If you are a retailer, reading Doug Stephens’ new book, Retail Revival: Reimagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism, is a bit like skydiving: terrifying yet thrilling. If you figure out how to open the parachute in time, you’ll have a wonderful journey. If not …
Average Won’t Work Anymore
There is hope for retailers, both large and small, but only the remarkable ones. Average just won’t do any more. And with companies like Amazon getting faster and faster at handling deliveries, even your current advantage of a customer being able to pick up a product right away won’t be enough to sustain you.
If you want to survive in the new era you have to create amazing experiences for your customers. Make it worth their while to brave the weather (I write this during a snowstorm in late March in Edmonton!) and the traffic to come to your store. He suggests retailers ask themselves this question: If I gave everything inside the store away free, would people be willing to pay an admission fee to come in?
Don’t Kid Yourself: “Likers” are NOT Engaged With Your Brand
He also sharply criticizes the jargon of “engagement”. Just like the mass advertising of old, most so-called engagement in social media is really just another form of intrusion marketing. People who click a Like button for a chance to win something are not “engaged” with your brand! If you create a truly stellar experience for your customers, you won’t need to plead with them to tell their friends; they’ll do it naturally.
In the interview we discuss where retail is headed and what it will take to survive.
And, while you are here, what would it take to get you “engaged” with Frank Online Marketing? Are these podcasts an experience you value? How could they be better? I want you to Like me and tell your friends without my having to bribe you to do so! (That was a hint! Just sayin’…)