered, points-based loyalty scheme (ideally built on a Blockchain platform to add a sense of mystique) with ‘members-only’ perks that create the illusion they are getting special treatment
- Provide ample opportunities to impress their friends by posting Instagram friendly photo opportunities
- Provide a venue to entertain the kids and socialise with friends
- Act as a delivery locker for online purchases
- Allow them to try out a product and then go home and buy it online from a cheaper competitor
- Etc. etc. etc.
With so many solutions on offer, is it any wonder retailers are struggling?
The fact is that any or none of the above might be appropriate for you. We’d never push any ‘pre-cooked’ recommendations.
In fact, we don’t know what the right answer is for you.
… but we do know how to help you find the right answers
At Draw, we help our clients to design experiences that are right for their customers. We are not tied to any particular channel or technology.
We go back to basics and uncover the core role shoppers want you play.
Armed with this knowledge, we work with you to apply it in practice and create a customer experience that drives loyalty because it’s built around what your customers value.