What is this madness, how can retail not be about shopping? Retail IS shops and shopping, or is it…………..
Let’s go back a good few years, of course reatil was about shopping, we went to the High Street shop, like a Woolworths or a C&A and bought what was needed, Woolworths was famous for their Pick n Mix and C&A for ladies jumpers. Is it a surprise then that these two brands have disappeared??
Why is Retail changing?
It is changing, not because of e-commerce, not because people buy from eBay, it is changing as Retail is now about an experience, online or at a shop, it matters not. Let me explain-
If a person wants a pair of jeans for instance, they can buy them in a multitude of stores. Be realistic, blue jeans are denim material, dyed to the colour blue, and cut into the required style. They are jeans, and that is the thing they might be a few pounds in a supermarket, or, hundreds of pounds with a designer label on them and from a designer shop.
And here is the thing……. you have the money ready and you need jeans, so what is the main influence on where you buy? Is it brand snobbery, is it driven by saving money, or is it proof that reail is not about shopping?
People buy, not for anything else, other than, THE EXPERIENCE.
It is pure human nature, and a growing need for service that makes things happen. The supermarket, with their £4.00 jeans will get the sale before a highly thought of designer brand and shop jeans at £100+, not to save money, but if the experience provided, the service is the best. If the service makes a cheap supermarket more of a happy experience then they will get the repeat business, and the business of their friends, and there is more to reveal.
If a person receives a great experience, and are very happy and impressed, they will tell 10 of their friends. 10 does not sound a lot, however, if each 10 tells another 10 the mound will grow. If the customer has received a bad service, or had a bad experience, they will tell 50 of their friends how bad the store is. The 50 tell 50 who then tell 50 of their friends, and rather than a mound, it soon becomes a rapidly growing snowball. To put this in perspective, just 5 times down the road that is 312500000 (three hundred and twelve million, five hundred thousand) people who never even show their faces at the store!! Now realistically some of the people will try the store just to see, that is great, until it is realised that another person trying starts another snowball as well, it is a never ending spiral.
Woolworths did not provide a welcoming experience, the staff were badly trained and just left to get on with things, if a store had 1000 customers with a bad experience, after they shared that with fifty people and those people told fifty, it is 2500000000 people, to huge a number to comprehend. This why Retail is not about shopping. Retail is about experience, not necessarily price, not the make, of say Jeans, it is about providing a customer with an experience that they want to shout from the rooftops. An experience that can be remembered and can be told to everyone. Woolworths in the UK no longer trade, now it can be seen why!!
Retail is no longer about just going to a shop, or online, it is about wanting to go to the shop or website, and to achieve this a retailer now must provide not a means to buy something but a service, an experience, that makes someone feel special and wanted. If a potential customer gains nothing from the shopping experience they will not return, and we can clearly see what happens next as they tell people.