But not everything is rosy for online either
" Customers go online for convenience, so slow-loading websites, intrusive ads and clunky user experiences defeat the purpose — especially for users on mobile phones, where patience runs even thinner. " (p.9)
Brick and mortar retail is suffering - no doubt about it, but online doesn't own all the possibilities. It's just that the planning landscape has changed because of the growth of competition. So what strategies can a retailer use to engage their customers and keep them interested? This becomes a question for the retailer -the person who curates the collection to be sold in a store. And I think it is quite important that retailers consider what they house as a curated collection. They're not selling random bits and pieces of odds and ends, they're selling specific choices for people to make.
If you're brick and mortar, consider why Amazon is now building out brick and mortar. It's because people want to have the tactile experience for so very many purchases. Not to mention returning clothing which does not fit, or the color is not right, is a PIA. Getting a brassiere fitted online? Give. It. Up. But brick 'n mortar have a lot to learn from online - and they continue to fumble at this. Starbucks sure hasn't. They've integrated technology to the base of what the customer experience is. Much as people might rail against a "ginormous corporation", they know what their customers prefer, what they don't prefer, and how to deliver on those preferences.
This is where the phrase "democratization of data" comes in to play though. Within the past five years, the availability of data on the internet and the drop in the price of tools which gather that information, clean it, and then show the retailer exactly who their customers are and what their preferences are - well, the tools are available .
Online wishes they had the direct person-to-person relationship, where a customer could feel, touch, taste, or smell; where there were no problems with color correction, or the difference in monitors. Brick 'n Mortar Retailers have a unique value - they have dressing rooms, measuring devices, corrected lighting. They just need to gather the information they have about their clients in a thoughtful, secure, private manner... then let the newsletters roll...