The Feel Of Fabric
Traditional retailers (across every single product category) have done so poorly compared to their younger online cousins that it’s not even worth discussing. The domination is so complete many seem to have stopped trying altogether. But in the retail world ‘real experiences’ still matter and retailers own the ‘real’ part of the equation. Multichannel retailers with online stores need to look at it as a way to both preserve existing customers and attract new ones. The objective is to create widgets that play to the retailer’s strengths. Retailers like Circuit City have features like buy-online-pickup-in-store and it would be hard for a pure-play online retailer like newegg.com (which is an Internet Retailer top 10 company) to steal a customer accustomed to Circuit City’s innovative widget. This is how all retailers need to think.
This reminds me that in the book “Why We Buy” Paco Underhill comments about how much more likely a consumer is to make a purchase when they touch something — a sweater, perhaps — in the store environment. This is something offline retailers will always have as an advantage, and something which online retailers should worry day and night about replicating 🙂Reply